Indefinite Swarms, Selected Works 2009 - 2012
We are delighted to present a selection of work by Swedish artist Henrik Håkansson.
Håkanssons artistic sequences often function as a subtle dialogue between man, nature and space: Plants, living beings, and their mutability through light, temperature, time, or unnatural external influences define the shape of his work, and are also its conceptual theme.
By singling out particular natural phenomena and presenting them in a new context, in an exhibition space, he enables the viewer to become a critical observer. In his recent work, Henrik Håkansson has observed repetition and patterns produced by the swarm behaviour of different species by using time-based systems or traps as a reflection of visual and conceptual methods of study.
The presentation reflects a focus on insects, often considered pests, grouped in indefinite swarms. It underlines various methods of capturing and studying insects, even taking them as a means for creating paintings. The paintings are created in the margins between life and death, and are charged with the artists interest in the beauty of movement as well as the existence of individual creatures.
Indefinite Swarms series #01: Untitled (Sphegina sibirica), June, 2009. (#01-#17)
The first series consists of a number of light traps, which are and were used to capture and measure the density of insects. Here, they document the unusual reproduction rate of a species of hoverfly (Sphegina sibirica) due to environmental circumstances. Heavy storms, combined with unregulated tree felling in forests caused this particular mass appearance. The insects reproduced and were trapped in wet timber at a sawmill warehouse in Kinnared, Sweden in June 2009.
Electricity, August, 2010
Electricity, a film installation with six screens, observes electrical discharge insect control systems. It documents various flying insects being electrocuted in a bug zapper. The visual effect of flickering lights and the films slow motion are caused by the use of a high-speed camera for shooting the films.
Indefinite Swarms series #02 Untitled (Culicidae spp.) September 16-28, 2011
The second cycle of ten canvas paintings is a documentation of the massive population increase of mosquitoes near the lake Müritz in Germany. The paintings, dotted with the corpses of trapped insects, were executed during a period of twelve days, during which exceptionally large mosquito swarms abounded. Håkansson mounted the blank canvases at the front of his car between the headlights to attract the insects, whilst driving specific distances at given times. The reproduction peak of the species resulted from a season of unusually heavy rainfall followed by a heatwave and a lack of natural predators of the species.