Henrik Håkansson (SE)

Henrik Håkansson - Fundament (Insect Societies # 002) (2017)
Disruption – Remapping Nature (2017)
Photography Gert Jan van Rooij

Henrik Håkansson – Fundament (Insect Societies # 002) (2017)

Over the past decade, the worldwide bee population has suffered as a result of natural causes and human intervention. More than three quarters of all crops and fruit trees rely on bees for pollination. Fewer bees means less food and this also harms biodiversity and the ecosystem. The work that Henrik Håkansson (b. Helsingborg, Sweden, 1968, lives and works in Berlin and Falkenberg, Sweden) created for Disruption aimed to help the wild bees at De Oude Warande by offering them a safe place to reproduce.

For the 2016 edition of Emscherkunst, an exhibition in the German Ruhrgebiet, Håkansson installed immense insect boxes in an empty landscape. His work for Disruption consisted of a steel beam, which contrasted dramatically with its natural surroundings. Soft, perforated wood had been placed within both sides of this beam, where the bees could lay their eggs and their larvae could hatch.

Research, nature and art are inextricably linked for Håkansson. His multi-media works show fragments of life cycles in nature, of plants and small animals, which he records or reconstructs in an artistic context. He uses photography, video and computer programs in his observations. For the 1997 Venice Biennale, he created an ideal biotope for butterflies, which he filmed with security cameras. At a more recent exhibition in Amsterdam, he concentrated on endangered birds, focusing attention on them with images, sounds and articles. Håkansson investigates, considers, provides insight, and intervenes, his work highlighting not only the vulnerability of nature but also the relationship between nature and humans. When do we view nature as natural? When do we see it as artificial? What is the contemporary perception and representation of nature? These are the questions behind Håkansson’s almost-industrial work of art, which appeared at first sight to be in complete disharmony with its surroundings, but was in fact providing a service.