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Tue Greenfort
20.05.2004, 7PM
Until 26-06-2004
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Untitled installation
wood, garbage from the area around the gallery
400 x 350 cm

wood, garbage from the area around the gallery
400 x 350 cm, detail

Swiftnest production
sawdast, concrete, wood, calcium cloride, vegetal oil, plaster
dimensions variable

149.597.871 km to the centre
DVD video

Swiftnest Installation
nest: sawdust, concrete, calcium chloride
dimensions variable

In his show ‘Umwelt’ the Danish artist Tue Greenfort (lives and works in Germany and Denmark) is working in the progress of post conceptual art, which concerns  gentrification and the politic of urban planing. In Milan, Tue Greenfort is intervenes in the actual architectural situation in which the gallery is placed, which consists in new fashionable building complexes in the periphery of Milan. The artist’s critical perspective on the these buildings does not criticise gentrification from a view of social and political change - that happens in an area where galleries move in spectacular architectures on former anonymous address, in terms of ground price rises and following rise of rent prices in the hole area - but rather, the artist is concerned with ecological impacts.


An important part of the installation will be the  process of manufacturing special wood–concrete (a material mostly known for its high sound isolating qualities and its use in ecological buildings) birdhouses for swifts (lat- Apus apus). This elegant and highly skilful bird was in 2003 the bird of the year in Germany by different environmentalist organisations. The birds’ natural environment is the airspace, it nests on high rock-walls where it finds holes and cracks to place the nest. Since humans started to make large wall-constructions the bird has found an artificial nesting place. Whilst a growing population causes the growth of urban structures, the population of the bird has dramatically decreased in Europe in recent years. This is mainly because the bird is lacking nests and breeding possibilities, caused by the urban renovation and gentrification programs in most European cities making the houses impossible for the birds to find useful breeding possibilities.


Tue Greenfort - in co-operation with the architect, and people living and working in the described building complex - will place the manufactured wood–concrete Swift nests on the surrounding architecture. The nests will function as  alien objects, loaded with environmental-political issues, on the otherwise perfectly planned architectural buildings.


Along with this manufacturing production, a large collection of information leaflets from two environmentalist organisations - the German Bund and the Italian LIPU, which have been a major inspiration for the show - will be integrated part of the installation.


In the exhibition, the ecological thoughts are part of a larger perspective, that aims and strives to thematise a row of paradoxes within the major-power of the neo-liberal, capitalistic world order. Which is the belief that financial growth is the only real solution to the problems of society and the technocratic blindfolded trust in technologies’ ability to solve all natural problems. This artificial world order, is set up against ecologists’ perspective or factum, which since the beginning of the seventies has been warning and proclaiming an imminent global ecological disaster.


The title: ’Umwelt’ is the German word for environment, and in the time of political correctness it has loosened its meaning by also signifying ecology. This way, it became a politically correct mantra instrumentalized by political strategies to give a self imposed image, and an impression of stability and balance.

The word Umwelt is also  the central term  in the biologist, Jakob von Uexküll´s (1864 – 1944) lifework. His theory is based on a nature – believe, which sees all living beings as subjects that can create their on Umwelt (in the bio-semiotics this word is not translated, but used in its German form) and is therefore subjectively a part of nature’s big expressive process. This theory is opposed to that of science dualism, which orders life in a materialistic way as separated equal parts of the big picture.        

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