Systema Naturae– The Order Of Nature
Cummings Art Center, Connecticut College,US autumn 2012
A collaborative project together with artist Berit Jonsvik including exhibition, lectures and a two week interdisciplinary workshop with art and botany students.
Excerpt from the catalog:
by Andrea Wollensak
Naming, systematizing and organizing natural forms have long been methods to understand the world around us. The binomial system, a method of naming and identifying plants and animals, was developed by 18th-century Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus.
Naturae: The Order of Nature is an exhibition that brings together
two Swedish artists: Carina Fihn and Berit Jonsvik. Their complementary
bodies of work pay homage to Linneaus, referencing the systemization of
nature, and probing into the ramifications of assigning names and structure
to natural form.
her artist books, Carina Fihn employs language as material, shaping words
on the page using a keen sense of ink, paper and form. Using floral nomenclature
as the starting point, she artistically draws out these connections in
Herbarium ( Who wants to be a flower ), an artist book that rythmically
enumerates first names in a graceful linear sequence.
her work, Berit Jonsvik explores the life of Linnaeus, drawing connections
between his work and personal life. Jonsvik’s research into Linnaeus’s
original notebooks and living arrangements form the basis of her artistic
explorations. Her photographs of the intimate living quarters of Linnaeus’s
home in Hammerby are simultaneously revealing and displaced, hinting at
the otherness of the artist´s gaze through a mirrored reflection.
by today´s standards, Linneus´s systematic project to completely
categorize and name the species of the world seems to be part of a bygone
idealistic faith in mankind´s desire to fully comprehend the chaos
and complexity of life.
Supported by The Sherman Fairchild grant for interdisciplinary teaching, the Dayton Visiting Artist Residency grant, the International Curriculum Grant of Connecticut College and IASPIS, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee fund for international exchange .