OvergrowthOctober 3, 2023
“Overgrowth“ is a large video projection of a bonsai tree by the British artist Ceal Floyer. The Incredible Shrinking Man first encountered the work during the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 where it was presented at the end of a long corridor. As such it allowed the public to slowly walk up to the tree. When you’re still a good distance away it appears to be a regular tree, but as the details of the trunk, the branches and especially the leaves come into focus something doesn’t seem quite right.
Then, since most of us have seen bonsai trees before, there is a prolonged moment in which we start recognizing that we’re actually looking at something small, and our perspective flips. The intuitive disproportionateness of the self in regards to the projection interrupts the nomal sensory flow that allows a sense of control over our environment and our body. It is an interesting experience because in realising the original size of the tree in the projection we also flip size and rather than a regular person under a tree we become a small person under a bonsai tree. Like Alice we fall into the rabbit hole in a proces of imagined physical shrinking. We like that feeling.