An exploration into the systems of myth and meaning that shape natural history, reinventing a nature where we find ourselves confronted with a multitude of life forms and a blurring of the boundaries of classification.
SPACE/The White Building, Wed 20 Jan – Sun 24 Jan 2016
On the Edge of Time is a project by Emma Löfström that began in the archives of the Natural History Museum. Whilst considering the relationship between natural and human history, the project comments on humankind’s quest to map, name and ultimately control the natural world. We are living in a time of extinctions and transformations, and simultaneously experiencing a culture saturated with dystopic images of fear and disaster. The challenge is to create inhabitable narratives, looking at alternate ways in which nature and culture could take on new and unexpected forms in the future. Beginning with the idea that nature is constructed not discovered, the project considers the complex relations that have informed our natural history, reflecting on how this knowledge could be reinterpreted if only viewed from another perspective. Interested in the tension between science and fiction, the project is envisioning a post-anthropocentric era playing with ideas of trans-species solidarity, multi-sexual beings, and unconventional ways of becoming
Meticulous graphite studies combined with intuitive ink collages form an ongoing investigation of the historic connection between science, observation and drawing. The project is presented as an open-ended process, where works on paper are accumulated and displayed across an architectural installation, reflecting on nature’s permanent state of flux and the constantly changing truths of natural science.
Address: The White Building Unit 7, Queen’s Yard White Post Lane London E9 5EN
Intrigued by the song of the cicada, at the same time persistent and ecstatic, this project is investigating an imaginary Athens using this peculiar sound as a starting point. The cicadas were important creatures in Greek mythology and philosophy. According to a story told by Socrates they were once humans, but intoxicated by music they lost their lives in trance, rewarded by the muses for their passion they underwent a metamorphosis and returned as cicadas to a life dedicated to music.
Playing with ideas of voyeurism, this project is exploring a foreign place through a vision distorted with desire. In a series of images we are viewing Athens from the Cicadian perspective, seeing without being seen, in a multi-perspective installation including large-scale graphite drawings and a hand rendered animation.
In this short animation we are viewing the world from the Cicadian perspective, seeing without being seen, we are exploring a foreign place through a vision distorted with desire. The cicadas were important creatures in Greek mythology and philosophy. According to this myth that appears in a dialogue between Plato and Socrates, the cicadas were once human, but intoxicated by music they loose their lives in trance. The muses reward their passion, and allow the dancers to undergo a metamorphosis, and they return to a life dedicated to music in the shape of cicadas. Intrigued by the song of the cicada, at the same time persistent and ecstatic, this animation is investigating the exotic using hand rendered drawings and stop-motion animation to create a wordless hypnotic voyage.
Myth of the Cicada
Teaser: Myth of the Cicada. The full animation is currently on show at Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens (GR). Music: KROK
Cabinet of unnatural history
This installation was created for FLORA ars+natura (Bogotá) September 2014, in collaboration with Irene Fuga.
The Cabinet displays a collection of findings and specimens of a fictional museum set in the future. A vitrine that re-evaluates meanings of classification, collection, accumulation, personal and collective memories. IPad, found photographs and made up fictional post-historic hybrid figures co-exist simultaneously. Fuga+Löfström reconsider the relationship between natural and human history working across drawing, sculpture and installation, simulating specimens of the flora and fauna of a future ecosystem. Read more about the project on Fuga+Löfström's joint website www.fuga-lofstrom.com
Sculpture to the left by Irene Fuga.
Installation in collaboration with Irene Fuga.
Installation in collaboration with Irene Fuga.
photo: Petter Löfstedt
photo: Petter Löfstedt
In collaboration with Irene Fuga (Fuga+Löfström) led the project ‘Dis Play’, a site-specific installation at Lugar a Dudas (Cali, Colombia). The gallery space at Lugar a Dudas was turned into a drawing class session. Using the Cattleya trianae plant as the object/subject matter for the workshop, Fuga+Löfström led a week long drawing class where the public was invited and taught how to draw the orchid in different ways; using different types of media and techniques, exploring possible ways of representing it. Fuga+Löfström used the drawing medium as a way to create a visual conversation, investigating the plant's anatomy and curious sexual habits as a a starting point to encourage the participators to tell their personal stories. Examining what it means to draw today, in an age of constant distraction, the project is focusing on the act of mark making as one of the most basic forms of communication. More information fuga-lofstrom.com
Exhibition in collaboration with Irene Fuga, shown at Yinka Shonibare MBE’s Guest Projects July 2013. Through drawing, sound and sculptures, the work explores feelings, relationships and sensorial experience in a time when physical encounters are punctuated by online communication. In a series of layered pencil drawings and detailed collages Emma Löfström is investigating how the 21st century human mind may be adapting as technology advances; with a particular interest in the antagonism between private and public, freedom and surveillance, and the endless opportunities of creating alternative identities. Inspired by early Science Fiction writers such as Aldous Huxley, the work is playing with the idea of technology as a second nature, a complex and self-generating system, in which we partake, but long ago lost control of.
Installation view Guest Projects, sculptures and drawings to the left by Irene Fuga.
Unfolding the Ideal Field
In the Ideal Field, as described by John Berger in Why look at animals (1980), time and space conjoin. In the ideal field an observation of an event leads you to notice further events, connected to, or completely independent of the first, expect that they take place in the same field. Without noticing it, you are within the experience, the events, in themselves not over-dramatic, allow you to enter the experience where “the visible extension of the field in space displaces awareness of your own lived time”.
The drawings and observations were initiated during Residencia en la Tierra's residency program Lenguajes en la Tierra in January 2014. The residency is located in a remote mountain setting in the department of Quindio, Colombia, a region declared as UNESCO World Heritage Property for its beautiful landscapes.
In collaboration with Irene Fuga and Residencia en la Tierra's residency program Lenguajes en la Tierra, we held a mask making workshop with the children of the Embrera Chamí community in Puerto Samaria, Quindio. As part of the ‘Super Hero from the Future’ workshop we asked the children to envision the future, what they would like to change, and think of a ‘super power’ they would like to possess to make these changes happen. The outcome was some fantastic and thoughtful masks.
A drawing workshop held in collaboration with Irene Fuga at FLORA ars+natura, Bogotá 2014. Interested in the participatory aspects of drawing and reflecting upon the primitive need of mark making, Fuga+Löfström turned the auditorium at FLORA ars+natura into a drawing class session. Questioning meanings of display and art, personal history and memory, Fuga+Löfström asked the participants to bring a personal item of affective value (object, garbage, family photograph, piece of clothing, broken camera, etc) to be explored through drawing during the workshop. Investigating the possibilities of collaborating with diverse groups of people especially brought together for this session, the artists are interested in empowering the collaborators to make decisions and to take aesthetic action.
Photos: Gonzalo Angarita, FLORA ars+natura, 2014
An island Far From Here
An Island Far From Here
It was a pleasure working with this beautiful play written by Laura Ruohonen and directed by Jenny Andreasson, for The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. In collaboration with set designer Marika Feinsilber, I’ve created an illustrated world as part of the stage design. The artwork I created was printed on the costumes, animated and brought to life by production studio Velour Film.
Read a review of the play written by Gunilla Brodrej for Expressen Kultur (in Swedish).