Helsinki

Annette Arlander – MEETINGS WITH SPRUCES AND BIRCHES

Annette Arlander – MEETINGS WITH SPRUCES AND BIRCHES

Feb

11

Fri

12:00 – 17:00

4–7°C

clear sky

The video works in the exhibition were recorded in April 2019 with Old Tjikko, a 9950 year old spruce tree on Fulufjället mountain in Dalarna and with some spruces and birches in September 2020 in Mustarinda residency in Paljakkavaara in Kainuu. Most of the works were made within the project Meetings with Remarkable and Unremarkable Trees, supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. The name of the project alludes to the photography book Meetings with Remarkable Trees (1996) by Thomas Pakenham and the project is in some sense forming a counterpoint to it, by questioning what is remarkable and worthy of attention and what is unremarkable. The medium is not photography, however, but rather performance for video and recorded voice.

Although we are often accused of not seeing the forest for the trees, I look at the opposite danger, not seeing the trees for the forest, and focus on individual trees. This is not to deny that trees form networks and ecosystems or symbiotic relationships not only with other trees but with fungi, bacteria and all kinds of micro-organisms, and are in a constant exchange with their environment, as humans are as well. Nor the fact that forests or woods or substantial areas of trees are needed for producing effective carbon sinks, cooler and fresher urban air, flood resistance and more. Emphasizing individualism is a risky strategy in our current neoliberal atmosphere, where the importance of individualism is often exaggerated. Focusing on singular trees can nevertheless be useful as a first step towards decolonizing our relationship with “nature”. As late ecofeminist Val Plumwood (2003) pointed out, colonial thinking tends to emphasize a very strong difference between “us” and “them”, and to see “them” as all alike, stereotypical, non-individualised. Thus, attending to particular trees can help us see trees as life forms that have much in common with humans, despite the undeniable differences.

The project blog and archive on the RC-platform, give some examples and process documentations.
Blog: https://meetingswithtrees.com
Archive: https://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/761326/761327

Annette Kristina Arlander, born 1956 in Helsinki, where she lives and works. Artist, researcher and a pedagogue, one of the pioneers of Finnish performance art and a trailblazer of artistic research. Graduated from the department of directing at the Theatre Academy 1981, Doctor of Arts (Theatre and Drama) 1999. Professor of performance art and theory at Theatre Academy 2001-2013. Professor of artistic research at University of the Arts Helsinki 2015-16. Professor in performance, art and theory at Stockholm University of the Arts 2018-2019. AVEK, Media Art Prize 2014, State Prize for Multidisciplinary art 2018.

Fri 11 Feb 2022 – 06 Mar 2022 12:00 – 17:00

4–7°C

clear sky

Address:
Ruoholahdenranta 3a
Helsinki, Finland