Márk Redele

How long will it take for the fog to settle?

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How long will it take for the fog to lift?
As the result of a three month residency at Nida Art Colony on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania, Márk Redele, Amsterdam based artist and researcher, brings an installation, photographs and glass etchings into a speculative constellation during their final studio visit. The artist begins by tracing the formation of fog over the Baltic Sea as warm, humid air crosses over the cold sea water. As the temperature of the air cools to the dew point, the air mass becomes saturated and coastal fog forms over the water. As the thick mist enters the peninsula, it engulfs the small number of its permanent inhabitants, the idle infrastructure waiting for the tourist season to begin and the artificial landscape set to fulfil its intended purpose as a recreational forest. Under these conditions, while on a seaside walk the artist discovers a faded and abandoned artefact that might once have served as an information board for visitors from the mainland. The exhibition features a meticulous replica of the artefact made of locally felled birch deemed as unsuitable for carpentry purposes due to claimed quality issues caused by the unstable soil deposited on top of once barren sand dunes. The installation is created by assembling hollow timber segments that allow for artificial fog to travel through the structure, dispersing mist through its joints and cracks during the exhibition. Conversations at the local Environmental Physics and Chemistry Laboratory in Preila, and their measurements of particulate matter in the air shifted the gaze to the peninsula’s artificial source of water condensation, the local heating plant of Nida. A visit led to a series of photographs framed with chestnut wood previously cut down at the local municipality building. The glazing of each photograph is etched with plant parts of the local mountain pine, a pioneer plant suited for the unstable soil, marking the beginning of German colonial fantasies of taming the landscape. The plant has recently become undesirable in the territory of the national park and its uprooted cadaver fragments saturate the landscape. Under the right weather conditions, the steam escaping from the chimney of the local heating plant covers the town of Nida in a thick, white, swirling cloud. ‘How long will it take for the fog to settle? / How long will it take for the fog to lift?’ is part of a longer-term investigation of the artist that considers the forest systems of Central Eastern Europe and the Baltic as a reservoir of violent reconfigurations that created the material conditions for the Western European expansion. Moving between these territories they attempt to recreate this imaginary reservoir through the speculative, narrative use of sculpture, photography and writing and world-building experiments.
Márk Redele