Wyss Academy for Nature – When nature and civilization are one

Hansjörg Wyss’ Wyss Academy not only relies on science – but also on art. A video installation by Monica Ursina Jäger, for example.

When you can’t see the forest for all the pixels.

Photo: Nicole Philipp

A woman tells her father sno shonestly receptive givewblowing for the spirits of the forest. There is no need to fear them, they are part of another world, he let them know as a child.

The woman is the stepmother of the artist Monica Ursina Jäger, born in Thalwil in 1974, who das Video «Forest Tales and Emerald Fictions» (2019) created. The film was shot in Singapore, where the artist’s father has lived since the early 1990s and Jäger was given a guest studio at the Center for Contemporary Art. «My stepmother is a typical Singapore Chinese for whom it is not a contradiction in terms, in a hightechsto live in a city and to believe in an animated nature», so the artist.

Artist Monica Ursina Jäger.

Artist Monica Ursina Jäger.

Photo: PD

For her work, which has already been presented in Singapore and Zurich, she herself has dealt intensively with the forest and found that nature and civilization are not contradicting systems, but rather use similar networks and strategies. The video installation is currently running, which also includes a drawing with chlorophyll and an installation made of concrete elements and plantsin, im «Habitat», a small art room across from the Berner Hotel Bellevue Palace.

When art meets science

Jäger was invited to the Wyss Academy for Nature with her project. The freelance curator Damian Christinger suggested the artist. «My first choice was noticed Hunter, because she has been working at the interface between art and science for a long time», seight Christinger.

The installation of Jäger ist the first chapter of a series, as Sonja Schenkel, who is responsible for communications at the Wyss Academy for Nature, explained. «We work decentrally and want to kFifty exhibitions not only in Bern, but auch an our other locations, in East Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America, realize.» In the interests of sustainability, air travel and art projects should be avoided as much as possible “withI was wweeks» – that is, without causing waste.

Die ChlorophyllwithThe drawing of Jäger is a good example of this, says Schenkel. «The drawing could be given back to nature, without this being damaged.» The plants were returned to the local florist after the project, from which they came.

Jäger’s video shows, to what extent the forest can serve as a model for sustainable urban development. The film has something cyclical about it, whereby time levels and places are continuously faded from one another. For example, you look into the middle of the forest and suddenly see house facades. A narrator’s voice lets us know in English: «Forests become cities, to go back to forestsn to become.»

Poetic approach

«In Singapore, the question arises as to what can be learned from the forest», seight Hunter. Nature and the city are closely intertwined, and many of the roofs are green. Jäger works part-time at the Institute for Environment and nnatural resources the ZHAW in projects that aim to transform society.

How does a scientific approach differ from an artistic one? «Scientific work is based on data and has a clear goal in mind», so the artist. Art, on the other hand, does not have to provide clear answers; access is one poetical. This poetry evolvesltet actually, if you do that at dusk «Habitat» and through the glass walls feels a little like in an aquarium. You immerse yourself in infinite green, follow the path of water droplets or hear ghost stories, until the room becomes an almost meditative place.

Posted today at 12:29 pm

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