© 2018 by REINHARD REITZENSTEIN
 

Phone: 716-289-2757  Email: rr33@buffalo.edu

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MEMORY VESSEL

Memory Vessel was installed in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago Chile as part of the group exhibition Via Renovateur.  I used the eucalyptus tree because it is a colonial tree originating in Australia and eventually planted in Latin America among many other places.  Eucalyptus grows very quickly and to do so sends its roots deep into the earth for sustenance.  As they grow and spread to create eucalyptus forests they deplete water tables around them discouraging other species of plants to grow and their leaves are toxic to other species which perpetuates their mono-cultural stands.

The trees were planted to provide the settlers with quick shade and the eucalyptus also deter mosquitoes making them a desirable tree species to plant for the vulnerable colonials.  The trunk of the eucalyptus was marked by twelve carved bowls along its length.  Each bowl was lined with beeswax and the bowls were filled with either pig blood or cow milk.  The inclusion of these elements refers to the levels of pain and sustenance that embodied the recent and controversial history of Chile.