Centre for Philosophy and Visual Arts 


At the intersection of visual art and literature, the exhibition Yes, a falling tree makes a sound (and it has a lot to say) explores possible narratives. The exhibition is curated by Helena Aðalsteinsdóttir and takes place at Kling & Bang, an artist-run space in Reykjavík, Iceland. Aðalsteinsdóttir is partly based in London and partly in Reykjavík, and she finished her MA in curation from Central Saint Martins last year.

As the name exemplifies, the exhibition has a solid philosophical ground that draws on political, linguistic and metaphysical topics. When a tree falls in a forest, in technical terms, it emits soundwaves. Sound, however, is a sensation. If no one experiences the sensation, does the sensation exist? Is there a difference between the event occurring, the technical, and the perception of the event? Aðalsteinsdóttir reframes the question to ask: what if the tree fell, and no one was listening? What do our sensations of a situation disclose? Might there be alternative ways of listening? The artists and exhibition drew inspiration from feminist sci-fi to imagine a reality different from ours, where current power structures have been disintegrated or never existed in the first place.