The largest area of connected deciduous forest in Sweden and northern Europe can be found in the middle of Öland. It is called the Midland forest, but also simply the Midland. It is a territory rich in forest but that also contains fields, meadows, wetlands and part of Ölands particular steppe-like alvar. As an area of cultural heritage it has been inhabited by humans since at least the Iron Age and contains many ancient remains from throughout history. The Midland is also home to a number of interesting intersections – this exhibition is about some of them.
The exhibition exists and is activated in a number of places. Through September and October, performances and land art installations will take place in the Midland forest. A house of culture, created by that which nature has to give, will be forged in the area north from Österskog towards Ismantorp. The project will then continue to grow and proceed through the exhibition period at Kalmar konstmuseum.
The Midland forest as a place can be compared to a performance, where nothing is static. There is movement in time and space, there are rhythms we can choose to hear, feel and read, or choose to distance ourselves from. The middle of the Midland forest merely activates externally, through its idea and existence, something that is already taking place. But the project enables, lifts and poses questions. Through Kalmar konstmuseum and the audience there, more people are able to take part of the different layers of the Midland forest.
The exhibition touches upon both existential and political questions. How does nature think? What can we learn from nature’s circular time? Is man an extension of nature and time or vice versa? It explores delimitation, through a dry stonewall covered in moss from the 19th century, or through a contemporary council border between the municipalities of Mörbylånga and Borgholm.
The project is initiated by the artist Helle Kvamme, but her role is subordinate to that of the whole. She creates her work though collective processes and dialogue, and in this case she does not want to put the emphasis on herself.