The Naturalis Brutalis
The installation Naturalis Brutalis is part of the exhibition Plots, Prints and Projections at the Venice Biennale 2018. The exhibition takes place in the greenhouse Serra dei Giardini and is the result of a collaboration between Swedish Wood, Architects Sweden, the Swedish Institute and Folkhem.
The context of the greenhouse with the tradition of exhibiting nature and the exhibition´s relation to the Swedish wood industry are two important references of the project.
The Naturalis Brutalis (currently with no common name in English nor Swedish) is a creature increasingly found in the forests of Sweden. Similar to rodents the Naturalis Brutalis has a brutal relationship with nature, but on rare occasions it shows an artistic interest. The Naturalis Brutalis and the plot of woodland exhibited in Serra dei Giardini were found in an evergreen forest outside of Luleå, Northern Sweden, in year 2015. The Naturalis Brutalis has frantically gnawed iconic pieces of architecture out of three pine trees (Pinus sylvestris).
In order to keep the Naturalis Brutalis settled, the inner walls of the freight box are mirror-clad to create the illusion of a vast pine forest.
Please do not feed the animal and be aware of its seductive nature.
Ulrika Karlsson (Curator): How did you use the greenhouse as a point of departure?
Konrad Krupinski: Greenhouses have a tradition of exhibiting nature, putting nature on display. We find that interesting and therefore also wanted to exhibit nature. Questions about what is real nature became inextricable. The ambigous relationship between the artificial and the real intrigues us. But also our relation to nature in terms of respect, exotism and mysticism. We wanted to investigate this tension through exhibiting it, framing it and crating it.
Katarina Krupinska: From the very beginning we didn´t want to exhibit an object. Instead we have been interested in having a narrative as a driving force. This approach has led us to the Naturalis Brutalis.
Konrad Krupinski: When we came into contact with the Naturalis Brutalis by chance, we found that its relationship with the Swedish pine forest summarizes the issues we identified as interesting.
Katarina Krupinska: Reality came to surpass fiction!
Ulrika Karlsson: Who is the Naturalis Brutalis?
Katarina Krupinska: The Naturalis Brutalis is increasingly present in Swedish forests and has developed a brutal, sometimes unscrupulous, relationship with its surrounding nature. It is dangerous even if it somethimes strives to be sympathetic.
Krupinski/Krupinska Arkitekter is an award-winning architecture studio based in Stockholm. Architects Konrad Krupinski and Katarina Krupinska founded the studio in 2015 and the body of work includes a wide range of projects in various scales including buildings, interiors and exhibitions. In 2017 the King´s Garden Pavilion, the result of an international competition, was erected in central Copenhagen and in 2018 the studio is nominated for the Swedish national design award Design S.