A Salon in the Woods

art, recent work, time-out

During the pandemic, many of us have turned to nature to be alone for a while, or to meet with friends; to regain our calm and lust for life… The curators at Selva Studio did, too. Located in the suburban area of Bagarmossen, Stockholm, they were lucky to have access to a nature preserve just around the corner. The idea came up to invite others to share and take care of the forest’s quiet offerings…

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…and so, Skogssalong / Salon in the Woods emerged; an outdoor art event, last weekend happening for the third time within a year – from Saturday noon to Sunday evening, February 19th-20th. I got an invitation to let the Moon Kite fly again, this time together with the lovely luminous clouds of Alice Bulukin.

The public response was beyond all expectations: a steady flow of visitors of all ages – long after nightfall even – running and sliding or treading cautiously, marveling and chatting, taking photos and warming by the fire… There was live music, too, and a wealth of artworks by Akay and Olabo, @5000naturreservat, Eka Acosta, Fältlaboratorium (Ewert Ekros, Johan von Schreeb, Mattias Larson, Ola Ilstedt), Gabriel Agut, Idamaria Holmqvist, Isa Winter Maxe, Kjartanistan, Lena Flodman, Lisa Rytterlund, Lotta Sjöberg, Malou Bergman, Nabil Holem, Nina Westman, Perniepaints, Rossana Mercado-Rojas, Tess Oweson… and stunning light installations by Johan Matti, Svart Ljus/Black Light, Joa Palmér and Stina E Stellborn. Here’s a few treats:

Below an assemblage of pictures from the hillock of clouds and moon, following broad daylight into winter nightfall and darkness:

 

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Passage Room@Satan’s Death (performance)

art, recent work

As a visitor at Satan’s Death, you would be clad in a loose white shirt, welcomed by the infernal Woland and presented to a narrative frame where you are now entering the afterworld. Further equipped with a white mask, torchlight and earphones, you are requested to move under silence and sent into a whitewashed shadowland to explore your bygone memories and choices…

©Malou Bergman 2

photo credit: Malou Bergman

A voice in your headphones will give suggestions and reflections as to who you are or what to do, accompanied by a slowly evolving piece of music. Turning around a corner, you may suddenly realize that the music transmitted is actually played live; although the four musicians are located in separate rooms – far apart from each other – the cello, violin, wind instruments and grand piano are connected over radio.

©Malou Bergman 3

photo credit: Malou Bergman

During your two hour stay, you will experience installations, sculptures, images and live performances by nobody-knows-exactly-how-many artists (and occasionally encounter Woland) – until finally summoned to the bar, where you are invited to be re-born to the outside world.

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photo credit: Malou Bergman

As participating artists, we were challenged to interact with the audience in different ways; by defining tasks and choices in how to interpret our artworks, but also by being present ourselves. I chose the latter, and decided to revive the almost-forgotten pagan celebration of a midwinter wedlock. Impersonating Lussi, the bride of Darkness (in the 19th century christened Saint Lucia), I began exploring the language of performance.

Meanwhile, the compost lived a warm and mushy life of its own. Fungus ligaments spread in delicate patterns and rottening potatoes sprouted white shoots. A centipede quietly patroled the top edge of the container, as I offered apples, satsumas and odorous soil to visitors, and the occasional fruitbat was taken care of by two little spiders – white and merciless as Death.

photo credits: Mia Malcyone