Talking to Trees | Press Release


Vita Zita Studio | Artist run project space

Andreia Alves de Oliveira 

Talking to Trees

curated by Aikaterini Gegisian

19 Oct – 2 Nov 2023

7-11 pm or by appointment


Thursday 19 October, 8-11pm


March 19, Dear Pinus pinea, I hesitate …”


This fall, Vita Zita Studio welcomes the poignant project Talking to Trees by Thessaloniki-based Portuguese photographer Andreia Alves de Oliveira curated by artist Aikaterini Gegisian. From 19 October through to 2 November 2023, the studio walls are taken over by photographs documenting a multiplicity of conversations with trees that the artist embarked on, in and around Thessaloniki, during the lockdown year 2021. Forming an alternative diary, Talking to Trees is both an urgent testimony to the power of photography and an emotional journey into a world marked by the pandemic and engulfed in an ecological crisis. 


News of clusters of vegetation discovered through drones in the Sahara Desert inspired de Oliveira to turn her attention to individual trees encountered inher everyday movements. Acknowledging them as her equals, the artist begun to whisper in their ears, sometimes confessionally, sometimes confrontationally and other times wishfully.The trees became her companions in a moment of crisis. This approach reflects the artist’s affinity with philosopherEmanuele Cocciawho poses timely questionson why we do not give trees individual names and recognise them as ourinterlocutors.As de Oliveira points out: ‘Trees are paradoxical, fascinating living beings, whose singularity we humans largely neglect. During the pandemic, I started to notice the trees around me, and to develop a relationship with each individual tree over time, learning to identify their species and scientific names, and observing them change through the seasons.


Against the abstraction of google imaging and geotagging, de Oliveira engaged in charged conversations with trees and in the process gifted back to them the power of visibility of photographic portraiture. A diary of the pandemic, a portrait of individual trees, a documentation of emotional encounters, a sharing of equals,Talking to Trees questions how we can envisage nature from a non-human-centric position andexpress care towards the natural world. Join us for two weeks this fall in the aftermath of an ecologically devastating summer to commemorate the loss of thousands of trees and at the same time celebratetheir magnificent lives.

  *  Andreia Alves de Oliveira is a photographer and researcher in photography and former lawyer. She holds a PhD and an MA in Photographic Studies from the University of Westminster in London. She is board member of the journal Membrana (Slovenia), co-convenor of Ph: The Photography Research Network (UK), member of RHOME (Lisbon), and was co-editor of the academic journal Sophia (Portugal). Previously, she was visiting lecturer at Birmingham City University. Her work has been exhibited internationally; recent exhibitions include the collective world touring show Civilization: The Way We Live Now, currently showing at Saatchi Gallery in London. Andreia moved to Greece in 2020 and is currently based in Epanomi.

 *  Aikaterini Gegisian is an artist, filmmaker and researcher whose filmic and photographic collages, interweave documentary, archive and found material, in examining the production of cultural and national identities. Her works have been presented at numerous exhibitions, museums, galleries, and festivals, and are included in prominent private and museum collections.

 Vita Zita Studio was founded in 2017. It is the personal workshop of the visual artist Vasilis Zografos located on Irodou Attikou Street in Thessaloniki and where once a year visual actions are organized and hosted, mainly works in progress.


The actions of VZ studio are supported by

Charalambos Alatzias, computer scientist

Vasilis Zografos, visual artist

Irini Bahlitzanaki, visual artist - curator

Thalia Stefanidou, art historian/critic – curator

Its actions so far:

the great departure, 2022

Pros – kinimata, Performance, 2019

Hypotheses and Hypostases, 2019

Platforms Project, Athens, 2019

be glazed and fired, 2018

Open Studios | 6th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2017

Be my Guest, 2017