Seminar: The Legacy of the Fogelstad Group, Humus Economicus Collaboratory with Åsa Elzén
Above: water color sketch in preparation for the carpet A Fallow / En Träda, Maja Fjaestad, 1919. Photo: Åsa Elzén.
On May 4, we had the great pleasure of meeting artist Åsa Elzén who for many years – through a series of works, exhibitions, conversations, archival explorations and collaborations – have attended to the Swedish ecofeminist pioneers the Fogelstad group in the ongoing project Notes on a Fallow – The Fogelstad Group and Earth. At the centre of this ongoing exploration of the group’s practice in ecology and resilience, as well as the role of artists and artistic processes in their midst, is Elzén’s work Transcript of a Fallow, a magnificent carpet that depicts a fallow. Elzén calls her carpet a “transcript”, since it traces and follows another carpet made by Maja and Amelie Fjaestad in 1919–20 called En Träda (“A Fallow”), commissioned by Elisabeth Tamm – one of the founders of the Fogelstad group. It lay in the library at the farm and education centre Fogelstad. While the original carpet was woven of linen and wool from Fogelstad, Elzén’s version is made of recycled fabrics from a variety of different sources and materials.
This method of transcribing offers modes of thinking through material, collaborative and social processes. At the same time, it provides space and time for further explorations since the transcript/carpet offers itself as a thing that gathers and a place for gatherings. It continues the long tradition of ecofeminist inquiry as it is worn by people today, in the same manner the original carpet was worn during decades at Fogelstad.
Please dive deep into the rich material and the various works that are part of the project Notes on a Fallow – The Fogelstad Group and Earth on Åsa Elzén’s website, including archival material and background information on the Fogelstad group. You will not be disappointed!
The seminar was part of the second Art & Science Retreat organized by the Collaboratory, Soil, Peace, Women’s Rights and the Environmental Pioneers in Sweden – Art & Science Retreat No. 2.