On the neon decorated Ruska street, number 46, on the fourth floor of a big cement building, tucked away you find a room holding a forest of tranquility. Part of the installation: Crown Shyness, made by IP group.
When I walked into the hallway, which is closed in by two doors. Leading into the installation room. I noticed how suddenly all the sound fell away, and it became very quiet around me. Like the hallway is a part of the installation. Carrying out the function of preparing the participant’s for the serenity that awaits them in the room, they are about to enter. Designed for participators to lay down, and imagine being part of a forest. The warm emitting green light coming, from the room behind the glass hallway door I’m about to open, engulfs me with a curious, almost ominous sensation. The green light lures me slowly into the forest, that lies in wait, at the other side of the door…
As I step into the room with the heavy door behind me closing, I put on the headphones, handed out, at the entrance of the installation. A female voice, almost whispering starts talking to me in English. At first, I’m mesmerized by the combination of the female voice talking to me in a soothing, calm way, and the colorful ultraviolet light in the room. The shades on the windows are drawn, closed. There is no other light source. My curious side got the better of me. I had to investigate. To see if the doors located in the room, were also part of the installation. So I opened all three doors. One of them opened to a storage room. I don’t know if this storage room is actually part of the installation, but it did take me out of the trance I was seeping into, listening to the velvet voice of the woman talking to me through the headphones.
The woman talking to me invites me to sit down, relax on one of the four mattresses on the floor. I do! As she kept on talking to me, convincing me to surrender, imagine I am in a forest. Becoming one with the ecosystem around me. In her mild, peaceful tone she tells me to look up at the trees around me. Sniff the other people who are with me in the room. Take a deep appreciative look. Realize how I was made of the same material as the trees. How as a human I am a proliferator, as well a victim of the deviation between humans and nature. How this separation is a romantic notion humans have invented. She tries to convince me to believe in this illusion produced in the room. Instruct my brain to make it last, and convince it to believe in it.
Overall, the room does influence me to stop my obsessive need to check my social media, constantly. For a few moments, I clear my mind, from all the worrying I do on a minute by minute basis. The combination of looking at a forest reproduced in this room, in the form of an installation piece, with a movie of a man walking through a forest, projected on a big screen on the wall, in co-existence with the narrator’s voice talking to me, succeeds in convincing me to get out of my own head. Submerge in the idea of being one with the earth around, me. But I am way too much a clean freak to lay on the soil, and leave my imprint, as the narrator suggests. Perhaps, I would have considered making a physical connection with the earth, but I associate the forest with a very distinct smell and sound. I would like to touch the trees. But this installation is made of materials, such as; pepper foam, fake rocks, and textile tree leaves. Things you wouldn’t naturally find in a forest. This formed a blockage for me, to actually let go of the control I like to have over my reality and submerge willingly to the idea that I’m in an actual forest. My personal analyses of this piece could be, that the artist behind this installation might have wanted to point out; my lack of imagination and the distinction I as a person make, between what I conceive to be fake and real in the world around me. The installation made me question my reality, and that for me is a component of a successful artistic work.
Have you seen this installation, and did it for you evoke the feeling of being in a forest? I would be curious to hear if you felt the sensual liberation the artists wanted visitors to experience.