EDGE EFFECTS

Natural Movements at Farrera’s Edge

Edge Effects, natural movements on the edge of Farrera, is an exhibition featuring the work of artists Anna Rubio, Quelic Berga, Joanès Simon-Perret, Kati Gausmann, Nabb & Teeri, Tuula Närhinen, and Tracey Warr.

It is curated by Lluís LlobetLluís Sabadell ArtigaPere Báscones i Marta Prunera.

For there to be natural movements, you need three essential elements: energy, time and material. The occurrence of these movements pours out in constant transformations, evolving in a set direction. They constitute an unfolding of energy which, as time goes by, leaves imprints in the material.

The evolution of the biosphere, in time and in a complex network, has permitted many species, such as now our own, to exist. At a certain time and place in the biosphere, a living being accumulates the biological knowledge that has permitted it to arrive here after millions of years of experience and selection. A being of our human species, moreover, includes all the layers of sediments lived through, both the obvious and the most subtle: his body, his territory, his culture, his character, memory, emotions, relationships, reasoning, awareness, attitude…

Here and now, individually and collectively, is a moment of doubt about where we are and where we are going. How are we confronting the environmental crisis over the relationship between our species and the biosphere that surrounds us? And from our daily activity, how can artistic creation contribute to our reaching this environmental equilibrium, as well as its social and economic ancillaries?

The on-line exhibition, Natural Movements on the Edge of Farrera, gathers together the work of eight artists who passed through the Centre for Art and Nature via the European programme, Frontiers in Retreat. As a working residency for artists and researchers that springs up and grows in a tiny village in the High Catalan Pyrenees, the restless movement of creators and researchers is already a natural phenomenon in our local biosphere. The challenge we have as a global society is to reach a way of living and of social organization that is both harmonious and sustainable. From this tiny place and our humble activity we share with you these reflections made by the artists themselves.

Thanks to Quelic, Kati, Janne, Maria, Tuula, Anna, Joannès and Tracey, for your contributions!

This exhibition has been shaped by 8 areas defined by diverse attitudes, states of mind or directly, by actions that the artists propose in order to confront these new challenges:

1//  To understand nature and learn from it

2//  To re-naturalise our lives

3// To reduce the impact of our footprint

4// To play in order to grow and be happy

5// To listen to the spirit of the place

6// To live in the here and now, and let ourselves be surprised

7// To cultivate a universal awareness

8// To come closer to new paradigms

While borders draw divisive lines, frontiers are transition and contact zones. Diversity is always richest in areas where different ecosystems meet: This is the edge effect. An encounter never leaves one unaffected.

In the five-year international collaboration project Frontiers in Retreat (2013–2018), seven residency sites at the edges of Europe have been approached using various artistic and multidisciplinary methods. These remote sites are seen as frontiers where entanglements between human and other life forms become tangible. They allow insight into the entwined processes of ecological, social, and economic change – in their local manifestations and across a planetary scale.

The project has mapped out artistic practices that respond to ecological concerns, and explored the diverse ways in which ecology can be perceived and approached. In total 25 artists have been invited to conduct research and produce new work in response to particular ecosystems. Their research has ranged across fjords, forests, islands, villages, towns, cities, and mountains in Iceland, Finland, Scotland, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, and Spain. Throughout the project, the participating artists and organisations have challenged the initial premises of the project – productively, towards increased diversity. Rather than a fixed set of theories, concepts, and methods, there are multiple voices and views, positions and practices: the edge effect, indeed.

In 2017, Frontiers in Retreat organises the exhibition series Edge Effects. Its seven satellite exhibitions weave together the geographically dispersed processes and key discourses developed during the past four years. Besides reflecting the differences and resonances between the particular Frontiers sites, these discussions migrate into a new context via a group exhibition at Art Sonje Center in Seoul.

Through creating a platform for shared inquiry, Frontiers in Retreat has brought seven geographically dispersed sites closer to each other on the world map. Instead of conventional cartography, the process has resembled a kind of deep mapping: while engaging with the unique characteristics of each site, the participants have also learned about the complex co-dependencies and forces shaping habitats, human and non-human life trajectories, and migration patterns globally.

In the ethos of Frontiers in Retreat, the 2017–2018 Edge Effects events pose critical questions about the constitution of frontiers and boundaries. Another focus is the search for a new paradigm beyond the fossil-fuelled modes of living that are inevitably coming to an end. These focal points are being kept in mind while acknowledging that art should not be instrumentalised for the purposes of finding simplistic solutions. Instead, it can reveal conflicts within our values, formulate questions that challenge the status quo, and create a space for discussion and debate. As the Frontiers project continues as an open platform that branches out to new contexts, further edge effects can be expected.

Jenni Nurmenniemi
Curator, Frontiers in Retreat; HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme
Taru Elfving
Curator, Project initiator and curatorial advisor

1// To understand nature and learn from it

Pollen Still Life

Focal Exercises, Multimedia project 2015

Nabb & Teeri

Local Colours, Local rocks, Local winds

Tuula Narhinen

dancing dough and circumstances I

2017

Kati Gausmann

2// To re-naturalise our lives

Pedres

Work in progress, 2015

Anna Rubio

In Thousand Years-Microcity

2014

Joanès Simon Perret

3// To reduce the impact of our footprint

Square mEATers

2015

Quelic Berga

Water “FORD”

2015

Tracey Warr

4// To play in order to grow and be happy

Machines

2015

Joanès Simon Perret

Micromimesis

Focal Exercises, Multimedia project 2015

Nabb & Teeri

5// To listen to the spirit of the place

The Resonance of the Hermitages

2014-15

Anna Rubio

Scale 1:1

Focal Exercises, Multimedia project 2015

Nabb & Teeri

Local water

Tuula Narhinen

To live in the here and now

Sun happening

2015

Joanès Simon Perret

dancing dough and circumstances II

2017

Kati Gausmann

7// To cultivate a universal awareness

Clarobscur

2014

Anna Rubio

God

2015

Quelic Berga

8// To come closer to new paradigms

Spirals within spirals

En procés, 2014

Quelic Berga

Interviews with the artists

English translation: Anna Crowe.

With the support of:

      

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