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Brakfesten / La Grande Bouffe

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. Brakfesten is part of Out of the Sky, Into the Earth, a public art project by Public Art Agency Sweden in collaboration with Baltic Art Center. The work focuses on the nature reserve of Södra Hällarna where elm trees are threatened with extinction. 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.

From May 19 to September the sculptural installation of Brakfesten in Södra Hällarna will be possible to visit and interact with.
Place: Sumpskogen. Trail from Södra Hällarna nature reserve main parking.
GPS Coordinates: 57.619691,18.271118 (Google maps)

The artists use debarked elm tree branches to create a gigantic sculpture with several elements that mimic the pattern the bark beetles leave on the elm tree trunk. Hollowed branches filled with soil 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 hilarious 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 sculpture is 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 also becomes the stage of the film with the same title, where the small and invisible inhabitants of the area are the main protagonists.

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.

Artist Anne Duk Hee Jordan by the sculptural installation Brakfesten in Södra hällarna nature reserve in Visby. Photo: Ricard Estay
Drone image of the installation of the Brakfest. Elm trees are laid out on the ground to create a sculpture resembling the patterns that the bark beetles make. Photo: Ricard Estay
Detail from the drawing Brakfesten by Anne Duk Hee Jordan and Pauline Doutreluingne.


The project is curated by Edi Muka, curator at Public Art Agency Sweden, in collaboration with Helena Selder, artistic director of BAC.


Out of the Sky, Into the Earth project page

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