Title: Outpost (work no longer on site)

Artist: Francesca Vivenza   Exhibition year: 2003

"One of the bogs on the Tree Museum property is abutted by a bold and abrupt outcropping of granite that is the setting for Francesca Vivenza's Outpost. Essentially consisting of two flat, rectangular wooden forms that overlap one another to form the shape of a longer rectangle, the work['s appearance as well as its setting cantilevering out toward (but not above) the waters of the small bog from atop the adjacent granite outcrop lend some credence to its description by many who see it for the first time as resembling a diving board. But such narrow contextualization works against the piece's broader capabilities, for much more is at play here. To encounter Outpost is to come upon it from behind so that the work is situated between you and the bog. It's all actually quite a picturesque scene, rocky granite terrain in the foreground, the wetland of the bog below, and the forest of northern Ontario beyond forming a background that frames this brightly coloured rectangle. Outpost itself makes for a jarring and somewhat unexpected intrusion in the midst of it all. To mix some metaphors, it is the proverbial fish out of water: a plain geometric shape that sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the more complex and subtle shapes nature prefers. It is a true sign of human incursion into the wild. Our picturesque view is disrupted by the unnatural presence of this rectangular artefact. Outpost is a self-conscious assertion that ideas of what constitutes a scenic landscape or what makes up the picturesque are, when you come right down to it, as artificial and contrived as Vivenza's rectangle. Outpost intrudes in nature as does any human artefact, be it the garbage we too often leave behind or, more to the curatorial point, something along the lines of a house a bungalow, say, perhaps part of a subdivision of "little boxes" pushing their way ever further into what little remains of nature. Even the cozy and comforting ideas of landscape and the picturesque must give way before the onslaught of their plain geometry. Vivenza calls Outpost "a means of passage from one place to another." Indeed, as a footprint of incipient human incursion, as a measure of a place's transition from natural to artefactual state, it is just that". 
Gil McElroy, "House and Garden (Some Sheltered Thoughts)," The Tree Museum, (The Tree Museum, 2002-2003)

Francesca Vivenza is born in Rome, Italy, in 1941. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Milan, in 1966, and since 1970 she lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Vivenza has exhibited in Italy since 1966, and internationally from 1971. In 2011, Vivenza took part in ILLUMI-NATIONS, the 54th Venice Biennale, Padiglione Italia nel mondo, in Toronto, and in the Bentivoglio Archive exhibited at MART (Contemporary and Modern Art Museum of Trento and Rovereto), in Rovereto, Italy.