Hillside Projects (Emily Mennerdahl & Jonas Böttern)

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Hillside Projects (Emily Mennerdahl & Jonas Böttern)

ID:I Galleri

Looking for a Bird

5 oktober – 12 oktober 2017

Vernissage torsdag 5 oktober 18 – 21 


torsdag 5 oktober kl 17

Looking for a Bird, (2017)

Video, LED-sign, drawings on white-board film and lecture performance.

Looking for a Bird includes several works that weave in and out of the history of a disappearing blue bird. Through a re-tracing of the memories and emotions of this specific bird, the work connects concepts of migration and displacement to a larger political understanding of belonging. In the late summer of 1967, the European Roller (blåkråkan) left Sweden and has since not been seen nesting in the country. There are now several initiatives attempting to reintroduce the bird back to Sweden. Land is rearranged, sand is moved and tress are chopped down and replanted in order to create a desirable environment for the bird. In a process of mapping out and telling the story of the European Roller, events are retold and reimagined. Concepts around movement and identity are brought to surface as well as an exploration around narrative structures and mythmaking.

Who or what belongs where? Who decides who or what belongs where?

Looking for a Bird is developed, produced and performed by Hillside Projects (Emily Mennerdahl and Jonas Böttern). Hillside Projects work interdisciplinary, always trying to dismantle and re-consider events and facts. Reflecting upon ways of presenting information and the questioning of its value, research material is reconstructed and presented in a manner, where past, present, truth and fiction become blurred. Different angles arise and new meaning is created.

Who decides what is to be told? Who decides how it is to be told?

Making use of found material from public and private collections as well as closed archives, Looking for a Bird is manifested in several parts over the course of several years. It has and continues to include video, drawings, photography, text, and lecture performances. Many walks, field excursions, found maps, slides, myths, diagrams and conversations have all been considered, documented and woven together. Routes, history, events and emotions have been charted and mapped out as the European Roller leaves Sweden in 1967. Following its course of migration as the bird travels south and eastwards, Looking for a Bird sets out to question The European Rollers need for departure but even more so, the strong national desire for its return.


Mennerdahl and Böttern have collaborated as Hillside Projects since 2011 and are based in Stockholm. Böttern holds an MFA from Konstfack, Stockholm and Mennerdahl an MFA from Concordia University, Montreál. They have created site-specific installations, exhibited and taken part in residencies together at (amongst others) Galerie Dazibao, Galeri Articule, Neu Now Festival, CFF, Lunds Domkyrka, Banff Centre, AIR TCG Nordica and Lijiang Art Centre.