SCB2019_artists_Saara_Ekstrom

BEACON is a performance, extended cinema event and an 8 mm film documenting endangered plants, sea life and insects from the Finnish archipelago. It is a mobile projection made to be taken out of the gallery context and into the streets, right among the people living in the community of Stavanger.

As a beacon guides ships through the darkness, and while doing so, illuminates random pieces of land and sea, the work aims to guide and direct our attention to small and seemingly unremarkable things living, breathing and growing around us. These essential happenings – a flower opening its petals, a butterfly unfolding its wings, a caterpillar measuring its way over a leaf and the leaf doing its photosynthesis – are all graspable matters that we can recognize, but that we seldom really take time to observe and value. As more and more species, plants and environments are becoming endangered and even extinct, they depend on us casting a light on them. It’s vital to recognize how our choices matter in order to sustain the diversity of life which we depend on. For this work, Ekström films material on the environmentally fragile islands of the Finnish archipelago.

In collaboration with researchers from the Archipelago Research Institute, a part of the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku, Ekström documents endangered plants, sea life and insects affected, not only by the climate change, but also by the aggressively growing foresting industry and fish farming, dictated by an economic exploitation that ignores the dramatic effects it will have on biodiversity. The Institute participates in multidisciplinary research of the Baltic Sea, with a special focus on long term environmental monitoring of the Archipelago Sea. The film consists of observations on both macro- and microlevel, and it will be shot on 8mm B&W film. The organic quality and the graininess of the film enhances the fragility of the subjects documented – the image seems to be almost disintegrating, as if on the verge of eroding and returning back to dust. The filmed material will be scanned and edited into a looping presentation, which will be shown on a small and mobile projector. The worlds documented on the islands will be projected as round, beacon-, microscope-, telescope-, and even planet-like circles on the audiences open hands, enabling them to shelter and closely observe this fraction of endangered ecosystems on their palms. The images of flora and fauna will be interrupted by an animation of the spinning planet Earth. Like holding a circle of liquid light in cupping hands, the details of the surfaces of plants and animals underline how we all are of the same making.

BEACON has been commissioned by Screen City Biennial and will be premiered during the upcoming edition Ecologies - lost, found and continued.

BIOGRAPHY

Saara Ekström (b. 1965 in Turku, Finland) lives and works in Turku. Her work has been shown extensively in Finnish and international group and solo exhibitions in various museums and festivals in Europe, the Americas and Asia. She received the Finnish media art prize AVEK-award in 2018 and the prizes of SW Finland in 2017, Finnish Art Society in 1995 and the Aboa prize in 1994. She has been the Helsinki Festival Artist in 2005 and was nominated for both Ars Fennica and Carnegie Art Award prizes in 2010. Her works have been acquired by several public collections in Finland and abroad. Saara Ekström works in film, photography, text and installation. Diverse medias are combined to create worlds in which reality and fiction, growth and withering, memories and oblivion entwine. Perishing, temporality, and the stratification of history are themes that recur in her work, which communicates through a narrative based on metaphors, signs and associations. Ekström is drawn to materials, objects and images that embody strong symbolic values, while questioning our conventional ways of classifying and evaluating matter. Chronotopes where time and place densify, time that nurtures and erodes, the ambivalent desire to both remember and forget are all at the core of Saara Ekström’s art.  

BEACON is a performance, extended cinema event and an 8 mm film documenting endangered plants, sea life and insects from the Finnish archipelago. It is a mobile projection made to be taken out of the gallery context and into the streets, right among the people living in the community of Stavanger.

As a beacon guides ships through the darkness, and while doing so, illuminates random pieces of land and sea, the work aims to guide and direct our attention to small and seemingly unremarkable things living, breathing and growing around us. These essential happenings – a flower opening its petals, a butterfly unfolding its wings, a caterpillar measuring its way over a leaf and the leaf doing its photosynthesis – are all graspable matters that we can recognize, but that we seldom really take time to observe and value. As more and more species, plants and environments are becoming endangered and even extinct, they depend on us casting a light on them. It’s vital to recognize how our choices matter in order to sustain the diversity of life which we depend on. For the work I am filming material on the environmentally fragile islands of the Finnish archipelago.

