Still into nature. Not that I ever lived in the countryside, but my body and mind thrive in the forest and in the mountains. In rivers and on oceans and lakes. In parks and gardens.
Imagination works best here too, perhaps under the impression of the nature crisis we’re facing and the need to rethink relationships with our natural surroundings and with each other. And perhaps with a deeper sense of beauty.
Some works here reflect a preoccupation with this theme in the 80s and 90s. Sustainability and creativity became my professional occupation at ICIS Centre after the military occupation of Iraq with the grave social and environmental instability incurred upon the region and beyond. That’s what I saw.
|Project for Overgang/Watershed 1997|
ANTS GROW WINGS BY THE RIVER
Breheimen, Norway 1997
Overgang/Watershed was organized by KIN (Kunst i Natur) in Lillehammer.
People from almost a dozen countries went off to Jotunheimen with backpacks and then carried whatever tools one needed in order to work up in the Breheimen glacier area for at least a week. Besides tent, food, clothes, and other personal belongings. Equally important was to bring a cooperative attitude and willingness to help each other out in this challenging environment NE of Jostedalsbreen.
|Mapping of tents for a week’s work camp beneath glacier |
(had a roomie in my dome tent lower right)
|– each participant created a “map” for the Ants box|
(incl. Tore Helseths watershed video)
I ended up modifying a little sidestream by arranging a few stones in its flow. 25 years may not have altered the Breheimen landscape because of that – but a few thousand years might. If not for the climate changes which will surely affect the entire area beneath the glacier dramatically, not least the immense water flows from the ice cap in the river up here on the watershed between western and eastern Norway (Overgang).
|Pinhole, Wojnowice 1993|
NON-PRESENCE IN NATURE
Wojnowice, Poland 1993
Installations and interventions in a castle park near Wroclaw (as part of Non-presence in natur)
Maria Nicolaisen from the Transit group of artists had a vision of transforming the sides of the little pond by creating shelves, and populating the shelves with waterfilled buckets. Henning “Hansen” helped create and document, and I even transformed one of the buckets into a pinhole camera and let it expose the sides while floating in the pond. Some ideas are better than they sound, but not this one.
The water filled zinc buckets beautifully caught the light and sky reflections.
Our landscaping and installation carried messages about human-nature relationships and about how artistic vision may impose itself on an already sparse vegetation on a little slope toward a pond in a castle park in western Poland. The installation wasn’t exactly a “non-presence in nature,” even though you may get some impression of water being recyclable in our micro-world – and even on a larger scale as it evaporates into the reflected sky. The thought of perhaps destroying a little eco-system in the process barely crossed our minds then.
|Humble Mejeri 1988|
Foto: Knud Rauff Nielsen
STENDRØMME / STONE DREAMS
Langeland, Denmark 1988
Leaves were glued onto the big rock – a dolmen inscribed in an ancient stone ring shaped like a ship thousands of years ago – on a small hill overlooking the sea toward the island of Ærø in the background. Traces of snow on the rock are indistinguishable from the potato glue that’s left from leaves blown off on this cold winterday in a windy place.
The leafed rock was then photographed in sections and the parts form a 160 cm. wide collage that once toured with the Nordic “Body of Nature” exhibition.
This work was the center piece of the Stone Dreams exhibition I installed in nearby Humble Mejeri in the summer of 1988 – all photographs and other items from within a mile of the former dairy.