Ingela Ihrman – interview: ‘I need to find my own reasons to do things, to find my bruises and push them’, Veronica Simpson, δημοσίευση στο Studio International [1/3/2023]
The Swedish naturalist Jan Lindblad (1932-87) was once “violently embraced in the coils of a giant anaconda” while filming a documentary, we are told at the start of Ingela Ihrman’s new solo show – her first in the UK – called Nocturne, at Gasworks in London. It is a fact we need to understand the first film on show, which draws us (and Lindblad) deep down inside a large, red, pulsating snake-like organism, as she imagines Lindblad might have been (but wasn’t, thankfully) in his determination to get up close and personal with the natural world. She called the work Green Paradise – What Jan Lindblad Would Have Seen from the Inside of the Anaconda (2009), and has even created a costume, an anatomically intriguing representation of Lindblad’s digested entrails, which you can choose to wear (or not) as you proceed through the show.
Although Lindblad’s life and spirit inform this show – indeed, as this conversation reveals, they inform the 37-year-old Swedish artist’s whole practice – you don’t need any prior knowledge of Lindblad to enjoy the work. However, it helps to understand that this pioneering naturalist and film-maker was more than Sweden’s answer to David Attenborough. He enchanted Swedish TV audiences from the 1960s to the 80s, with his intrepid expeditions to what was then, for Scandinavian TV viewers, uncharted territory, including South America and the Caribbean.
There, he wrestled giant snakes and ventured into darkened caves where small, obese baby birds called oilbirds hid from human predators, who liked to use their fat for lamps (we’ll meet the oilbirds later). More than observing and framing animals and birds against lush landscapes for us to admire at a distance, accompanied by dramatic, orchestral soundtracks, as per the usual BBC nature documentary style, Lindblad immersed himself in their habitat and learned their ways. He even adopted two orphaned tiger cubs and raised them at home, and he became so adept at mimicking certain bird calls that he could communicate with them (check it out for yourself: Jan Lindblad … how to communicate with a black-throated diver).
Η συνέχεια εδώ.