7 June 2018 - 14 October 2018
|Place||Komenského 10, 586 01 Jihlava, CZECH REPUBLIC|
|Organizer||Vysocina County Gallery in Jihlava|
Bialowieża is the largest remaining area of ancient forest in Europe, with an irreplaceable ecology that is home to many rare and unique wildlife species. In the recent years it was threatened by increased logging; the policy introduced by the Polish government. The controversy around this has created intense debate, which gave the context to this work.
The destruction was stopped at the end of December 2017 thanks to the intervention of the EU’s highest court, which ruled Poland’s logging in the Unesco-protected Białowieża Forest illegal, potentially opening the door to multi-million euro fines. Nevertheless, the brutal mistreatment and damage done to the Białowieski Forest area are irreversible and it will take hundreds of years for the forest to cure itself. Today the activists, who bravely defended the forest throughout all that time, are still fighting to make the whole area a National Park, untouchable by political hands.
Peter Cusack and Martyna Poznanska’s installation ‘‘Would There Be Another Forest?’ aimed to contribute to the discussion through a combination of sonic documentation and the more poetic approaches of sensing and experiencing the territory. The sound and field recordings from Białowieża are complemented by video, photography and text. Attention is given to small and intimate relationships within the ecology itself, to the overall atmospheres present there and to connections between people and the forest.
The micro sounds of bark beetles inside trees and the subtle visual patterns created by insects and fungi are explored. The impact of the logging is also seen and heard. Martyna Poznanska’s video ‘My Body Is the Forest, The Forest Is My Body’ suggests associations between human and forest forms as well as the transience of existence.
The installation hopes, not only to give exposure to the political/environmental issues, but also to illuminate a little of the hidden life at Białowieża and on the human decisions that directly impacted the forest.
This installation could not have been made without the kind help of others. Very special
thanks go to Sylwia Iwanowska for guiding us around Białowieża and her ecological knowledge. Also to Hans Peter Kuhn, Adrian Corker and all those at the Up to Date and Unsound Festivals, who made this possible.