Roswitha Weingrill

How to fold a palm tree


Venue: Needle

Wind-swept palm trees, their bending and waving said to be a visual indication of the force of the wind, are a typical image in news reports about hurricanes in southern US states. The most common species of palm in Florida, Dictyosperma album, is also known as the hurricane palm due to its ability to shed leaves in strong wind—so avoiding serious damage to its trunk. This natural safety mechanism seems rather drastic at first sight—after all, it is the characteristic shape of the leaves that identifies a palm tree as the signpost to beach paradise.


But what is the alternative when nature unleashes its destructive forces in the dawn of global warming? Many of the guides about what to do in the event of an approaching natural disaster advise that a safe, sturdy shelter is crucial. The rule is to wait for the storm, sitting it out while the forces of nature hold sway. Roswitha Weingrill creates such a shelter in the Needle with her installation How to fold a palm tree—handily folded up without any creases so as to save space. 




Roswitha Weingrill, born in Graz in 1984, lives and works in Vienna and Styria. She studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and Slavonic Studies at Graz University. Solo exhibitions include: Within a lonesome group, Bravo Building, Kosice 2014; weiss/weiss, ubik gallery, Vienna 2014 and Kunstforum Ebendorf, Vienna 2013; bits and pieces, Lust Gallery, Vienna 2012; Dach und Fach, Akademie Graz/Stadtmuseum Graz, 2009. Group shows include: dimensions variable, moe, Vienna 2014; parallel, Altes Zollamt, Vienna 2014; Devised Province, Darger HQ, Lincoln, NE, USA 2014, Cargo guts, Kunsthalle Graz 2015, Container Remainer, offener Betrieb, Graz.

Publication: WEISS AUF WEISS. Die Klauberinnen vom Rabenwald, 2015

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Commissioned by steirischer herbst

How to fold a palm tree was created thanks to the sponsoring partnership of steirischer herbst and Gaulhofer Industrie-Holding. In cooperation with Kunsthaus Graz.

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24th/25th December 2023