Martha Schwartz: I Hate nature / "Aluminati"
"I Hate Nature / 'Aluminati’" is inspired by society's "delusional view" that there are limitless natural resources to exploit in the modern world.
The installation consists of a huge black box (14 x 14 x 5 meters), located in the front courtyard of the museum. Visitors walk into this box and, from the corridor inside, are presented with a series of framed views onto a blinding space of crinkled, industrial aluminium.
The interior space is seemingly indescribable in shape and size and has no real reference to scale. The blackened interior corridor is in sharp contrast to the dazzling light within the core – which is opened to the sky, but not really visible to the viewer. The aluminium reflects the changing quality of an Icelandic day.
The subject of the installation is the aluminium itself. From its position in the black environs of the box, it is both mesmerising and repulsive, attractive and dangerous – the aluminium, specifically the smelting operation to which it refers, is currently a subject of controversy in Iceland. Its beauty is seductive, belying the price the country will pay for its economic dependence on the smelting process.
According to the theory that inspired and accompanies the piece, it assesses the modern view of "nature" as being disconnected from the reality of contemporary landscape. A landscape that is overwhelmed with visual degradation has a consequently negative impact on sustainability.
Martha Schwartz is an artist and landscape architect who has created many installations in urban settings.
The installation is commissioned in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Association of Icelandic Landscape Architects.
Sponsors: Ingibjorg Kristjansdottir, Landscape Architect, and Olafur Olafsson
Design assistance and construction: Allison Dailey, Svidsmyndir ehf Scenic Studios, Skapa & Skerpa architecture, Almenna Consulting Engineers, BAM, Martha Schwartz Partners