The summer exhibition 2015 at Växjö konsthall deals with the Storm Gudrun. The artists Bigert & Bergström, Åsa Jungnelius and Nils Kim Gustafsson & Martin Klevegård give their perspective on the storm that ten years ago hit southern Sweden. The exhibition is shown between June 13 and September 6 2015.
She took a deep breath, leaned down, shaped her mouth and blew out suddenly and hard... It's been ten years since that night. But of course we remember – the power, the ruthlessness. The Storm Gudrun emptied her lungs, and Småland's inland crouched. But what did that giant woman really tell us? Had we done something wrong?
Bigert & Bergström
The Weather War
The artists Mats Bigert & Lars Bergström met at the Art Academy in 1986 and have since worked at the intersection between man, nature and technology.
In the exhibition Bigert & Bergström show the film The Weather War and some of the sculptures and machines from the film.
The Weather War is a documentary/art film about man's attempts to control and harness the weather for his own purposes. In a blend of land art performance and road movie, the artist duo Bigert & Bergström travel to the US tornado belt with their special machine-sculpture, The Tornado Diverter. The goal: to stop a tornado.
The film presents historical examples of how the science of meteorology has developed in symbiosis with the military goals and how these visions have evolved into the modern ideas of geo-engineering. By presenting controversial ideas with clear socio-political consequences, the film highlights the problems surrounding this development and poses the question of who really is entitled to modify the weather.
In a wider perspective, the film features the problems faced worldwide due to global climate change. How can we meet those challenges? Do we adapt? Or do we wage war against what seem to be increasingly dangerous weather phenomena? Bangladesh is building protective walls against coming floods. China shoots rockets into threatening clouds. And in Italy, anti-hail cannons are fired to protect the year's wine harvest.
The Monkey Cage
The focus of Åsa Jungnelius' artistic work is materiality and she is particularly interested in the relationship between our bodies, the objects that surrounds them and the spaces in which bodies interact with other objects.
In springtime 2007 Åsa moved from Stockholm to Småland to start working in the glass industry where she faced a world she had never met before. Here, the cultivated forests and the industrial communities meet in transition. Since then, she has used her artistic strategies in several projects to explore her new environment.
In the projects Mother Earth (2013) and Residence-In-Nature (2014-) Åsa has, on the basis of the conditions in the province of Småland, dealt with questions of production, commercialism, gender and the post-industrial society.
When Mother Earth was shown at Kalmar Art Museum in 2013, she explained: "In order to get to know the surroundings I started the project Mother Earth in which I used dynamite to blow a hole in the ground. I wanted to use violence to get into the soil. The explosion was followed by a long time of collecting different kinds of materials from the woods around my house in Månsamåla, and slowly temporary site-specific sculptures took shape out in the fields."
The Monkey Cage is specially produced for the exhibition Gudrun and is a development of her earlier work. Åsa views nature as a part of our public spaces, a place where production and romanticism, the interior and the exterior meet. The bodies acting in this room contribute with their material presence and become part of the artwork.
Nils Kim Gustafsson & Martin Klevegård
A Story from the Storm Gudrun
It was just after New Year 2005. The filmmaker Martin Klevegård had booked a train ticket from Stockholm, where he worked on some film projects, to visit his parents' home in Södra Vare outside Vislanda in the middle of Småland. But the trip was postponed when the train connection was broken – The Storm Gudrun had arrived.
A few days later Martin managed to get out to his family's farm and was shocked at what he saw. The rural idyll was broken and in its place were damaged forests, impassable roads, power cuts. As Martin stayed on to help clear the forests and ensure the supply of electricity for his family, he began collecting film sequences.
Later on, Martin Klevegård and his colleague Nils Kim Gustafsson made the short film A Story from the Storm Gudrun, which depicts one of all the dramatic episodes caused by the Storm Gudrun. The film tells a harrowing story about the havoc and chaos Gudrun caused.