Up To Nature Oslo

25.–26. august 2012

The last weekend of August, Black Box Theater moves into the woods for the festival Up To Nature (UTN), a collaboration with Studenterhytta/ The Students Lodge. During this weekend we go deep into nature, letting the surrounding grounds of the lodge act as our stage, where both Norwegian and European artists will present productions created especially for this event.

Artists: Antti Laitinen (Somero), Martin Nachbar (Berlin), Fiksdal/Langgård/Becker (Oslo), FrenchMottershead (London), Nic Green with Beth Hammer (Glasgow), Johanna Kirsch (Vienna)

Up To Nature is also on tour summer/fall 2012: Vienna 15th - 17th June, Bristol 29th June - 1st July, Oslo 25th - 26th August, Kuopio 28th - 30th September

Practical information:

Up To Nature is a free of charge festival held over two days. For 50 NOK, tents can be put up at an assigned camping ground. The audience must bring their own tents. Access to toilets and shower will be available for the audience. Food and drink can be purchased in the Lodge.
Check the weather and dress accordingly. Depending on weather conditions, the performances will be held inside the lodge if neccessary.

The Students Lodge: The lodge is on Kjellerberget by Blankvann lake, close to Svartorsetra, in Oslos northern woods (Nordmarka). The area is within a protected zone, so no cars are allowed - which makes the hike much more of an experience, both before and after the festival.

How to get there: The shortest route is from Sørkedalen School, about 4,5 kilometers, where you can either take the path or walk/bike on the dirt road. For maps and more information: http://www.studenterhytta.no/english.html
Public transportation: Subway no 2 to Røa, and then bus nr 41, from Røa to Sørkedalen School.

The artists:

Antti Laitinen (Somero) «Tree» Over the past three years, Finnish artist Antti Laitinen has devised performances with subtle humour that are deliberately doomed to fail. A trained photographer, he fastidiously documents this failure of his projects. One of his recurring themes is the relationship between humans and nature. In the performance «Tree» he will be felling a tree in Nordmarka and cutting it up into logs in order to ultimately reassemble it as true to the original as possible. As a copy of the original, «Tree» becomes a sculpture in public space.

Martin Nachbar (Berlin) «Animal Dances» «Animal Dances» presents configurations, effects, and forces that arise when humans and animals come into contact. Martin Nachbar is known for borrowing movement and language material from a wide variety of contexts in order to try them out on his own body. This time he will be working directly from the animal kingdom. «Animal Dances» examines the relationships that twenty-first century city-dwellers have with animals.

FrenchMottershead (London) «Understory 7-9» Embark on an exploration – part adventure, part workshop – with local experts of the woods.

FrenchMottershead present three interactive experiences, created in collaboration with local experts, who lead participants to actively explore their connection to the forest. From a choice of three: Mushroom-Hunting, Public Rights of Access and Biodiversity, each experience offers participants an opportunity to play with the order of things in the Nordmarkas forest.

Understory 7: Mushroom Hunting

Come hunting in slow motion! The mushrooms won’t run away, but they hide for the modern man with a steady look on the narrow track. Fungi expert Pål Karlsen will lead you on forage through the woods and down into the soil. You’ll hunt and harvest the whole variety, from the delicious to the deadly. What to do with the catch? We’ll eat it right there! Or brew concoctions. Or salt it down for winter supplies. But the hunt comes without guarantees, for what if we find nothing but dry soil? Then we have the right to improvise … Welcome to the woods! Equipment is provided but better if you come prepared: bring a basket, a stiff brush and a knife (or a mushroom knife with both), a rucksack with 1 litre of water for your own use and the rest to share for the soup and put the fire out at the end.

Understory 8: Allemannsretten
Lawyer Marianne Reusch will lead you on a playful walking tour of the 1957 Allemannsretten law. Acceptable behaviour for swimming, walking, sunbathing, meeting, picnicking, sleeping, warning, ski-ing, marking, picking, chopping, lighting, climbing, riding will be discussed along the way and how a growing and increasingly diverse population, may impact on the politics of access in the future.

Understory 9: Biodiversity

Conservationist and BiologistArnodd Håpnes will take you ‘off-track’, feeling under fallen trees and peering into shady corners, comparing the diversity of plant, animal and fungi species in a forest that has been recently logged with those of a ‘fairytale’ forest that has been protected for over a century. Along the way, Arnodd will facilitate discussion of Norway’s environmental policy, of ecological versus economic value, the future of indigenous species and his hopes for a society where people live in harmony with nature.

About FrenchMottershead. Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead are London-based artists whose work looks at the conventions of social exchange and its relationship to the public and private realms in which they are played out. Their work sets out to reveal often-ignored acts or communities and to subvert people’s expectations and the unwritten rules at play, mainly through tactical interventions that invite people to take part in a creative act. Their working process comes with a lot of communication and negotiation, and the outcome is often unpredictable, yet engaging and accessible. Their work has been said to achieve the popular ideal of raising people’s awareness of everyday life.

Nic Green (Glasgow) «Slowlo» A moment to slow down, to sharpen, to unveil the wild being, the woman. Slowlo is a poetic response to a year spent living in a remote place. This intimate, two-part performance recalls key moments in a journey towards one woman’s deep connection with the living (and dying) world. Designed by Guerilla Gardener and boat-builder Beth Hamer, Slowlo is housed in a moon-like structure, nestled deep in the forest. In daylight, this structure brings our wild surroundings sharply into focus: sky, the Earth, birds, and those around us. As darkness falls, it is lifted and illuminated amongst the trees. Here the wildness of this woman’s inner landscape is gradually released from within – uncensored, uncultivated and unfiltered.Nic Green’s work holds a strong sense of political, environmental and social responsibility, whilst striving towards a marriage between the radical nature of her worldview and the accessibility of her work. Recent successes in this field include her award-winning feminist performance series Trilogy, which has shown at various major national and international festivals and has received an estimated 1000 female participants as part of the performance. Green has trained in Ecopsychology, Action Research, Spiritual Activism and recently completed an MSc in Human Ecology. Please note: audiences are encouraged to book for both the daytime and the evening parts of the performance.

Johanna Kirsch (Vienna) «My Name Is Ape or The Little Tree Theatre» In her performance «My Name Is Ape or The Little Tree Theatre», artist Johanna Kirsch sits down in a tree. She does this firstly in order to change perspectives, to examine her position in this setting, and attempts to find her human self. She is searching for the moment when human beings stopped feeling themselves as a part of nature. In her attempt to approach what makes up the essence of a tree, she also explores the feelings that arise when you bite the hand that feeds you and how and why the degenerated ape can climb up the tree at all.

Fiksdal/Langgård/Becker (Oslo) «Night Tripper» In Night Tripper, choreographer Ingri Midgard Fiksdal, composer Ingvild Langgård and scenographer Signe Becker are exploring the idea of nature as animistic, as a place of both healing and destructive powers, of immanence and transcendence. Ancient mythology meets contemporary everyday life, and dream and reality merge into an otherworldly, yet tangible tale. Night Tripper takes shape as a trail in the woods, concert performance, ritual and social event. It begins in the twilight hour and takes the audience into the night. The piece features seven performers, instruments, numerous installation artworks and a local choir.

Up To Nature is a co-production between ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival Kuopio, Black Box Theater, brut Wien, Inbetween Time Bristol, and Maska Ljubljana. Supported by The European Council.