With Maddie Leach, Linde Ex & Pol Taverne

What differs between a designed space and a lived space? What happens when a designed environment does not function as intended? How can we as artist mediate spaces in a way that leaves room for different perspectives? How can we imagine a space from seemingly alien angles other than our own?In this panel artist-researchers Maddie Leach, Linde Ex & Pol Taverne address these topics in relation to their own work, in a discussion moderated by Hannes Andersson of the Artistic Research Community (ARC) in the North.

Maddie Leach is an artist from New Zealand, currently based in Sweden where she is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at HDK–Valand Academy of Art & Design at the University of Gothenburg. Her sculptural projects include building an ice rink in a public gallery (2002) and a 16 foot sailboat for the roof of New Zealand’s national museum (2006). She has shipped a Eucalyptus tree across the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to Chile, and back again (2006–07); sent 325 litres of water from the Te Waihou ‘Blue Spring’ to Jakarta, where it vanished (2015); and coaxed a community of writers, businessmen, council officials and a newspaper editor to imagine a ‘whale’ made from 70 litres of used mineral oil and one-tonne of cement (2012–14). In 2017 she produced The Grief Prophesy album, working with two Swedish musicians and visual artist ’Necrolord’ to reinterpret an unremarkable black metal track into a powerful lament.
Her project “The Fountain: An art-technological-social drama” aims to reimagine the iconic artwork and architectural monument “LTH-Fontänen” in Lund, Sweden.LTH-Fontänen was the collaborative vision of Swedish architect Klas Anshelm and sculptor Arne Jones. Inaugurated in 1970 at Lund Technical University, it was anticipated as a modern “artistic-technological cathedral of steel, glass and water without parallel in the world”. Yet LTH-Fontänen proved frustrating as a fountain: leaking, fracturing and never effectively carrying water. Today it remains inert on campus; neither artwork nor ruin.At what point can a public artwork be revitalised and thought anew? What are the implications for authorship, cultural heritage and public consultation? Are there similarities to monuments, where societal change can produce an ethical dilemma around their visibility and duration? Our research initiates a recommitment to a substantially state-funded public artwork after a 25-year hiatus and introduces new questions–not about how to get this fountain to work as a fountain–about whether LTH-Fontänen offers an armature from which a new public artwork can emerge.

Linde Ex is an artist, artistic researcher and teacher. She graduated in 2019 at the Frank Mohr Institute, Master of Fine Art and Design, Groningen. In 2021 she’ll start an artistic PhD trajectory for Hanze University of Applied Sciences and University of Groningen in the field of Art & Sustainability.In the project ‘Lifelines of the barely noticeable’ Linde Ex studied the life and movements of flying insects. The project aims to understand the life of flying insects through connecting their dynamic, light, volatile movements to human perception. The insects were researched within the context of a practice based art practice resulting in a triptych of works. The project will now be part of an artistic PhD trajectory where the works, process and experiences of the project are reviewed and the project is connected to a broader ecological context.

Pol Taverne is an artist, teacher, printmaker and photographer. Using Photographpy as her primary research instrument, she is currently tackling the question of “What is here?” through participatory research into attachment and perception of village inhabitants and farmers in villages in the north of the Netherlands.Driven by my own fascination for Art making and Art history as an artist and a teacher I explore how Art history can be used as a tool to make art. What are the necessary ingredients to be able to teach this, so that students can experience what for me is so logical but still intuitive? My own daily practice as an artist, a teacher and researcher will be the source and field of research. The research question will be the starting point from which this research will develop and expand as a rhizome. This is a dynamic process of enhanced insight obtained through constant reflection between these three domains.