Photos: Amélie Laurence Fortin

October 2nd - October 25 th 2020
Künstlerhaus Bethanien gallery, Berlin, Germany

Filmed in an undisclosed location somewhere in Europe, an unprompted and solitary performance employed the simplest of means. Few hours of solar energy in its pure form and a piece of shimmering foil instantaneously connected a tiny attic with the biggest of scales and mights out there. Such a baffling entanglement across orders of magnitude came to be with nothing but a few simple gestures and formed the point of departure for Fortin’s SUNBURST, the exhibition in which centres of light darken gradually toward the edges before hitting unlit rims. Over the course of the last decade, the artist focused on various perceptions of space - natural and exploratory, dense and empty, interplanetary as well as coupled in spacetime
- and using the limits inherent to each exhibition location as source shifted her practice in the direction of a multidisciplinary research in which several distinct practices are brought together.

Single channel sun-washed video projection, a kinetic sculpture and a delicate architectural intervention aim at recapturing facets of solar storms and winds, sunspot disturbances and space weather, emphasizing natural phenomena that have been recorded at least since the early 17th century by Kepler and other scientists and are concerned with the time varying conditions within the Solar System.

The kinetic sculpture is set in motion using solar weather data collected between August 28 and September 3, 2020 by NOAA and the Space Weather Prediction Center in the Report and Forecast of Solar and Geophysical activity and GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences at Adolf Schmidt Observatory for Geomagnetism thru the its retramscription in Bartels kp music diagram. The works, which unite simple gestures in a tiny attic with the explosive activity of the most grandiose of our stars, are inspired by the precise data of the disturbances and explosions recorded on the sun, emphasizing the unpredictability of the phenomenon.

Often depicted with a radiant crown, the governor of the seasons and personification of the everlasting power Helios, it has been believed in Hellenistic times, could see and hear everything and was glorified as the master of creation. In SUNBURST, the inseparable togetherness allows counterintuitive effects to emerge while linear, clockwise movements no longer hold true as a matched dynamics fuses spatial and temporal dimensions into a twofold, fiery and intervening structure.

-Künstlerhaus Bethanien Press release

Amélie Laurence Fortin’s exhibition SUNBURST at Künstlerhaus Bethanien is the result of a months-long experiment with solar energy. During this time, using nothing but a length of red foil and what was available in the kitchen, the artist staged a solitary performance, playing with the beams of light that entered through a skylight into the attic room of an undisclosed apartment—eventually returning with a camera to produce the video piece displayed in SUNBURST.

Alongside this work, Fortin has also produced a kinetic object, which is based, like many of her recent sculptural works are, on cosmic shapes. Made from stainless steel and spot lit using colored foil, the sculpture revolves at a “hypnotic” pace in a non-linear fashion, its movement led from data from forecast reports of solar and geophysical activity. Seen together, this new body of work represent Fortin’s continuation of a “cycle” of work about the sun, in particular, solar storms and other natural phenomena.

2. Oktober - 25. Oktober 2020, Galerie Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Deutschland

Die Ausstellung SUNBURST von Amélie Laurence Fortin im Künstlerhaus Bethanien ist das Ergebnis monatelangen Experimentierens mit Solarenergie. Mit den Kanten einer roten Folie und Objekten, die sie in der Küche finden
konnte, inszenierte die Künstlerin eine Performance, in der sie mit den Lichtstrahlen spielte, die durch das Fenster in den Dachboden einer ihr unbekannten Wohnung eindrangen – um später mit einer Kamera an diesen Or zurückzukehren, um die Videoarbeit SUNBURST zu produzieren.

Neben dieser Arbeit entwickelte Fortin ein kinetisches Objekt, das wie viele ihrer skulpturalen Werke auf Formen basiert, die in der Natur zu finden sind. In einem „hypnotischen“ Tempo dreht sich die Edelstahlskulptur, punktuell beleuchtet durch Spots mit Farbfilterfolien, im Raum, wobei ihre nichtlinearen Bewegungen auf Daten von Prognoseberichten über solare und geophysikalische Aktivitäten beruhen. Zusammen stellen diese beiden neuen Arbeiten die Fortsetzung eines Arbeitszyklus über die Sonne, insbesondere Sonnenstürme und weiter Naturphänomene, dar.
-Künstlerhaus Bethanien



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Remerciements / Thanks to :
Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie du Québec, Québec Government Office in Berlin, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, WERKTANK, Les Production Recto-Verso, Conseil des Arts du Canada, Künstlerhaus Bethanien
Jean-François Lahos, Pierre-Louis Fortin, Pawel Kaminski, Kurt D’Haeseleer, Anouk Victor, Jeanne Couture, Karina Kle, Yoann Pisterman, Tomasz Malinowski, Weronika Malinowska, Arthur Debert, Chris Stoerzel, Toni Lebkücher, Carola Uehlken, Camille Herding, Mélissa St-Pierre, Peter Rossman.