Friendly, Rune Bosse welcomes me into his tightly packed 10 square meters atelier. Shelves, floor, and walls are adorned with signs of his curiosity and fascination of nature and botany. It smells of creativity and passion. I carefully walk by various ongoing projects and place myself in an Earth-green ragged armchair. He offers me a cup of instant-coffee, and ask if I use milk, I answer yes, and Rune rows up for the milk, which is placed between the windows, his own alternative refrigerator. I’m wondering what he does in the Summer in 30-degrees heat. He rolls a fag and he begins to talk about his first steps into the world of art.
Rune Bosse is a young artist studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He commutes currently back and forth between Copenhagen and Berlin, but has his roots in the small southern Zealand town Præstø. He believes that art is similar to science, but without the requirement for various scientific qualitative and quantitative factual investigations. Rune has always been fascinated by and curious about nature, from a very young age in the home town surrounded by forests, fields and Præstø fjord. Eight years ago he started his studies at Krabbesholm Arts College. After a time of frustration, with no creative ideas, he went outside into the nature. Here, he experienced ideas bursting into in his mind like never before.
“There is something in nature that I think we can all relate to, we all originates from nature, and we are still a part of it. But we move, perhaps, further away from it. Things are extremely simple in nature, and I think there is a great need of the simple in the society we live in today. We end up making things much more complicated than they are, and are constantly looking for new solutions to things. But people do not know that sometimes solutions are just in front of their feet, we just need to remember to look down.”
How was it to start at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts?
Rune Bosse: Coming in here was like a maze, it’s a wild place. There weren’t all these tasks assigned to me anymore, and I had to begin to realise how I worked and what really interested me. No one told me what to do. It is a little difficult, but makes very good sense. Nor is there anyone who tells you what to do when you’re done, and get out into the real world. I might as well learn it from day one. But I think that around a half year went by before I made some art at all, I had no idea where to start and where to end.
How was it to work in your overgrown atelier?
Rune Bosse: It was basically the same room as this, just three floors higher up. It was my first project at the Academy. I was empty of ideas and had not done anything for six months. Then I made the association to my previous loss of creativity. I had always gone for a walk outside to find inspiration. I would also like to feel at home here in my studio so I thought that I could bring the outside inside. I started to pour out soil into 5 cm, on all surfaces, floor, table, the shelves, all over. Then I started to spread the seeds out, and I started to see them sprout. It was probably also a form of physical attachment of the process. I wanted the same sprouting to happen within myself and mind. But eventually I stopped watering the plants. It was about both to see plants sprout and grow, but also see them wither and die, the whole process was important. Death is also a part to the cycle of life. Both are important. The fascination in nature is not only that it grows, but also dies to be resurrected again and again.
Rune has also studied at artist Olafur Eliasson in Berlin at the Institut Für Raumexperimente in two and a half years. Here he travelled a lot, and Olafur taught Rune how important it sometimes is to get out of the patterns and the system you are part of. To get away and experience something different, and be able to look back on yourself and your work from another perspective.
Is there any particular story you can tell from some of your many travels around the world?
Rune Bosse: I have just returned from Venice, and I have made a project that has been going on for 3 years now. Every time I cross a border, I dig a hole in the ground. I fill the hole with soil from the past country I’ve travelled to. Currently, I have 6-7 kg of soil from Venice. The hole I dug in Venice is now filled up with soil from USA. Venice was the 16th country I’ve been to in this project. It’s a very simple little act that has many things to it. There are people who think it’s political, in relation to the fact that I’m mixing the countries together and swap them around. There is something quite natural in the act, as I see it. Animals have in millions of years been eating food in one place, then wandered as nomads. Birds eat fruits with seeds in Denmark, and fly next to, perhaps, Africa and leave bird droppings. Then a new plant starts growing, and all this is a natural part of evolution. We take something with us, and we leave something behind. It is also a way to make a mark on the world. A symbolic act of what you experience when you see and meet a new place where you exchange opinions and views on life. You put an imprint on the people you meet and the country you visit. The project is also an archive of where I’ve been in the world, and I have saved a very small sample of a few grams of each country’s soil.
What are your thoughts behind “Moments” and are you still collecting plants?
Rune Bosse: When I started the project, I gathered every day for three months. It ended last year, and since then I have only made bottles for special occasions or a special moment I needed to remember. It has become a way to try to develop a system to store experiences, feelings or moments. We live in a world where our sense of vision is totally over-stimulated and almost overshadows the other senses we have, where the images are the main straight way we store things. If you want to remember something, you’ll take a picture and put it away in some sort of electronic devise. That’s why I got interested in how I could develop a system to save both emotion and feeling of space and light. I was curious if I could save experiences in an object where all things and senses were equally connected. Memories are quite a fun size. It is not a solid form and changes all the time. We remember them different time to time, it is very unmanageable, they are difficult to maintain. Some of the plants in the bottle are eventually dissolved. You can still sense that it is a plant, but at some point it becomes totally degraded and turns to dust. It’s a bit ironic that I have tried to save a memory which will then be dissolved again. Some of the plants are stronger than other plants, so some exist for a longer time than others, just like the memories in our brains.
Rune is still working with several botanical studies of nature, and especially time plays a bigger role in his upcoming projects. He is in the process of building a growing machine. A seed needs to grow big enough so it can hit a mechanism that would provide water for a new seed. In another project he jumps around a tree to catch the leaves falling from the Autumn affected trees, and then note the time and place for catching them. Rune is also working on his graduation project, which will be shown this Summer when he is finished at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts. See more of his work here.