FRAUD, Fields of May, Witness Seminar, 2022
FRAUD, Fields of May, planting seeds, 2022
FRAUD, Fields of May, wood-patina treatment, 2022
FRAUD, Fields of May, 2022
FRAUD, Fields of May, 2022


9.-12.5. / 19.-26.5. / 2.-7.9.2022

Throughout 2022, FRAUD (Audrey Samson and Francisco Gallardo) visited Seili on several occasions to carry out parts of their multi-faceted project, Fields of May. In May, the duo took part in a production residency, which saw the construction of a communal seating area for the upcoming Witness Seminar event. Built from masts salvaged from the 19th century trade ship, the Sigyn, the structure makes reference to the present histories of the archipelago. FRAUD reflects that it “bear(s) witness to the transatlantic slave and timber trade as much as to the changing nature of Finnish forests.” The masts were transported from Turku to Seili by sea before being laid to rest horizontally outside the Archipelago Research Institute.

FRAUD returned in late May to host the Witness Seminar which saw a group of artists, biologists, a legal scholar and a fisherperson come together at the seating area – also referred to as ‘chair’ of the Witness Seminar – to discuss potential more-than-human legal ecologies and cosmologies. The event was structured following a format close to that of a witness seminar. FRAUD describes a witness seminar as “a punctual moment during which people with a specialised interest around a topic, issue of concern, or an event, gather and verbally exchange, discuss, and debate with the aim of advancing critical dialogue on the matter of address.” It began with the raising of a herring-inspired windsock on the institute’s flag pole, serving as reminder, as FRAUD puts it, to “follow the herring.”

The artists carried out their third and final visit to Seili in September 2022. Again, taking the format of a production residency, the visit provided FRAUD with an opportunity to bring their work on the island to a close. During their stay, they embedded salvaged seeds into the wooden structure, covered them with earth, and sealed them with a wood-patina treatment. It is hoped that, over time, the seeds will remain and grow in the soil bed created by the rotting wood. FRAUD reflects that this future garden of discarded botanical species is a collaboration with Lotta Petronella, “who salvaged some of the species from Seili’s Biodiversity Research Institute, along with herbarium specimens discarded by Turku University for no longer having ‘pedagogic value’.” Fields of May will remain on the island of Seili as a porous, permanent meeting place.

Read about the Fields of May commission on the CAA pages.

Visit the Fields of May online platform devised by FRAUD.