The nordic forest is a dark and intriguing place full of creatures such as trolls, Hulders, Nacken, Vittror, and fairies. Some are kind, some are seductive, and many of them are dangerous. One example that unites seductiveness and danger in a haunting way is the Skogsrå. A Skogsrå appears in the form of a beautiful woman with a hollow back and a tail, and she infatuates people on their way through the woods, luring them into the darkness. There are also stories about the Skogsrå rewarding those who become their lovers and satisfy them, killing those, who don’t. In any case, those who follow them into the forest are probably never to be seen again.
KVTV invites you into the secret garden of OADE for Lockrop, an installation piece by Anna Hjalmarsson, that explores the sound of allure and attraction in nature.
With Lockrop, Hjalmarsson has created an installation for the garden that is inspired by Scandinavian folk music, as well as archaic sounds from domestic environments of human habitation. The title refers to the Swedish word Lockrop that describes calls and singings that are used to allure or attract other living beings. Scandinavian folk music entails a rich tradition of sounds and instruments; some which are designed to communicate with animals as well as the spirit world.
Hjalmarsson explores these sounds that are inhabited by the tempting and yet menacing actuality of such callings: An animal might be allured for its beauty of its company but also to be used for sustenance, to be killed or scared off when regarded as a threat to human life. This corresponds to the animal world, where sounds are calls for mating or for attracting prey: An eerie affiliation, that is incorporated by mythological characters such as Skogsrå that represent this very uncanniness of real encounters.
As a practicing DJ, Hjalmarsson’s work draws from the allure and the uncanniness of the other in urban cohabitation: the garden is—like the club—a place of human desire: As a political as well as poetical setting it has incorporated many forms of human dreams, passing on from cultivation and being an important climatic resource for cities, to romantic, bucolic displays of nature.
In a spectrum that has alluring colors as well as deterring ones, Lockrop weaves flowery bands from the squatted garden to the dark clubs of the city. Replicating a state of growth and proliferation, the garden becomes a worshiped place of encounter, ease as well as longing. The installation is not based on a strict pattern but on a loose compound of sound, granting autonomy to the matter that is washed up. In a joint composition of spatially separated sound sources, the melodies merge and relate to each other, sometimes creating layers of harmony, invoking strangeness and moments of uncanniness as well as leaving space for silence and drift.
In the character of the Skogsrå the weird and alluring beauty of their appearance interferes with the everyday reality of cultivation and domestication of the world. In Hjalmarsson’s piece, the composition acts in complicity with the all-consuming nature that surrenders to the drift of soundmatter: taking on the shapes of found material, conjuring them to the dark and vivid concertation of a secret garden. Leaving space for those who want to rest and ponder. Alluring those in, who are intrigued to follow.
Text by Claire Dalle.
Writer and artist, based in NYC.
Biographie: Anna Hjalmarsson, who is based in Frankfurt with Swedish as well as Norwegian roots works with composition and sound design, grounded in a broad practice of artistic research. Coming from a background of punk and experimental music, Anna Hjalmarsson has in the last years established a decisive practice as a techno musician and DJ that is deeply bound to her artistic work. Spread throughout a series of artistic and poetic approaches, Hjalmarsson’s soundwork is in a constant exchange with the debris fields of memory and the mythologies that inhabit matter: The tracing and invoking of buried, faded, forlorn sounds, are a recurring source of her musical artworks, seeking out memories, interweaving them with the material contemporary.
In her latest project Echoes from the Club — a project realized during the pandemic — Hjalmarsson entered the empty spaces of Robert Johnson in Frankfurt for a set of field recordings that collected lost sounds and traces of noise from the space, mounting them into a set of samples and loops.
Sound installation: 3 - 9 October 4 - 8 pm
Finissage: 9 October - from 4 pm, Leon Joskowitz in conversation with Anna Hjalmarsson
Location: Grüne Lunge, Friedberger Landstraße 332, 60389 Frankfurt am Main
Curated by KVTV
Funded by Musikfonds e.V. by means of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM), as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR recovery programme and Kulturamt Frankfurt a.M.