Time Glade

Artist: patrik aarnivaara Tags: Permanent art

Time Glade (Tidsglänta in Swedish) offers itself as a kind of observatory, a glass pavilion situated on an elevated deck. Rather than facilitating binocular vision and producing a unified view of its site, however, the triangular fenestration of the work presents fragmented and constantly shifting images that are not comprehensible from a single position, nor exactly reproducible upon return visit.

Time Glade invites visitors to construct visual narratives about the piece’s surroundings, which include a biogas plant, tanks, lagoons and pastures. The glass panes are mirrored and tinted red, creating both an immersive environment when experienced from within and a crystalline appearance from afar. The mirroring film creates a double reflection that is not crisp, thereby encouraging visitors to move closer to improve their focus. Panning side – side as well as zooming forward and back, viewers may interact with the piece almost as if it were a stable, multi-lensed movie camera.

In fact, Patrik Aarnivaara’s work is rife with cinematic references: one may think of the hall of mirrors scene from The Lady from Shanghai or the interior architecture of the futuristic city in Beyond the Time BarrierTime Glade also powerfully recalls J.G. Ballard’s novel, The Crystal World, in which a fallen meteorite inexplicably causes a lush tropical jungle to slowly transform into a frozen tableau of translucent prisms.

Establishing a point of view thus becomes a physical, associative, and conceptual experience in Time Glade. For Aarnivaara, the work “visualizes an idea for a meeting place where different perspectives and approaches jointly form the basis for a diverse research environment” appropriate to its placement at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. In another sense, the work functions as a complex sundial, charting celestial movement and mapping it onto the landscape. Time Glade’s temporal aspects will unfold as the years pass, reflecting the fortunes and seasons of its location.

Robin Clark