In After fire, Danish artist Rune Bosse explores the transformative power of fire: how, on the one hand, fire is immensely destructive and, at the same time, can help nature to rejuvenate. Following numerous forest fires last summer, the title of the exhibition may seem somewhat loaded. However, Rune Bosse’s artistic practice is far more complex.
The first part of the exhibition spreads throughout the exhibition space as a landscape of burnt and seemingly dead trees. The sound of crackling bark and the smell of scorched wood engulfs the landscape in a seemingly desolate total installation. However, subtle processes of change takes place as the installation unfolds. Across the exhibition period, the trees will bud and shoots of green leaves will sprout, throughout this barren environment. Working with natural processes as his artistic material, Rune Bosse is concerned with the development of nature way more than with human influence on these processes. By reconfiguring nature and transplanting landscapes into new contexts, he invites us to reflect on how the world is constantly changing and renewing.
In the second half of the exhibition, the artist presents collecting research materials along with two large-scale sculptures that stretch from floor to ceiling. Created using fire as a sculptural tool, these works emphasise the speed and power with which fire brings transformation. Fire is capable of instituting rapid change, and this exhibition aims to open a dialogue about what we, as a community, would want to see growing after fire removes previous structures. We live in a world where a change in our collective behaviour is essential if we want to continue living here. After fire presents the transforming power of fire as a symbol of that necessary change.
Rune Bosse (b. 1987) lives in Copenhagen and Præstø (South of Zealand), where he is currently working on a large-scale afforestation project. He graduated from the Royal Danish Art Academy of Fine Art in 2016 having completed additional study at Olafur Eliasson’s experimental art school Institut für Raumexperimente, in Berlin.
Photos: David Stjernholm.