In 1999, the critic Sara Arrhenius pointed in her essay Body Contact, hungering for the real Nordic artists’ appetite for the real. « Ten years have passed, and the passion of the 1990s for the real is now rivaled by the passion for the unreal, » says the curator Sinziana Ravini, who proposes to explore this new trend through the Swedish example. Seventeen contemporary artists, often in their thirties, invest the Hotel de Marle, from the cellar to the attic and out through the garden where stands Leander Djønne’s installation: the reconstruction of the carcass of a Dano-Norwegian slave trade frigate, the Fredensborg, made from pieces of used wood found in Paris. A reminder that the Nordic countries also contributed – though modestly – to the slave trade. Upstairs a blackened wooden raft reminds of the one of the clip Love fool by the Swedish group The Cardigans.
Nature owns its own music, as humans noticed it since long. What fascinates in Terje Isungset’s work (born in Norway in 1964) is the seemingly simplicity of his music instruments: stones, wood pieces, ice… But one can trust the musician’s ear; stones offer refined tunes, just as the various wood sorts. And when it comes to ice concerts, Terje Isungset shapes each piece with knife, gradually checking the tuning. Yet, the artist’s project is not fulfilled at once in the musical side of it. To work with one of the most precious natural resources is also a way to take conscious of its fragility, and the need to care about it.