press release

The exhibition WANÅS 2009: Footprints, addresses man’s relationship to nature. This is not a new theme in art; nature has played an important role throughout art history and been given political, religious or scientific importance, depending on the time. Many of today’s artists show interest in man’s impact on the environment. They visualize art’s ability to interpret urgent issues and show possibilities of change. Art has a voice beyond that of politics and science, and can therefore add new perspectives to the environmental debate.

Participating artists: Tue Greenfort (Denmark), Henrik Håkansson (Sweden), Tea Mäkipää (Finland) with Halldór Úlfarsson (Iceland), Tomas Saraceno (Argentina) and Nilsmagnus Sköld (Sweden). Several of the participating artists will create new site-specific works in the Park and the Stable, the indoor exhibition space at Wanås.

Curators: Elna Svenle & Marika Wachtmeister.


A richly illustrated exhibition catalogue (ISBN 9789197755801) with texts about all artists and their works is available in the Wanås Shop. It can also be ordered on

Participating artists

Tue Greenfort (b. 1973 in Denmark) shows interest in questions regarding agriculture and cultivated nature. At Wanås he has created two new works with milk production as their starting points. Fresh milk has a temperature of 38°C and is cooled down to 4°C before being transported to the dairy. The excess heat is at Wanås used for heating the floor and the water of the cow stable through a heat exchanger. Greenfort observes this phenomenon in Milk Heat that gives the visitors the possibility to experience the heat of the fresh milk via a radiator placed outside the cow stable. In the Konsthall Greenfort presents What About Milk, an installation including the same amount of milk that the average Swede consumes annually. Through his projects he attempts to bring attention to the environmental efftects of industrialized animal farming – be it organic or not. He questions if dairy products can be considered ecologically sustainable food sources since cows’ methane emissions have a negative impact on the climate.

Henrik Håkansson’s (b. 1968 in Sweden) artistic production is shaped by a lifelong interest in our natural world. During the spring, Håkansson has placed four motion-sensitive cameras in the Wanås woodlands in order to document the wild animals. A selection of the images is now presented in the Konsthall. Instead of analyzing the animals and their movement patterns, Håkansson offers pure visual material – for many the most real relationship to wild animals. Håkansson is also creating The Reserve (001) in the Park which will be his first permanent art project in Sweden. Håkansson is currently investigating a 2500 m2 reserve, area and will eventually fence it off, allowing it to develop freely without human interference in the future.

Tea Mäkipää (b. 1973 in Finland) aims to visualize the often invisible and fragile foundation that modern western society rests upon. In the Wanås lake Mäkipää presents Atlantis, a sculptural memento mori created together with Halldór Úlfarsson (f. 1977 på Island). In the Park Mäkipää presents 1:1, a full-scale representation of a modern apartment’s anatomy. The works can be seen as poetic reminders of the vulnerability of our modern lifestyle and of the infrastructure that keeps us alive. In the Konsthall Mäkipää presents her commandments on how to live in a more environmentally sustainable way. As a part of the work, Mäkipää presents a documentary from her trip to the 8th Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates in 2007, during which she attempted to follow these commandments.

Tomas Saraceno (b. 1973 in Argentina) works since the mid-2000s with Air-Port-City, a visionary project suggesting we lift our dwellings a few kilometers up in the sky in order to stop the exploitation of our planet’s resources. Climate change often has negative effects on the organisms that live in specific areas; with the environment changing quickly the organisms don’t have time to move to more suitable places. As a response to this problem, Saraceno has developed so called “flying gardens”, that are a part of Air-Port-City. These suspended growing places would be able to move to more suitable locations if or when the climate changes. In the Konsthall Saraceno presents the videoinstallation Cumulus, recorded at the world’s largest salt flat, located 3000 meters above sea level in Bolivia. Saraceno creates a panorama of the site, allowing spectators to experience what it would be like to live among the clouds in an Air-Port-City.

Nilsmagnus Sköld (b. 1968 in Sweden) works with nature as the source of this creative process. In the Konsthall, he presents the new installation No More Shall We Part based on the story of the passionate orchid grower Bertil Norrsell from Tollarp in the south of Sweden. When he died in 1974, Norrsell left a 600 m2 greenhouse that has remained untouched since then. The installation consists of Sköld’s extensive research of the greenhouse ruin. He also offers a time travel through the last 35 years. With the help of archeological material, stories from the artist’s on life as well as classical radio clips, Sköld aims to visualize the inseparability and inevitable circulation of nature and culture.

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Wanas 2009: Footprints
Kuratoren: Elna Svenle & Marika Wachtmeister

Künstler: Tue Greenfort, Henrik Håkansson, Tea Mäkipää / Halldor Ulfarsson, Tomas Saraceno, Nilsmagnus Sköld