Title: In Zu zelten, zu baden, Feuer zu machen (A temporary work, no longer on site)


Artist: Sebastian Burdach   Exhibition year: 2008

In Zu zelten, zu baden, Feuer zu machen, Sebastian Burdach juxtaposes long Steadicam imagery of German landscape with text fragments from Germany's environmental protection law. While the subject is land around Hamburg, the images can easily stand in for parts of Muskoka. A woman speaks in calm, monotone German while English subtitles are seen over images of late afternoon and evening, as the camera moves deliberately through trees and over land. At first the slow-moving text seems poetic: to camp/ to swim/ to make fire. But quickly the text becomes controlling and specific, with phrases describing forbidden activity within these natural sites: to pollute the forest/ to engage in motorsports, or/ to operate motor-powered sleds/ to operate sound playing devices/ to exploit, remove or bring in/ stones, gravel, sand, clay/ or other parts of terrain/ […] to build enclosures/ to put up or to attach posters, pictures or text boards/ […]. Burdach draws attention to the paradox of our protected natural spaces as in fact cultivated and highly controlled. It would seem that through our collective desires and expectations of how natural spaces should be preserved, we leave an inevitable mark, even when our goal is no mark at all. 
Kim Simon, "Wayfinding in the Dark" (The Tree Museum 2008)

Sebastian Burdach, born 1974 in Hamburg, Germany. Grew up in Munich. Burdack works with film/video and texts/language, is especially interested in human relationships to things, places, landscapes, and their medial representation.