THE FOREST THAT UNITES
Center For Art And Culture in Chicoutimi, Quebec
The forest is a dominant part of Sweden just as in Canada, with large uninhabited areas of forest stretching over much of the country.
Chiqoutimi lies, like Stockholm, in the taiga boreal forest zone, which stretches along the entire northern polar circle from Japan and East Russia, across Scandinavia and Scotland to Canada’s west coast. Fir trees dominate the forest, which is relatively species-poor.
It is not hard to see that this has affected the development of both countries and the paths we have both taken during history. The industrialisation of both of our countries was reliant, for example, upon exploitation of the forest and the colonial oppression of indigenous peoples.
In the forest exists both the mythical and the political, the dangerous but beautiful, the ecological and the economic. Embedded in the forest is also the contrast to the city which becomes clearer, the more the gap between city and the rural widens, between what is perceived as the center and what is seen as periphery.
Even how the countries are perceived politically are, in any case, on the surface, similar. They are both seen as liberal, stable and hospitable with well-developed welfare and strong faith in equality and social justice. Beneath the surface, however, there are conflicts with indigenous peoples concerning land and historical oppression, and a long underground smouldering, but increasingly open, flaming racism.
16.11 – 2.12 2012
Konstnärssamtal onsdag 28 november kl 18.30
Johan, jag, mamma, indianflätor© Johanna Schartau 2012
The 1918 painting titled ”Från Ramsele” by Eric Hallström plays a significant role in the artist Johanna Schartau’s life. As a child, this picture hung in the house where she grew up.
Now many years later, the work no longer belongs to her family, yet she resurrects it from her past and displays it in the space of ID:I galleri as a nostalgic symbol. In parallel, she also presents a selection of photographs which capture moments of her and her brother Johan’s childhood; Hallström’s painting is in the background.
Family history is an important theme in Schartau’s artistic practice and within this exhibition she explores how our heritage and the environment in which we grow and mature affects and shapes our identities. These themes are often examined through scientific research about twins. Schartau creates an installation that is in many ways like an investigation as she presents the viewer with evidence about her life and the images, texts and themes which emerge are important clues for discovering the truth that is hidden amongst the works.
Johanna Schartau will also have a new series of work on display in a group exhibition at Vallentuna’s new Culture House opening on Saturday 17 November.
© Johanna Schartau 2012