The Norwegian artist Fredrik Raddum is famous for his fantastic figurative sculpture and art installations, often exploring topics within the political context. His most recent collection of bronze sculptures of Raddum, titled Hacienda Paradise – Utopia Experiment, has been exhibited at the beginning of the year 2017 at the Galleri Brandstrup of Oslo, and it talks about a story of almost a century ago called “Galápagos Affair”.
The Galápagos Affair
Looking for his own Eden, a group of Europeans tired of the Western world they lived in left their homeland to move to the Galápagos, in the early 30’s. The first to come to the island were Friedrich Ritter and his lover, Dore Strauch, who settled in the farthest island, Floreana. Some time later the family Wittmer came by too, made by 3 people and the baroness Eloise von Wagner Bosquet with 2 companions, John Garth and Rolf Blomberg.
It didn’t take much time before the baroness and one of her lovers mysteriously disappeared
Raddum’s sculptures try to represent such an episode, from the surreal and cryptic circumstances. One of the artworks show a man dragged away by a crow, while another woman lays her feet on top of 2 human heads and breaths out some odd solid golden liquid. The shell of a gigantic tortoise represents the legend of the Floreana Tortoise, able to read the mind of the visitors. In the sculpture, the shell is utilised as a recess for a fire.
Below: a woman steps on 2 men and exhales an odd golden fluid
Below: the tortoise shell is utilised as a recess for a fire
Below: the fire inside the tortoise shell
Below: leave here your weapons
The artist described his series by affirming:
We can change environment, but we can’t run away from ourselves
If you are passionate about mysteries and murders, check the trailer that follows extracted by “The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden” which includes 4 minutes of a film starring the migrants of Floreana titled “The Empress of Floreana”.