In the summer of 2012 a unique park – the grounds of Gottorp Manor on the outskirts of Malmö – was entirely destroyed. The manor and the park were threatened by the new residential development in neighbouring Bunkeflo while the new outer ring road created a new boundary. One of the trees in the park was a rare giant copper beech which generations of local children had climbed.
What did the people of Malmö lose when the park was destroyed? What does a tree cost?
For the woodcutter who was contracted to fell the trees the timber itself is the only thing of value. But what was the value to Malmös municipal gardener, who expressly claims to want to conserve the citys mature trees? What can the ecologist, who works with green areas in the urban environment, tell us about the value of biological diversity? What is the value of a tree to a child who climbs it? Or for someone who just wants to stand beside it and feel its presence.
In our video installation, ”How much for a tree?” – made in collaboration with Nils Bergendal – we seek to describe the artistic and human value of a tree. Viewers can join a dizzying climb to the very top of the giant tree. We have also sought to give expression to the feelings one experiences in the presence of these numerous tall trees. In our book, also entitled ”How much for a tree?”, we perform the drama of the fate of Gottorp Manor.
Swedish edition: see ”Vad kostar ett träd?”.