we were never autonomous
Poetic fieldwork. A process based interdisciplinary project that rested upon an artistic inquiry of the margins and it’s perseverance and resistance.
In Helsingborg Sweden, I protected a gap in the city between 2019-2020. A collaboration with Helsingborg Municipality and Visionsfonden. The site is located at "the doom" Undergången in Gåsebäck.
It is a dystopian site in an anthropocentric interpretation - the ground is heavily packed and poisoned. Mentally wounded people have been put in a home on one side of the site, on the other side there is a shelter for the homeless. Not far from here is a Pentecostal church for the believers. Here are several car washes where the paperless are slaving for crumbles. Various warehouses. Above our heads runs the highway between Malmö and Helsingborg. It is interesting that people who don't fit the system, who have been hurt by it, are placed on the outskirts of the city - where no one can meet them. There is a correlation with wild plants not "nice" enough to be included in the flower beds of the inner city. Here at the outskirts they have the opportunity to grow, because nobody cares. And here they can heal these sites injured by humans.
Under a singular birch tree, I placed a memorial stone with the inscription ”We were never autonomous”. It is a site where we can mourn our colonialism.
I've made five films that are shown via QR codes on site, sound by Thomas Persson.
(You can see them here on the side)
With the help of an ecologist, we identified 70% of the plants, we came up with 31 different plant species. The space is just around 10x10m of poor land.
The next step has been to take the encounter to another level where reciprocity is in focus between me and this place. I investigated how to create family ties on site. How to become multispecies and entangled again with the inhabited species, the soil, the metals, the wind...
I wanted to communicate and change people's perception / experience on how to resolve the "separation between man and the rest of nature”. How to share the power of the margins with those who never visit them?
By having an exhibition of these findings in a gallery located in the center - Projektrum Hjärne a collaboration with Urban Window Gallery. Through two projections and through hundreds of seed bombs that contain seeds from the site, it was possible to get those who never move in the outskirts to get an insight of the place.
Next step is to finish the project with a book about the whole process to offer to Helsingborg Municipality. I will end with inviting a philosopher to canonize this site.
If a space is left alone - trees and bushes can flourish, the site can recover from the damage man previously caused it through industrialisation. And it can be wild again. We do not solve our problems with the same means that created them. Ignorance is not the solution but adaptation and contemplation is.