Catalogue > At random

Helene Sommer

Great Piece of Turf

Vidéo | hdv | couleur | 25:0 | Norvège, USA | 2011

The video Great Piece of Turf explores place through the narratives of plants. A piece of uncultivated, urban land in Los Angeles was mapped out by collecting the histories of its plants with the help of local biologists and botanists. The place is by a former freight switching facility and the Los Angeles River. Whether a weed from China brought during the Gold rush, a palm tree introduced in an attempt to create a vision of paradise or a native hallucinogenic - narratives are revealed reflecting the interwoven and fragmented layers of history and space. Sampled material from a range of sources such as educational films, commercials, television, documentaries and movies is included. The title is borrowed from Albrecht Dürers watercolor (Das große Rasenstück) from 1503 which is a study of a seemingly random group of wild plants.

Helene Sommer (b. Oslo, 1978) graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo in 2003. In her works - which often takes the form of collages and compilations involving installation, video, text and photo - a common denominator is an interest in recontextualization, documentation and classification in relation to image production within subjects such as history and science. She has recently exhibited places such as Kunstnernes Hus (Oslo), Space for Art and Industry (NY), Kunstnerforbundet (Oslo), Motorenhalle Dresden, Grazer Kunstverein (Graz), De Appel (Amsterdam), University of Oslo, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (Berlin), Chert Gallery (Berlin), Fotogalleriet (Oslo)