In collaboration with researchers from the Archipelago Research Institute, a part of the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku, I will be filming endangered plants, sea life and insects affected, not only by the climate change, but also by the aggressively growing foresting industry and fish farming, dictated by an economic exploitation that ignores the dramatic effects it will have on biodiversity. The Institute participates in multidisciplinary research of the Baltic Sea, with a special focus on long term environmental monitoring of the Archipelago Sea. The film consists of observations on both macro- and microlevel, and it will be shot on 8mm B&W film. The organic quality and the graininess of the film enhances the fragility of the subjects documented – the image seems to be almost disintegrating, as if on the verge of eroding and returning back to dust. The filmed material will be scanned and edited into a looping presentation, which will be shown on a small and mobile projector. The worlds documented on the islands will be projected as round, beacon-, microscope-, telescope-, and even planet-like circles on the audiences open hands, enabling them to shelter and closely observe this fraction of endangered ecosystems on their palms. The images of flora and fauna will be interrupted by an animation of the spinning planet Earth. Like holding a circle of liquid light in cupping hands, the details of the surfaces of plants and animals underline how we all are of the same making.

BEACON has been commissioned by Screen City Biennial and will be premiered during the upcoming edition Ecologies - lost, found and continued.

BIOGRAPHY

Saara Ekström (b. 1965 in Turku, Finland) lives and works in Turku. Her work has been shown extensively in Finnish and international group and solo exhibitions in various museums and festivals in Europe, the Americas and Asia. She received the Finnish media art prize AVEK-award in 2018 and the prizes of SW Finland in 2017, Finnish Art Society in 1995 and the Aboa prize in 1994. She has been the Helsinki Festival Artist in 2005 and was nominated for both Ars Fennica and Carnegie Art Award prizes in 2010. Her works have been acquired by several public collections in Finland and abroad. Saara Ekström works in film, photography, text and installation. Diverse medias are combined to create worlds in which reality and fiction, growth and withering, memories and oblivion entwine. Perishing, temporality, and the stratification of history are themes that recur in her work, which communicates through a narrative based on metaphors, signs and associations. Ekström is drawn to materials, objects and images that embody strong symbolic values, while questioning our conventional ways of classifying and evaluating matter. Chronotopes where time and place densify, time that nurtures and erodes, the ambivalent desire to both remember and forget are all at the core of Saara Ekström’s art.

 

BEACON is a performance, extended cinema event and an 8 mm film documenting endangered plants, sea life and insects from the Finnish archipelago. It is a mobile projection made to be taken out of the gallery context and into the streets, right among the people living in the community of Stavanger.

As a beacon guides ships through the darkness, and while doing so, illuminates random pieces of land and sea, the work aims to guide and direct our attention to small and seemingly unremarkable things living, breathing and growing around us. These essential happenings – a flower opening its petals, a butterfly unfolding its wings, a caterpillar measuring its way over a leaf and the leaf doing its photosynthesis – are all graspable matters that we can recognize, but that we seldom really take time to observe and value. As more and more species, plants and environments are becoming endangered and even extinct, they depend on us casting a light on them. It’s vital to recognize how our choices matter in order to sustain the diversity of life which we depend on. For the work I am filming material on the environmentally fragile islands of the Finnish archipelago.

In collaboration with researchers from the Archipelago Research Institute, a part of the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku, I will be filming endangered plants, sea life and insects affected, not only by the climate change, but also by the aggressively growing foresting industry and fish farming, dictated by an economic exploitation that ignores the dramatic effects it will have on biodiversity. The Institute participates in multidisciplinary research of the Baltic Sea, with a special focus on long term environmental monitoring of the Archipelago Sea. The film consists of observations on both macro- and microlevel, and it will be shot on 8mm B&W film. The organic quality and the graininess of the film enhances the fragility of the subjects documented – the image seems to be almost disintegrating, as if on the verge of eroding and returning back to dust. The filmed material will be scanned and edited into a looping presentation, which will be shown on a small and mobile projector. The worlds documented on the islands will be projected as round, beacon-, microscope-, telescope-, and even planet-like circles on the audiences open hands, enabling them to shelter and closely observe this fraction of endangered ecosystems on their palms. The images of flora and fauna will be interrupted by an animation of the spinning planet Earth. Like holding a circle of liquid light in cupping hands, the details of the surfaces of plants and animals underline how we all are of the same making.

