DANIEL PELTZ - Seeking an Any Thing from an uncertain time in the ruins of Rejmyre's future
On a mild day, in early spring, in the year 2000, a group of people gathered on the still frozen Lake Hunn, just a few kilometers east of the Reijmyre Glasbruk in Östergötland, Sweden. The Reijmyre Glasbruk first opened its doors in 1810 and is one of the few remaining sites of refuge for Swedish glass production. The assembled group cut a hole in the ice, slipped into the water and pulled out a series of artifacts buried in the silty bottom of the lake. These included glass products, produced at some uncertain period in the factory’s history, and pieces of a linbana vagn [cable car cart]. The linbana was an early transport system that connected the glass factory town of Rejmyre, located deep in the forest that fueled its furnaces, to the railway station in Simonstorp. At some point in time, this cart went astray and jumped off its rail, falling to the bottom of the lake with its cargo. Recognizing the historic importance of this event, the members of the Rejmyre Historical Society made a short video documenting the proceedings and displayed the objects they found, and the video they made, in a glass case in the Rejmyre Historical Museum.
On an unusually cold summer day, the American artist Daniel Peltz went to work at the Reijmyre Glasbruk. He was there as part of a guest-worker program, of his own design, aimed at enlisting a group of artists in ‘thinking labor’ inside the Reijmyre Glass factory, under a particular set of conditions, by making ‘products of and about labor’. In the afternoon, with the assistance of two of the glass workers in the factory, he made a new product: Any Thing.
Product Description: Any Thing made to be lost and perhaps later found perhaps in early spring perhaps when the ice is still thick and clear.
The Any Thing, made of glass plates, a steel frame and a clear vinyl recording, found its way into a display case in the Rejmyre Historical Museum that housed the glass and metal objects found during the earlier excavation of the Hunn. After a few months in this state, Peltz took the Any Thing back to the site on the Hunn, where the other objects in the case had been found, and slipped it back into history.
On a mild day in early spring in the year 2017, a group of people gather on the still frozen Hunn lake outside of Rejmyre, Sweden. They cut a hole in the ice, enter the water and pull out a series of artifacts buried in the silty bottom. One of them is the Any Thing, ready to be opened and played. Over the surface of Lake Hunn, to the forest beyond, the Any Thing releases its sounds [extracted from an eco-tourism video posted to Youtube] of a small herd of now unemployed logging elephants laboring in the teak forests of Burma. This acoustic call launches the next stage in Peltz’ research, a plan to bring a small herd of these unemployed logging elephants from Burma to Rejmyre, to think, to imagine and to build a refuge for them in this site of historic refuge.
Peltz offers this performance as a presentation of over a decade of research in Rejmyre. His work attempts to think the space between a struggling Swedish glass factory/craft tourism site, the small factory town surrounding it that is coming to terms with its new status as a refuge for newly arrived immigrants, his own immigration to the site and the forest and lakes that surround them all.
Installation artists 2011 - now