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rcaaq.org / bookstore / Artist books / EMERGENCY WEATHER

Series :   Les portables
Publisher :   DAZIBAO
Publication editor  : France Choinière
Artist(s) : Ulrika Ferm
64 pages, black and white reproductions (duotone), hardcover, 2009
ISBN :  978-2-922135-33-6

Between 1939 and 1946, under the Emergency Powers Act, Ireland found itself immersed in fog. In order to demonstrate its neutrality during World War II, the Irish government censored, along with a host of other things, all meteorological information. Naturally, this measure was intended to avoid the inopportune arrival of military aircraft or ships on Irish soil, but it was also a way of avoiding to commit, an acceptable way of not choosing sides.


Drawing from the archives of the National Library of Ireland and from various Irish newspapers, Ulrika Ferm attempts to recreate a statistical register of the meteorological conditions of the time. Magnificent misty landscapes and snatches of news items come together in a way that discloses a number of factual elements without explaining them in any specific way. Born of an enquiry into the nature and role of censorship, Ferm’s research raises a crucial issue for our hyper-informed era, that of the suppression and subsequent disappearance of information.


Ferm's work, underpinned by a subtle narrative and particularly interested in forgotten, neglected or unexplained historical phenomena, slips between what these documents reveal and what they recount. Emergency Weather takes on a hybrid quality, existing as both document and fiction.


Ulrika Ferm is a Finnish artist who lives and works in Berlin and Vaasa. She completed an M.A. at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki and a Meisterschüler at the Berlin University of the Arts in 2001. Since 1999, her work has been seen in several solo and group exhibitions in Europe and in 2002 she won the Young Artist of the Year Award, given by Finland’s Tampere Art Museum. Dazibao presented her work for the first time in North America in 2008 with the exhibition Emergency Weather, whose concerns this publication continues to explore.


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