BEACON has been commissioned by Screen City Biennial and will be premiered during the upcoming edition Ecologies - lost, found and continued.

BIOGRAPHY

Saara Ekström (b. 1965 in Turku, Finland) lives and works in Turku. Her work has been shown extensively in Finnish and international group and solo exhibitions in various museums and festivals in Europe, the Americas and Asia. She received the Finnish media art prize AVEK-award in 2018 and the prizes of SW Finland in 2017, Finnish Art Society in 1995 and the Aboa prize in 1994. She has been the Helsinki Festival Artist in 2005 and was nominated for both Ars Fennica and Carnegie Art Award prizes in 2010. Her works have been acquired by several public collections in Finland and abroad. Saara Ekström works in film, photography, text and installation. Diverse medias are combined to create worlds in which reality and fiction, growth and withering, memories and oblivion entwine. Perishing, temporality, and the stratification of history are themes that recur in her work, which communicates through a narrative based on metaphors, signs and associations. Ekström is drawn to materials, objects and images that embody strong symbolic values, while questioning our conventional ways of classifying and evaluating matter. Chronotopes where time and place densify, time that nurtures and erodes, the ambivalent desire to both remember and forget are all at the core of Saara Ekström’s art.

 

BEACON is a performance, extended cinema event and an 8 mm film documenting endangered plants, sea life and insects from the Finnish archipelago. It is a mobile projection made to be taken out of the gallery context and into the streets, right among the people living in the community of Stavanger.

As a beacon guides ships through the darkness, and while doing so, illuminates random pieces of land and sea, the work aims to guide and direct our attention to small and seemingly unremarkable things living, breathing and growing around us. These essential happenings – a flower opening its petals, a butterfly unfolding its wings, a caterpillar measuring its way over a leaf and the leaf doing its photosynthesis – are all graspable matters that we can recognize, but that we seldom really take time to observe and value. As more and more species, plants and environments are becoming endangered and even extinct, they depend on us casting a light on them. It’s vital to recognize how our choices matter in order to sustain the diversity of life which we depend on. For the work I am filming material on the environmentally fragile islands of the Finnish archipelago.

In collaboration with researchers from the Archipelago Research Institute, a part of the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku, I will be filming endangered plants, sea life and insects affected, not only by the climate change, but also by the aggressively growing foresting industry and fish farming, dictated by an economic exploitation that ignores the dramatic effects it will have on biodiversity. The Institute participates in multidisciplinary research of the Baltic Sea, with a special focus on long term environmental monitoring of the Archipelago Sea. The film consists of observations on both macro- and microlevel, and it will be shot on 8mm B&W film. The organic quality and the graininess of the film enhances the fragility of the subjects documented – the image seems to be almost disintegrating, as if on the verge of eroding and returning back to dust. The filmed material will be scanned and edited into a looping presentation, which will be shown on a small and mobile projector. The worlds documented on the islands will be projected as round, beacon-, microscope-, telescope-, and even planet-like circles on the audiences open hands, enabling them to shelter and closely observe this fraction of endangered ecosystems on their palms. The images of flora and fauna will be interrupted by an animation of the spinning planet Earth. Like holding a circle of liquid light in cupping hands, the details of the surfaces of plants and animals underline how we all are of the same making.

BEACON has been commissioned by Screen City Biennial and will be premiered during the upcoming edition Ecologies - lost, found and continued.

