A place disapperance
20 march – 26 september 2021
A place disapperance. 2021.
Photographis, Videoinstallations and copper sculptures.
The Aitik mine outside of Gällivare is one of the worlds largest open pit copper mines. Since 2016 the artist collective Norrakollektivet have spent their summers in Sakajärvi, a small village within the mines area of expansion. The village is currently being emptied as the mine is expanding. From this viewpoint the artists have studie the growth of the mine and the effect on the surrounding villages and landscape.
With this spot as their base they try to grasp the eternal beauty of the landscape and the immensity of the industry. Over the generations, people tending pastures and land have slowly created paths and memories, together with the old forests standing for æons of nature’s own time. On the other hand we have the mine, whose own metabolism means constantly ongoing growth, continuous expansion at a rate that leaves no time for reflection. That which was once seen as eternal is quickly becoming a scarred memory. Soon, the forests and paths will no longer remain and it begs the question where memory can take root when all fixed points are gone.
A place disappearing aims to be documentation of the very dismantling – and to understand and capture the movement that dismantling means to people, to nature, to the trees, the paths and the animals; to the lake that will soon be emptied of its water, and to the horse paddocks soon to be wiped out.
A place disappearing is also the name of the movie in the inner room. It follows the process of accelerating mine expansion and a new kind of nature conservation project, moving trees. In an attempt to mitigate the consequences, experiments are underway to move old logs, dead wood, from the mine’s expansion area, to save the rich lives of microorganisms. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, conducts research and collects insects in the dead wood. The dead logs are depicted in copper sculptures, their annual growth rings have been wiped away leaving them as blank reflectors outside of time.
In the smaller room, the video installation Using Landscapes is shown. It seeks its way around the mine and examines where the boundary between industry and nature runs. Using landscapes is at the rim of the huge open pit and collects voices and images to understand the size of the mine and the complexity of the site.
More information can be found in the Folder
About the artists
Anja Örn, Fanny Carinasdotter and Tomas Örn have been collaborating since 2016 under the name Norrakollektivet. So far, they have concentrated their work on the projects that deal with the Aitik mine outside Gällivare. Parts of the work have been shown at the Moderna Museet, Kunsthall Trondheim and in the Swedish Arts Council’s exhibition Brytningstider. Parts of the project have been shown in 2020 in the exhibitions Kiruna Forever, which were shown in parallel at ArkDes, Stockholm and the Art Museum in the North, Kiruna and Human Nature at Sune Jonsson Center for Documentary Photography, Umeå.
Fanny Carinasdotter has a B.A from the University of Umeå and has studied these questions in her artistic practice through works like Residuum (2018), Recompositions (2019), and Umedalen’s Former Hospital (2008). Carinasdotter uses photography to examine places created and abandoned by society to see what traces are left behind and what hidden unrealized futures are revealed within.
Anja Örn primarily works with sculptural and interpretive studies of places and investigations of ecological systems such as her work Lule älv mellan Rasmyran och Ågärdan, Organismer and Grenverk. Anja Örn is also a founding member of Galleri Syster, a self-organized art gallery and meeting space for contemporary art in Luleå.
Thomas Örn is a licensed building antiquarian with a masters degree in cultural preservation at the University of Gothenburg. Thomas and Anja have long collaborated in art projects about cultural heritage sites with a particular interest in industrialized nature spaces in northern Sweden.