Ceremony: To Burn, Forest, Fire

As part  of the World Weather Network, a collaborative weather reporting project with 28 arts organisations from around the world —we join Helsinki-based IHME by hosting a brief incense-burning ceremony initiated by artist Katie Paterson.

To Burn, Forest, Fire explores the scent of the first and last forests on Earth through the creation of bespoke incense sticks. The artwork employs the senses to cultivate an intimate, intuitive experience that aims to transport participants through time as a reminder of the increasing levels of extinction caused by humanity. 

To Burn, Forest, Fire is taking place at 15 arts organisations within the World Weather Network. From Dubai to Seoul to Lagos to Dhaka and beyond, participants are welcome to join us and hear a few words about our planet’s forests. Following this, the invitation is to pause, witness and internalize the scent of the incense sticks burning, and what they reveal about the Earth.

This ceremony takes place at Jameel Arts Centre, which acts as Art Jameel’s weather station. The station is located in the desert gardens, the Jameel Library and public spaces, where we explore atmospheric humidity, a central climatic marker of the Arabian Gulf, accompanied by on-site air-to-water generators, providing visitors with fresh drinking water and insights into daily humidity and weather conditions.

IHME Helsinki commissions works of contemporary art that unite the worlds of art, science and climate change mitigation. Each year, IHME produces a public artwork and a series of events that offer a vision and hope amid the environmental crisis. IHME’s core activity is the annual staging of a new artwork, together with an artist and Finnish and foreign partners, in public space in Finland and abroad.The organisation’s work is possible with the support from Pro Arte Foundation Finland, Kone Foundation and Saastamoinen Foundation in 2020-22.  IHME Helsinki Commission 2022 is created by Indian artist Amar Kanwar.

Katie Paterson. b. 1981, Scotland.

Collaborating with scientists and researchers across the world, Katie Paterson’s projects consider our place on Earth in the context of geological time and change. Her artworks make use of sophisticated technologies and specialist expertise to stage intimate, poetic and philosophical engagements between people and their natural environment. Combining a Romantic sensibility with a research-based approach, conceptual rigour and coolly minimalist presentation, her work collapses the distance between the viewer and the most distant edges of time and the cosmos. Katie Paterson has exhibited internationally, from London to New York, Berlin to Seoul, and her works have been included in major exhibitions including at: the Hayward Gallery and Tate Britain, London; Kunsthalle Wien; MCA Sydney; Guggenheim Museum, New York; and The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. She was winner of the Visual Arts category of the 2014 South Bank Awards, and is an Honorary Fellow of Edinburgh University.

Banner image: IHME Helsinki commission 2021, Katie Paterson, To Burn, Forest, Fire, Photo: Veikko Somerpuro.



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June 21, 2022 - June 21, 2024

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