Brakfesten / La Grande Bouffe by Anne Duk Hee Jordan and Pauline Doutreluingne is an art project in the form of a living sculpture and a film. The work focuses on the nature reserve of Södra Hällarna, where elm trees are threatened by the elm tree disease. Fallen and felled trees lie around like infected dead bodies and the ecosystem has been disturbed. But in the larger cycle of life, even the dead trees can be of help to restore and maintain the ecological cycle.
The artists use debarked elm trees to create a gigantic sculpture with several elements that mimic the pattern the bark beetles leave on the elm tree trunk. Hollowed out and filled with soil, the trees are transformed into “tables” with plants from the area growing from their carved bodies, creating a banquet for insects, beetles, birds and other organisms. Other logs are turned into water basins and insect hotels, surrounded by birdhouses and miniature huts for rabbits. Among them appear a joyful painting full of colors, an oversized birdhouse and a pair of gigantic listening horns resembling moose ears. We’re invited to come close and use them to sense the surroundings, listen to the sounds of the forest and experience the world from the other species’ perspective.
The installation becomes a playground and a meeting point for both young and old, human and more than human people. It inspires joy and playfulness while being at the same time an act of acknowledgement and of giving back to the earth, and to the lives that both, sustain it and are sustained by it. It is also the stage of the film with the same title, where the small and invisible inhabitants of the area are the main protagonists.
Part of the sculptural installation of Brakfesten in Södra Hällarna, will remain in place and decompose as time goes by.
Place: Sumpskogen. Trail from Södra Hällarna nature reserve main parking.
GPS Coordinates: 57.619691,18.271118 (Google maps)
The artists presented Brakfesten as part of the exhibition Out of the Sky, into the Earth at the Gotland Art Museum August 27th – September 11th 2022.
Anne Duk Hee Jordan is a Korean-German artist born in 1978. Her work includes drawings, hand-built robots, edible landscapes, sculpture, film and sound. It is mainly the other life forms, insects and plants that live alongside humans on Earth that she lovingly observes, invites and casts as lead characters in her art works.
Pauline Doutrelouingne is a freelance curator and educator born in 1982 in Belgium. Through her work she seeks to stimulate a cultural dialogue with a focus on ecology and de-colonial thinking. Her curatorial projects are dialogues and exercises into progressive imaginaries.