29 September — 16 November 2000
The way Henrik Håkansson observes the natural environment attemps to reduce the distance between nature and Man, stimulating the viewer to look more attentively at the processes and conditions that govern the natural world and enabling us to discover genuine ʻnatural wondersʼ (Lisa Corrin in The Greenhouse Effect, London, 2000). Using video cameras and closed circuit surveillance systems, and after meticulous analysis of the local ecosystem, Håkansson records the behaviour of wild life such as insects, frogs, snakes and bats as well as various plants species in their own natural habitats into which the artist has inserted extraneous elements created by him or alternatively in recreations of those original habitats in a gallery environment. The documentation of these complex projects involves diagrams and drawings, photographs and videos that add up to an archive: ʻHåkansson makes a record of what he learns from his worksʼ (H. Hirsch Kempf in Henrik Håkansson, Kunsthalle, Basel 1999). ʻIʼve always been more interested in what is not me, in the non- human, the other - different animals, for instance. In many of my works, Iʼve tried to bridge the gap and create a dialogue between my own human sphere and what is differentʼ (in Henrik Håkansson, Kunsthalle Basel, 1999). That statement outlines the mother lode on which his entire artistic career is drawn from the video ʻOut there stoned immaculateʼ from 1995 for which he called in several DJʼs to help him install a ʻrave for frogsʼ in a marsh, to ʻThe Monster of Rock, tourʼ installation of 1996 on display in Castello di Rivoli to coincide with the one man show in Torino. Part of the Mirrorʼs Edge exibition curated by Onkwui Enwezor, that installation made 1,000 crickets the stars of their own rock concert. Later, in 1998, ʻAfter Forever (ever all)ʼ an installation that forms parts of the ʻGreenhouse Effectʼ exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London, 2000, created its own rainforest by suspending semi-tropical plants upside down from the gallery ceiling, then used lights and humidifiers to simulate an Amazonian habitat in which the plants actually continued to grow. ʻSleepʼ (1998) an act of homage to Warhol, a 3-hour silent video filmed in Ecuador of an anaconda asleep in its den. ʻHis new works are heading away from an active management role...he has replaced the synthetic approach with an ambient information gathering process in wich disorder is allowed to break trough.ʼ (Andrew Gellatly, ʻA Bugʼs lifeʼ in Frieze, September-October 2000). Henrik Håkansson, born in Helsingborg, Sweden in 1968 lives and works between Stockholm and Berlin. Apart from a number of one-man shows including ʻSweet Leafʼ (currently on show at the Galerie fur Zeitgenossische Kunst in Leipzig), ʻTomorrow and Tonightʼ at the Kunsthalle Basel (1999) and the Andreas Brandstrom Gallery in Stockholm (1998), Håkanssonʼs work has also appeared in a number of group shows including the recent ʻGreenhouse Effectʼ at the Serpentine Gallery, London (2000), ʻMirrorʼs Edgeʼ (Bild Museet, Umeå, Sweden; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada; Castello di Rivoli, Torino; Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland; 1999-2000), ʻThe Edge of Awarenessʼ (Geneva, New York, Sao Paulo, New Delhi; 1998- 1999) and Naturally Artificialʼ (The Nordic Pavillion, Biennale di Venezia; 1997). This appearance at the Galleria Franco Noero is Håkanssonʼs first solo show in Italy.