Artist Talk. Belief and Productivity: A Ride in the Forest


Wednesday May 13 at 6pm
Belief and Productivity: A Ride in the Forest
Artist Talk with Edward Clydesdale Thomson

In conjunction with the exhibition Nothin’ Shakin’ but the Leaves on the Trees, artist Edward Clydesdale Thomson will talk about the process behind Belief and Productivity: A Ride in the Forest, which manifests itself in five sculptures commissioned for Marabouparken. This will be a presentation about Thomson’s exploration of the cultural history of Swedish forest use and a reflection on the nature of Marabouparken itself.

During an artist residency in Sweden in 2013–2014, Thomson participated in a researcher-led expedition to the country’s northern old growth forests where traces of older, cultural forestry were examined. Traces of this research can be found in the sculptures now standing on the large grass lawn in Marabouparken, where references, images and elements of historical forest use and the industrial-scale growing of spruces intermingle in the same body of work.

Thomson’s sculptures speak of the different roles the trees in the forests have played in Swedish culture as timber, capital and cultural environment. The work Belief and Productivity: A Ride in the Forest is also a reflection on the park as an ideological space. Marabouparken was laid out to give the illusion of a naturally emerged oasis – a place for physical and spiritual recreation that would also create a strong sense of connection to the company and thus further loyalty and productivity. This is where the ideas about Marabouparken and the Swedish forest start to overlap – as models of belief and productivity.

“The narrative of forestry use in Sweden can be read in spiritual, economic and moral terms that define the complex politics of our relation to land use. Notions of identity and the modernistic ideals of productivity produce a responsibility for ‘nature’ that pairs morality and capitalist ideals.”

– Edward Clydesdale Thomson


The Artist Talk will be held in English, admission 50 SEK.

Learn more about the exhibition Nothin’ Shakin’ but the Leaves on the Trees


Edward Clydesdale Thomson (b. 1982, Scottish/Danish artist based in Rotterdam) is a graduate of the MFA program at the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam and the BArch program at the Glasgow School of Art. He has been resident artist at Iaspis, Stockholm, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. Notable recent exhibitions include: 25 jaar Stadscollectie Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2013), The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter, Yeo Workshop, Singapore (2013), causa finalis, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam (2012), Secret Gardens, TENT, Rotterdam (2012), Prix de Rome 2011, SMART Project Space, Amsterdam (2011).