Arrangement (Golds)

Found frames, tarpaulin, eyelets, framed poster borrowed from the Dalsbruk public library, work glove, round bells, dragon egg by Lisa Roberts, book (Gold by Susan La Niece, The British Museum Press, 2009), video (Golds, 11m 44s, no audio)


Developed in residency in southwest Finland, between Örö Island, a former military fortress turned protected national park, and the harbor village of Dalsbruk with a long history of steel industry. This group of work was exhibited by the harbor and in Dalsbruk’s Glashyttan glass workshop and museum with special thanks to glassblowers Jarl Hohenthal and Jonatan Adolfsson, librarians Eija Sjöblom, Paula Puikko-Laakso and Susanna Aarva, and artist Lisa Roberts.

By the time Spanish colonizers arrived in 1521 in the archipelago they would name the Philippines, my ancestors had already been wearing and trading gold for more than five hundred years. “Oro” means “gold” in Spanish; unfamiliar with its Swedish meaning (which I later learned means “island of small stones”), “Örö” meant the color and element when I first read its name.

I learned there is gold in the ocean, suspended, diluted in seawater, 13 billionths of a gram per liter, only a grain per hundred million metric tons, but it is there, an estimated 20 million pounds in total, and many have tried to mine it since the 1872 discovery but this remains beyond human capability. There and nowhere.

We Meet at the Seaside
Örö Residency Programme and group exhibition curated by Erica Yu Wen Huang and Nina-Maria Oförsagd
Dalsbruk, Finland
31 Aug - 30 Sept 2019