“A Few Model Palm Trees” is a remake, an interpretation, an appropriation, an adaption of Ed Ruscha’s famous book “A Few Palm Trees” from the 70s. Instead of using real palm trees, Roels makes use of downsized plastic trees that are used in architectural scale models, or that are used as children’s toys.
Roels often works with (photographs of) palm trees. All palm trees look alike, and as a symbol the plants are highly recognizable. Historically they’re connected to victory, triumph, endurance, religion, hospitality, wealth, luxury, vacation, paradise but also to colonization, trade and globalization. Palm trees have meaning across cultures. By using photographs of palm trees, Roels makes the idea of copying, mimicking and representation (all part of the very fabric of photography) very tangible. Now he takes on the next step by appropriating Ed Ruscha’s book.