Revisiting the Spruce and the Rock

There is only one spruce tree growing on Harakka Island, so it makes sense to speak of revisiting the spruce. There are more rocks than one, however, so revisiting the rock sounds slightly strange. These visits are linked to my work with Animal Years, a series of yearly projects, weekly performances for camera on the island during the years 2002-2014. And they could take place now because of my sitting as a gallery guard on the island for more than a week, taking care of the small exhibition Trees in Victoria in the old Telegraph (3-12.8.2018) The specific rock in question is the one I was sitting on in 2008 while posing as something resembling the little mermaid, or her sculpture in Copenhagen, and later edited the material into the work Year of the Rat – Mermaid 1-2 as well as Day and Night of the Rat – Mermaid. That year there was no proper ice, no more than what is shown in these images:

The “re-enactment” happened on a windy day, and I sat and hold on to the tripod after it almost tumbled over on the rocks. Although I managed to recreate the image fairly well, despite the water level being quite low, I forgot that the new proportions would leave my head out of the image. Well, the feet were the important part, anyway:


The spruce has also figured in a work, Under the Spruce I-III, made in the year of the pig, 2007, and edited into a three-channel installation. There my performing for camera is really invisible; the human figure sitting under the spruce is not discernible in most of the images. The spruce is video recorded from three different perspectives.

The idea was to insert all three images into one larger image of the spruce in full size. I made one version first, but the following day, while walking around, I noticed that a full portrait of the spruce might be easier from another angle.


Besides the rock and the spruce I also recorded a long take of the cliff on the northwestern shore in order to create a base image to insert the videos of the installation Year of the Pig – Installation or perhaps rather the two parts of shorter version Year of the Pig – Sitting on a Cliff I-II (short).

The cliff is steep, and it was difficult to frame a recognizable image; I might as well have recorded only the sea, or then tried from a boat, but a moving image would be something completely different, of course. A simple and rather steep shoreline is all I got:

I am not sure if I will make all these compilations, but at least it is worth trying. Year of the rat (2008) was the last year I used a DV camera and recorded images in TV-format. The quality is fairly poor, and inserting the images in a “proper” base image makes for a clear upgrade. And perhaps my little exercise on the rock has some value, mainly due to my funny bright yellow outfit…