Project Description

  • Denmark in Transition
  • Trine Søndergaard
  • year: 2008-2010
  • 80 x 100 cm
  • digital c-print on dipond
  • Throughout Denmark there are landscapes lying in wait, ready to return to nature. Cultivated areas that were – maybe for centuries – burdened by farming, are to be set free to play a positive role in the Danish landscape of the future. This is the basic idea behind the many nature rehabilitation projects that are a high priority in current environmental policy. Lost nature coming home. Damage repaired. Nature rehabilitation with an element of atonement. Elevated ethics, that at the end of the day are yet another expression of human control, just like the interventions that destroyed nature in the first place.
    For Denmark in Transition Trine Søndergaard has photographed nature rehabilitation projects throughout Denmark. All of them are funded by the state and can thus be seen to represent the ‘official’ view of nature. Her images also portray some of the paradoxes of these efforts: that some life forms have to be sacrificed so others can thrive. Among Søndergaard’s subjects is the West Forest. Since 1967, the Danish Forest and Nature Agency has been buying areas west of Copenhagen – former farms and nurseries – to plant forests. One of the images shows a derelict building. The roof is overgrown and virtually merges with its green surroundings. In their own quiet way, these images depict the changes in the landscape revealed by small details. They also show nature being helped on its way. But still a nature that can only grow at the mercy of culture.
    In the landscape series How to Hunt, a collaboration between Trine Søndergaard and Nicolai Howalt, the focus is hunting in Denmark. Here we see the same objective gaze – a distance to the subject of the image. But in contrast to the hunt series, which is more visually oriented, in her work on nature rehabilitation Søndergaard is primarily interested in the ideas behind changing landscapes. Many of the nature rehabilitation projects are almost ‘non-subjects’ hovering between before and now and pointing towards a future that is not yet visible. In this sense Søndergaard’s project is also about time. The image of an afforestation project near Gundsømagle makes visible the role played by the future. A forest path has already been built in the wasteland. The path that will run through the wood that will one day be here – where we won’t be able to see the path for the trees.
  • Denmark in Transition
  • Trine Søndergaard
  • year: 2008-2010
  • 80 x 100 cm
  • digital c-print on dipond
  • Throughout Denmark there are landscapes lying in wait, ready to return to nature. Cultivated areas that were – maybe for centuries – burdened by farming, are to be set free to play a positive role in the Danish landscape of the future. This is the basic idea behind the many nature rehabilitation projects that are a high priority in current environmental policy. Lost nature coming home. Damage repaired. Nature rehabilitation with an element of atonement. Elevated ethics, that at the end of the day are yet another expression of human control, just like the interventions that destroyed nature in the first place.
    For Denmark in Transition Trine Søndergaard has photographed nature rehabilitation projects throughout Denmark. All of them are funded by the state and can thus be seen to represent the ‘official’ view of nature. Her images also portray some of the paradoxes of these efforts: that some life forms have to be sacrificed so others can thrive. Among Søndergaard’s subjects is the West Forest. Since 1967, the Danish Forest and Nature Agency has been buying areas west of Copenhagen – former farms and nurseries – to plant forests. One of the images shows a derelict building. The roof is overgrown and virtually merges with its green surroundings. In their own quiet way, these images depict the changes in the landscape revealed by small details. They also show nature being helped on its way. But still a nature that can only grow at the mercy of culture.
    In the landscape series How to Hunt, a collaboration between Trine Søndergaard and Nicolai Howalt, the focus is hunting in Denmark. Here we see the same objective gaze – a distance to the subject of the image. But in contrast to the hunt series, which is more visually oriented, in her work on nature rehabilitation Søndergaard is primarily interested in the ideas behind changing landscapes. Many of the nature rehabilitation projects are almost ‘non-subjects’ hovering between before and now and pointing towards a future that is not yet visible. In this sense Søndergaard’s project is also about time. The image of an afforestation project near Gundsømagle makes visible the role played by the future. A forest path has already been built in the wasteland. The path that will run through the wood that will one day be here – where we won’t be able to see the path for the trees.