BIOGRAPHY

Saara Ekström (b. 1965 in Turku, Finland) lives and works in Turku. Her work has been shown extensively in Finnish and international group and solo exhibitions in various museums and festivals in Europe, the Americas and Asia. She received the Finnish media art prize AVEK-award in 2018 and the prizes of SW Finland in 2017, Finnish Art Society in 1995 and the Aboa prize in 1994. She has been the Helsinki Festival Artist in 2005 and was nominated for both Ars Fennica and Carnegie Art Award prizes in 2010. Her works have been acquired by several public collections in Finland and abroad. Saara Ekström works in film, photography, text and installation. Diverse medias are combined to create worlds in which reality and fiction, growth and withering, memories and oblivion entwine. Perishing, temporality, and the stratification of history are themes that recur in her work, which communicates through a narrative based on metaphors, signs and associations. Ekström is drawn to materials, objects and images that embody strong symbolic values, while questioning our conventional ways of classifying and evaluating matter. Chronotopes where time and place densify, time that nurtures and erodes, the ambivalent desire to both remember and forget are all at the core of Saara Ekström’s art.

 

BEACON is a performance, extended cinema event and an 8 mm film documenting endangered plants, sea life and insects from the Finnish archipelago. It is a mobile projection made to be taken out of the gallery context and into the streets, right among the people living in the community of Stavanger.

As a beacon guides ships through the darkness, and while doing so, illuminates random pieces of land and sea, the work aims to guide and direct our attention to small and seemingly unremarkable things living, breathing and growing around us. These essential happenings – a flower opening its petals, a butterfly unfolding its wings, a caterpillar measuring its way over a leaf and the leaf doing its photosynthesis – are all graspable matters that we can recognize, but that we seldom really take time to observe and value. As more and more species, plants and environments are becoming endangered and even extinct, they depend on us casting a light on them. It’s vital to recognize how our choices matter in order to sustain the diversity of life which we depend on. For the work I am filming material on the environmentally fragile islands of the Finnish archipelago.

In collaboration with researchers from the Archipelago Research Institute, a part of the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku, I will be filming endangered plants, sea life and insects affected, not only by the climate change, but also by the aggressively growing foresting industry and fish farming, dictated by an economic exploitation that ignores the dramatic effects it will have on biodiversity. The Institute participates in multidisciplinary research of the Baltic Sea, with a special focus on long term environmental monitoring of the Archipelago Sea. The film consists of observations on both macro- and microlevel, and it will be shot on 8mm B&W film. The organic quality and the graininess of the film enhances the fragility of the subjects documented – the image seems to be almost disintegrating, as if on the verge of eroding and returning back to dust. The filmed material will be scanned and edited into a looping presentation, which will be shown on a small and mobile projector. The worlds documented on the islands will be projected as round, beacon-, microscope-, telescope-, and even planet-like circles on the audiences open hands, enabling them to shelter and closely observe this fraction of endangered ecosystems on their palms. The images of flora and fauna will be interrupted by an animation of the spinning planet Earth. Like holding a circle of liquid light in cupping hands, the details of the surfaces of plants and animals underline how we all are of the same making.

BEACON has been commissioned by Screen City Biennial and will be premiered during the upcoming edition Ecologies - lost, found and continued.

BIOGRAPHY

Saara Ekström (b. 1965 in Turku, Finland) lives and works in Turku. Her work has been shown extensively in Finnish and international group and solo exhibitions in various museums and festivals in Europe, the Americas and Asia. She received the Finnish media art prize AVEK-award in 2018 and the prizes of SW Finland in 2017, Finnish Art Society in 1995 and the Aboa prize in 1994. She has been the Helsinki Festival Artist in 2005 and was nominated for both Ars Fennica and Carnegie Art Award prizes in 2010. Her works have been acquired by several public collections in Finland and abroad. Saara Ekström works in film, photography, text and installation. Diverse medias are combined to create worlds in which reality and fiction, growth and withering, memories and oblivion entwine. Perishing, temporality, and the stratification of history are themes that recur in her work, which communicates through a narrative based on metaphors, signs and associations. Ekström is drawn to materials, objects and images that embody strong symbolic values, while questioning our conventional ways of classifying and evaluating matter. Chronotopes where time and place densify, time that nurtures and erodes, the ambivalent desire to both remember and forget are all at the core of Saara Ekström’s art.

 

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