ELISE RASMUSSEN (CA, 1977)
Residency period: July-September 2019
The Year Without a Summer (work in progress) takes its title from a phenomenon that occurred in the summer of 1816 wherein many parts of the world experienced extreme weather conditions. Dramatic storms and colourful skies inspired Romantic art as witnessed in works by J.M.W. Turner and Caspar Friedrich, while poor harvests, economic decline and civil unrest influenced Mary Shelley’s writing of Frankenstein during a summer spent near Lake Geneva. A century and a half later, it was discovered that the eruption of Mount Tambora on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia had caused this erratic shift in the world’s weather patterns, triggering a famine in Switzerland and speculation that the world was about to end. Using this historical framework as a provocation, The Year Without a Summer examines the effects of this environmental anomaly, finding parallels with our current climate crises, while intertwining diary accounts of Mary Shelley and her circle, Sumbawan folklore, and my own reflections while travelling to that same volcano and lake during the hottest summer on record.
Trained at the School of Institute of Art of Chicago, Elise Rasmussen is a research-based artist working in photography, video and performance. In her practice, she assumes the role of an investigator to uncover lesser-known stories in an attempt to challenge hegemonic thought from a feminist perspective. She has exhibited, performed and screened her work internationally and took part in many artist residency programs.
"The Year Without a Summer"
16mm film transferred to HD Video
2019 - courtesy of the artist