Forest as Archive

Gerd AurellMicael Norberg

Gerd Aurell, Tankar i Hatten, Production still, 2023

Thinking about the forest as an archive, artist Gerd Aurell investigates the relationship between people and the forest in northern Sweden. The Small Visionary Project research started by examining the evidence of historical and contemporary arenas of conflict over the use of northern forests and how they can be interpreted and visualized artistically. The old-growth northern forest can be read as an archive where layer is written on layer and traces in living and dead trees bear witness of unique events, both recent and far back in time. In deep collaboration with scientists in forest history and ecology, Aurell has investigated places in the forest charged with human presence to produce a new short film with Micael Norberg, Tankar i Hatten / Thoughts in the Hat, and a performative drawing Forest Portal, 2023, executed in the UmArts Studio.

Tankar i Hatten / Thoughts in the Hat was shortlisted for the Umeå Film Festival Storporven Prize 2023, and will be screened as part of the Eight Degrees Contemporary Art on the Forest exhibition at Bildmuseet 15 March 2024 – 12 January 2025.