I’m Thinking About This Whole World; Clouds Below, Space Above
Video, 33 min
I’m thinking about this whole world; clouds below, space above, 2020, by Tora Wallander is screened in the SSE Atrium from May 15 to June 30 2021. The video is part of the exhibition Handels x Mejan.
Handels x Mejan is an exhibition presenting four newly graduated master students from The Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm (also known as Mejan in Sweden) at the SSE Campus. The exhibition is curated by the students from SSE student organisation Art Division.
In I’m thinking about this whole world; clouds below, space above Tora Wallander explores creation myths and eschatologies, both religious and scientific, in a video that borrows its form from nature documentaries. By playing with the fictionalization of nature present in the genre and its misleading appearance of objectivity, the artist shows how the critical question of the planet’s survival lies in the hands of humans.
The work places itself in relation to the movement of Big History, an academic discipline that examines history from the Big Bang to the present, exploring human history in the context of a bigger picture. In the film, Tora Wallander brings together stories about the beginning and the end - of life, earth, and the universe, of its creation and eventual destruction.
Cosmologies and the stories around them have been created as attempts to understand the world, many of them as theories to be tested and proven. But instead of testing these theories on their merits of truth, the film urges us to consider what their consequences are to our lives when understood as tales, while showing us that these stories are malleable and can change. The human mind is well attuned to stories. Stories shape our thoughts, which in turn shape our actions, which shape the world. This is a call to pay attention to the stories that shape our world!
Tora Wallander (born 1991) works with video and installation, exploring mankind’s present and historical relation to nature. The works oscillate between fact and fiction and are based on thorough research, where real events and phenomena result in a more speculative narrative. Tora Wallander graduated from The Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm in 2020.
Voice-over by Donna Bayliss
Excerpts from Dvořák - Symphony no. 9 in E minor, ‘From the New World’ Op. 95 by Symphony Orchestra, Used under CC BY-SA 3.0
Excerpt from Dvořák - In Nature's Realm, Op. 91 by European Archive, Used under CC BY 3.0
Excerpt from Genesis (King James version) read by Apollo 8 crew
Excerpt from Rigveda 10.129 (Abridged, Tr: Kramer / Christian)