Black Box,


Hitra II
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What happens if memories, or even worse, a culture, disappears?


Burning Memories


This project was realised as part of a bigger investigation into the ongoing development of wind-energy in Trøndelag, FosenVind was said to become Europes biggest windpark on land when finished in 2020. To get an image or a feeling of what it would look like to find an alien structure in this landscape, blocking the view, I brought with me a big black box up all the six mountains that was part of the building site. The black box is a simple but distinctly artificial element which stands in stark contrast to the nature of these sites. This element could be seen as an exaggeration of the wind-turbine/the man made in this context mirroring man's ever ceasing encroachment into the natural world. This resulted in a photoseries of six images, possibly some of the last photos taken from these mountains before they got turned into industry-parks.


These new wind-parks was not only going to ruin and scar the mountains forever, but is also a big threat to indigenous people living in the area and their reindeer-herding culture. What happens if memories, or even worse, a culture, disappears? Sometimes it feels like only once something is gone do we have the foresight to preserve it, at which point it is put in a museum displaybox, and we treasure it. And at which point it is too late. After several months carrying this black box up all these mountains, I burnt it, now the only remains of the memories from these mountains the black box had been to, lives in a jar of ashes.


For the group show 'Switch' I exhibited both the six photos and an installation consisting of a video projection showing the Black Box burning, with the dark and industrial sound of a wind-turbine in the background, and the ashes of the burnt box in a museum inspired glass display-box. All in a darkened room with the only light being the projection of the film and a small light inside the display- box lighting up the ashes. I removed all explanation about windmills and reindeer-herders, and used only the black box in itself as a symbol. In that way creating the feeling of some sort of sacred ritual. The photos was exhibited in a different room closer to the entrance og the gallery, so that the guests would have already seen and maybe gained a subconscious memory of the Black Box and and the mountain before finding the burnt ashes.

© 2020 Trude Bekk