Extractions – Film program
Film program, Project room
Participating artists: Madeleine Andersson, Clara Bodén, Hanna Ljungh and Liselotte Wajstedt
For this year’s theme, where the understanding of gardens is explored from the planetary scale to the scale of micro-organisms, Färgfabriken also examines our constant and growing need for resources and energy production. We investigate this through the medium of video art, with emotionally charged works that depict an almost intimate relationship with coal, hydropower that does not give back to the local community, waterfalls that refuse to adapt to human needs, and the ever-expanding mines in northern Sweden.
For several years, Färgfabriken has explored humanity’s relationship with nature and our impact on the climate from various perspectives. Now we approach the topic from the perspective of The Garden – Beyond the Human Gaze. Here, we investigate the garden in terms of power and control over nature, but also from the perspective of how the garden can have a greater agency in times of declining biodiversity. All of this culminates in 2023 with the thematic film program Extractions in spring, and two parallel autumn exhibitions, where one exposes us to how different discourses struggle to shape our perception of nature, while the other focuses on the ephemeral garden, decay, darkness, and death.
Dirty Coal (2020)
Madeleine Andersson (born 1993) is a Swedish artist based in Copenhagen. In her artworks, she weaves together drastic humor and criticism in depictions of human’s exploitation of the earth. In her research-based practice, she investigates and questions our language in relation to the apocalypse and the ecological crisis, which is expressed in film, text and installation. The work Dirty Coal is part of the artist’s research on “Petrosexuality”, where she describes our dependence on non-renewable resources through a language of pleasure, desire and sexual hierarchies. The term Petrosexuality encourages fantasies of the fossil fuel industry as obsessively obsessed with penetrating the Earth’s crust.
Clara Bodén (born 1983) is a Swedish filmmaker and producer based in Jämtland. Since 2011, she has been running the artistic platform Vapen och Dramatik, which promotes long-term work in film, sound, and visual expressions together with Ronja Ragnhild Svenning Berge and Cicely Irvine. Her video work Stamnätet is a short documentary about the impact of hydroelectric power on the landscape and people in the inland areas of northern Sweden. The film features a boy standing at a power plant, by the rapids that no longer exist, as someone else owns and exploits the water rights. Stamnätet is a personal story and reflection on growing up in an environment rich in natural resources, but also a story about power production, exploitation, and resource distribution in northern Sweden.
How to Civilize a Waterfall (2010)
Hanna Ljungh (born 1974) is a Swedish artist who works with film, photography, sculpture and installation. Nature in the form of land, soil, mountains and stones has a central role in her artistic practice. Hanna Ljungh’s works are often fact-based in their core, but move beyond the factual in their aesthetics to rather relate to the viewer’s bodily experiences and feelings. In the video work How to Civilize a Waterfall, the artist confronts a waterfall and argues that it should see the benefit of being converted into a power plant. However, nature remains an indifferent and independent force regardless of human appeals.
Liselotte Wajstedt (born 1973) is a Sámi artist from Kiruna who works with experimental moving images in various mediums. The artwork Giron is a cinematic collage from the documentary film Kiruna Rymdvägen (Kiruna Space Road). The artwork reflects on Kiruna’s history, present, and future through three different scenes, exploring the relationship between nature, memory, places, and change. The film begins with Old Giron, which tells the story of Kiruna’s history based on the origin of its name, derived from the mountains Luossavaara and Kiirunavaara as metaphors for two ptarmigans in conversation. In the second part, Good Bye Ullspiran, the artist conveys a personal story and memories from the Ullspiran area in Kiruna, which was one of the first residential areas to be demolished for continued mining operations. The final section focuses on Kiruna’s present and future: Kiruna – Rymdvägen reflects on the ongoing urbanization and exploitation of land in Kiruna.
Since 2020, Färgfabriken has been exploring different interpretations and relationships to the garden. During autumn 2020, we activated a number of participating workshops with young people in Stockholm, Skellefteå and Virserum in the topic of grass and weeds. This was done in collaboration with Skellefteå Konsthall, Virserums Konsthall and the researcher Nico Carpentier.
In the fall of 2022, Färgfabriken opened the exhibition Symbiosis. In preparation for this exhibition, we reflected not only on landscapes, water, and cities, but also on the technological and economic systems we have created to mitigate human impact on the planet. The planetary limitations were starkly evident, as was the need to understand and approach the Earth as a single large garden, the planetary garden.
During 2022, Färgfabriken continued the collaboration with Skellefteå Konsthall, Virserums Konsthall and Nico Carpentier within the framework of Mistra Environmental Communication. Here we came to investigate the garden based on power and control over nature, but also how the garden can gain a greater agency in times of reduced biodiversity. All this culminates in 2023 with the spring’s thematic film program Extractions and two parallel autumn exhibitions and several programs on the theme.
Read more about our ongoing work with Garden – Beyond the human gaze.