Interview with Edward Clydesdale Thomson

This interview is part of the LAND project, about climate breakdown, property, territory, and colonialism and how these things relate to each other. Can we understand how we got into the current precarious situation? What does “ownership” mean for our relationship with each other and the land?

Edward Clydesdale Thomson is a Scottish/Danish artist based in Rotterdam. Together with Priscila Fernandes, he is head of BEAR at ArtEZ. Land is a topic that keeps returning in his work. For Thomson, land is a narrative that can talk about all kinds of things in concrete political to more romantic ideas of some aesthetic values or social values. For him, it is a carrier through which he can press some particular topics. The work Thomson did in Sweden looked at the societal relation to land from cultural, sociological, ideological, and aesthetic perspectives. This period of work and research started during an extended stay in Stockholm when his attention turned to the Swedish forests. Commonly cast in the double-natured role of exploitable resource and cherished cultural symbol, the forest holds a central position within Swedish society. It is, however, seldom discussed as an aesthetic expression of a particular ideology.

Studium Generale

ArtEZ Studium Generale curates and organises gatherings, talks, training courses, podcasts and publications about the state of the arts and its relation to today’s challenges, ranging from immediate societal issues to bold abstract concepts, from climate crisis to identity issues. Our aim is relatively modest. We are not trying to change the world (but if that happens, cool!). Our wish is to create a space to ask probing questions, steer discussions and empower each other to face the future and our (artistic) role in it. Or to put it a bit less boldly, we invite you to get out of your bubble, engage in the debate, meet new people, discover new perspectives, and have a drink.