Ute Ritschel, Curator (Germany)

»Poetic Art Works in Forest and Nature«

The International Forest Art Association was founded in 2002 and since then has created seven “Forest Art Path” exhibitions and three “International Forest Art Conferences” in Germany, USA and China with 100 artists from 20 countries. The installations, sculptures and interactive works are created during a three week symposium. Many art works have a poetic quality, since the artists choose sitespecific places using the forest, the geological structure and the symbolic richness of a site. The works are created along a 2 to 3 km long path.

”Poetic Forest” on the Path of the Yellow Dragon Temple on Mt. Lushan is situated in a rich historic and aesthetic tradition of Chinese poetic writing and spiritual imagery. It is an ideal setting for the 11

international artists to respond to and to integrate regional materials (f.e. bamboo), working methods and reacting to the busy touristic sites by creating quite places of reflection.

Examples of art works from different Forest Art projects will highlight the poetic quality and the integration in the natural setting, creating sustainable art and showing the processes of this wide ranged art symposiums. Forest Art conferences are an integral part of the academic and pedagogical program we foster in cooperation with our partners like the Geopark Bergstraße-Odenwald or the Technical University Darmstadt. The International Forest Art Center founded in 2009 with its archive and artist residency program is a central hub for Forest Art research and production to make Forest Art a concept for the future.


born 1956, Curator, Darmstadt, Germany. Trained in Art History, Theatre Studies, Cultural Anthropology at the University Erlangen, University of Kansas, University Frankfurt/Main and Performing Arts Administration and Performance Studies at NYU, New York.

Lived several years in Italy, France and the USA. Worked as dramaturge and as manager in a gallery of modern art. Since 1995 curator of the biannual exhibition „Vogelfrei - Art in Private Gardens“ in Darmstadt. 2002 Co-founder of the International Forest Art Association in Darmstadt. Curator and organiser of the “Forest Art Path” symposiums and conferences since 2002: f. e. the “3. Forest Art Path - Laboratory” (2006), “Cycles and Systems” (2008) and “Freedom and Wilderness” (2010). Initiated a series of Forest Art conferences since 2007 in Wisconsin, Darmstadt and China.
Since 1995 work in “Theory-Performance” and since 1998 working on EAT-ART-projects.

Visiting professor, lecturer and presenter at several Universities in Theatre, Performance Studies and Arts Administration. (f.e. USA, Canada, GB, Russia, Switzerland, Argentina, Costa Rica). Founder of the „Centre for Performance Studies“ (ZPS) and the „Center for Art and Nature“(ZKN).

In 2007 Artist in Residence at the University in Wisconsin - Madison teaching “Curatorial Practice” and organised “Forest Art Wisconsin - Native/Invasive”. Since October 2009 head of the International Forest Art Centre (IWZ) in Darmstadt. Curator of Forest Art China “Poetic Forest” and together with the Geopark Bergstraße-Odenwald (Jutta Weber) co-organiser of the 3. International Forest Art Conference on “Poetic Forest”, Geopark Mount Lushan 2010.




- Ritschel, U: “Between Gardens”. In: “On the Road”, Performance Research, Routledge Vol.12 No.2.6.2007

- Ritschel, U. & Weber, J.: 2nd International Forest Art Conference.  - 4th International Forest Art Path “Cycles and Systems”. p. 14-15, Darmstadt 2008

- Ritschel, Ute: “Sun, Wind, Water, Recycling - Forest Cycles and Art Systems”. 4th International Forest Art Path - Cycles and Systems, Catalogue, Darmstadt 2008

- Ritschel, Ute: “Forest Art - A Concept for the Future”. In: “Aesthetics and Anthropology”, Trans anthropological texts, No. 8, LiT Verlag. Münster 2009