ARTnord 10


OBSERVING NATURE

The issue no. 10, that was released end of June 2010, deals with how art and architecture relate to environmental problems in the Nordic and Baltic countries. After a thorough historical introduction, several themes present a survey of the way in which Nordic artists work on these questions, ranging from subtle perceptions to change of attitude and involved activists. Texts or interviews by specialists highlight the work of confirmed artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Henrik Håkansson, Tea Mäkipää and Rúrí, as well as the implication of the young generation. Reports on the main exhibitions and artistic events organized in relationship with the Climate Change Conference, COP15, complete the issue. The magazine is published in French with extracts of all articles in English.

 

EDITORIAL

THE NATURE: our heritage, our culture, our daily lives, our equilibrium, our future…

In the last years, the consciousness that this collective property would be in danger, threatened, and us as well, was suddenly awakened. Global warming, climate change, ecological disasters, disappearing ecosystems are concepts that haunt our reality as well as our imaginations. And the artists? How do they deal with this phenomenon? Is there a special relationship between Nordic artists and nature? And if so, how does this show in their creations?

The  introduction essay tells us that this nature, long considered arid and dangerous, participated in a national identification in the late nineteenth century. The Nordic countries were then among the first to establish national parks for nature conservation and to open them to everyone. By the 1960s, they were pioneers in the field of environmental concerns. The first UN Conference on Environment was held in Stockholm in 1972 and the latest, in Copenhagen in December 2009, was an opportunity for us to go there and look at these issues.

When taking a closer look, the environment and the issues it raises appear among the artists that we present as an highly fertile soil at the source of a variety of angles and productions. Some are in the observation of phenomena, blending science and subtle perception, while others highlight the fragility of the resources and elements, while still others seek to reconcile, rather than oppose, nature and culture. The step between observation and engagement is crossed by many artists who do not hesitate to engage in militant actions. Finally, the difficult reconsideration of our way of life in sake of the future of the planet requires a change of attitude some artists and architects try to bring along. Born between 1941 and 1983, the artists presented highlight both the pioneering role of the Scandinavians and the investment of the young generation.

Or the strength of Nordic and Baltic art, like that of a certain volcano that suddenly made us face the realities of nature when it wakes up…

Ásdís Ólafsdóttir and Emeline Eudes