Helene Schmitz, Thinking Like a Mountain / Thinking Like a Mountain (2017)
Helene Schmitz’s latest photographic investigations explore humanity’s impact on the environment. Her exhibition at Fotografiska New York will feature a selection of work from her series Thinking Like a Mountain (2018) and Kudzu Project (2013). Earlier projects have focused on the aggressive and sometimes fragile relationship between nature and human beings, one that is spiraling out of control. Kudzu Project shows the ongoing destruction that began after a climbing vine (Pueraria lobata) was brought overseas from its native home in Japan. Once planted in the United States, the eponymous plant became an invasive species with dire consequences for industrial and ecological infrastructures in the American South. Thinking Like a Mountain sheds light on the relationship between the ownership and exploitation of natural resources in Sweden and Iceland.
Helene Schmitz, Aesthetics of Violence / Thinking Like a Mountain (2017)
Helene Schmitz studied at Stockholm University, graduating with a BA in Film and Art History. Her work has been presented in solo shows at numerous venues in Sweden including Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde (2018), Skellefteå Konsthall (2017), Fotografiska, Stockholm (2011, 2016), Dunkers Kulturhus, Helsingborg (2015), Kristinehamns Konstmuseum (2012), and Galleri Leger, Malmö (2007). She has participated in several group exhibitions, including Away A Way, Landskrona Museum (2018); Struktur, Avesta Art, Avesta (2016); and Another Story, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2011).
Schmitz is active internationally and has shown work at Turn Gallery, New York (2015, 2017); Herbarium Fotografi og Botanik, Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen (2017); Willas Contemporary, Oslo, QPN #19 CHAOS, Nantes, France (2015); Art’15, London (2015); Galerie Maria Lund, Paris (2013, 2016); Maison de la Photographie, Lille (2010); and Centre Culturel Suèdois in Paris (2007).
Schmitz’s artistic oeuvre has also been featured in several award-winning books including Thinking Like a Mountain (2018), Borderlands (2015), Ur Regnskogens Skugga (2011), System och Passion (2007) and Blow Up (2003). Both Blow Up and Ur Regnskogens Skugga were nominated for the August Award. System och Passion has been translated into English (A Passion for Systems), French, and Japanese.
Her work is represented in many prominent collections, including The Danish Agency for Culture, Denmark; the National Public Art Council, Sweden; Oslo Municipality, Norway, Moderna Museet, Sweden; the SEB Collection, Sweden; the Cultural Administration of the Stockholm County Council, Sweden; and in a variety of Swedish and international private collections.
Helene Schmitz, Turnings of Fire
“In Thinking Like a Mountain, I wanted to portray the violent transformation of nature in the European periphery in our time. In my life, I have experienced that the concept of wilderness, and virgin land untouched by humans, has disintegrated. My photographs can be seen as a meditation on man’s relation to nature – a global, highly industrialized and automated transformation of landscapes. ” –Helene Schmitz