Lena Dobrowolska
& Teo Ormond-Skeaping

by #ClosedButActive

Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, Concow Lake, Butte County, California, 2020
Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, Burnt truck, White Water Saloon, Paradise, Butte County, California, 2019
Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, Sam’s Liquor, Paradise, Butte County, California, 2019
Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, PG&E power cables near camp creek road, Concow, Butte County, California, 2019
Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, Derrick’s phone, Magalia Community Church Resource & Recovery Center, Butte County, California, 2019
Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, #California, 2019
Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, Clothes, Magalia Community Church Resource & Recovery Center, Butte County, California, 2019
Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, Canned goods and bread, Magalia Community Church Resource & Recovery Center, Butte County, California, 2019
Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, Denis, Magalia Community Church Resource & Recovery Center, Butte County, California, 2019
Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, Melted newspaper box, Paradise, Butte County, California, 2019
Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, Derrick’s Tattoo, Magalia Community Church Resource & Recovery Center, Butte County, California, 2019

In their long-term project Future Scenarios (since 2016) Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping examine questions such as the responsibility for global warming and our vulnerability to it as well as the role that discourse plays in shaping our future. Since their exhibition at KUNST HAUS WIEN, the Polish-British artist duo has further developed their multimedia project and added new material. For #ClosedButActive, Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping share with us a selection of new photographic works that were taken in California after the devastating forest fires. 

FUTURE_SCENARIOS_LENA_DOBROWOLSKA_&_TEO_ORMOND-SKEAPING_FT_08Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, Bob and Georgia, Magalia Community Church Resource & Recovery Center, Butte County, California, 2019 © Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping

Future Scenarios: The Vulnerability of the Responsible

The 2018 Camp Fire (named after Camp Creek Road, its place of origin) was the deadliest and most destructive wild fire in Californian history. Exacerbated by a climate change intensified severe drought of 10 years, the fire spread rapidly through grass and forested landscape before becoming an urban firestorm in the densely populated foothill town of Paradise. According to official figures, 86 people died in the fire, burning a total of 153,336 acres of land. As a result of the fire consuming buildings and vehicles, environmental contaminants such as asbestos, petrol, heavy metals, arsenic, and dioxins now pollute the burnt communities and their drinking water infrastructure. 

Edited single channel extract from Future Scenarios, 2020 © Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping 

As federal support for fire victims dries up many of those that have no financial means to relocate have returned to Paradise to live in RV’s, tents or cars and as a result are being exposed to contaminates. Initially established as a Red Cross distribution centre when the town first reopened The Magalia Community Church Resource & Recovery Center unwittingly found itself at the focal point of community efforts to shelter, feed and shower those that had returned. 

Through climate exacerbated wild fires, hurricanes and flooding the people of the US routinely suffer significant losses and damages. As the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses and a political opponent to meaningful climate action the US is continuing to compound its own vulnerability to climate change.  

KHW_INSTALL_FUTURE_SCEANRIOS_7Future Scenarios, three-channel-video-installation, exhibition view, KUNST HAUS WIEN 2019 © Teo Ormon-Skeaping

Further recommendations concerning the work of Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping: