FØLGER AV BEFESTELSE (CONSEQUENCES OF FORTIFICATION)

Video HD 20 min, 2018-2019. Norwegian w/English subtitles.

In “Følger av befestelse” (Consequences of Fortification) a female narrator traces the footsteps of a disappeared, elderly woman named Ruth B. through the remains of notes, images and dried plants. Ruth B. spent most of her life on different military bases accompanying her husband who was a Major in the military. Throughout decades she appears to have mapped the occurrences of plants as a result of military activity, in an attempt to formulate an alternative perspective on military history.

In collaboration with a botanist I explored abandoned military areas in south-eastern Norway in an attempt to map out plants which through its origin can tell us a story. The documentary material was edited into a fictional framework drawing parallels between the numerous silent, yet vital, bystanders to the military institution.

Military activity has had a direct influence on the occurrence of various species. Structures and intervention in landscapes such as walls, mounds, proving grounds and bunkers create new and parallel ecologies while wiping out others. Some species are spread through war and conflict or transportation while others are planted to indicate hierarchies. Military areas become specific ecosystems reflecting history in numerous ways.

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Installation in a casemate, a room in the wall at Kongsvinger Fortress, as part of the exhibition “Festningen”, 2019.

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