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Helene Sommer

Sagn om jord

Vidéo | mov | couleur | 16:3 | Norvège | 2021

In “Sagn om jord” (Legends of Earth) the point of view is from a distant future. The sci-fi inspired narrative is set in the region of Hardanger in Norway, where the landscape has vanished. An excavation uncovers films revealing images from today’s Hardanger: a research station where they research mainly fruit production, a salmon farming facility and a slate quarry. These are the first images of the lost landscape to appear. ?A woman attempts to make the visual fragments of an estranged world comprehensible and locate them in an imaginary landscape. The film explores how the management of natural resources shapes our surroundings and the connections between landscape, language, history and image production. The region where the story is set is visually an iconic part of Norway, representing ideas and histories of nationalism and identity. By playing with the sci-fi genre as a way to create estrangement and make the familiar surreal, possibilities and ideas of what shapes a landscape opens up. The soundtrack is from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s tv-serie “Blindpassasjer” from 1978, which was the first sci-fi series produced in Norway.

Helene Sommer (b. 1978) is a Norwegian visual artist. She graduated from the National Art Academy in Oslo in 2003 and has since exhibited her work in galleries, museums and in festivals in numerous places. In her practice she is interested in the multiple levels of translation, interpretation and rhetorical devices that are involved in all storytelling. Through video, collage, text and installation she wishes to question the way we understand and relate to our surroundings and its history. A common denominator has been an interest in overlooked perspectives within history and science. Her works are often based upon a precise montage of an extensive selection of archival material in combination with her own production. See for more information about her work.