‘What should have remained secret, has come to light’ is a group exhibition showing work by eleven artist from Denmark, Sweden, Germany, UK and the US. There is an unsettling and ambiguous undercurrent running through their work.
The Freudian term ‘Das Unheimliche’ - which could have been translated as ‘un-homely’ but in English is coined ‘The Uncanny’- is a shared reference point. It describes a feeling of something being strange and at the same time strangely familiar, triggering a feeling of discomfort when something “once well known” can take the form of either repressed desires or even something monstrous.
Despite the aesthetic and stylistic particularities of each of the artists, the works share common traits. The artists demonstrate a material sensitivity as well as challenging photography as an art form and exploring unconventional subject matters. At first glance the girls in Diana Scherer’s work appear lifeless, pinned to the floor like dummies. Later, when we start to go deeper into the images, we realise that they are full of life. One could have been the girl as a grown up in Mette Bersang’s video piece. The girl, who still experiences something which is holding her back in a submissive, flirtatious state of mind, interacts with a potted plant as her counterpart. Can she, as the women in Esther Teichmann’s work, step out of the stone from which she is carved and explore her desires and dreams? These works are enchanting, playful and also deeply disquieting.
Louise Bøgelund Saugmann digs in our unconscious and plays with our perception in the piece Umbilical Cord. Her subject matter examines a bodily personal memory; this is in contrast to Christopher Landin who plays on historical collective memory, but also wonders why we tend to forget the person who used the object and why we want to refer all archaeological objects to
society as a whole. Landin blends sculpture with photography and creates an illusion of an imagined happening. Landin’s surreal work sits next to Jenny Nordquist’s found archival news footage which is blown up and explores how we build our lives on shaky foundations.
Guler Ates creates a different visual allusion, when in her veiled ghost-like form she takes us back in history to the nostalgia between East and West, Colonialism, lust and decay.
This playfulness with our mind is an in intriguing common theme in this exhibition. What do we find when we start digging deeper? Is it all just repressed madness, or does Simone Alexanda Ærsøe‘s piece Claustrum act as the conductor? The beautiful glass structures stand rock hard to help the work play in harmony and to hinder a cacophony of thought. The Claustrum coordinates us and gives us a seamless quality of conscious experience. Signe Vad’s existential work shows that it’s all in our own hands. Instead of victimising oneself, becoming stuck when digging in our subconscious, we can take responsibility for our own actions as well as circumstance.
The uncanny theme running trough the exhibition is not just present within the subject matter of the works but also within photography as a medium. The photograph is a reality (in itself) that represents a reality and exists within reality. It is also the past existing within the present, and this can produce an unnerving effect. The photographs in Honey Biba Beckerlee’s work question if we might get a glimpse of parallel universes in the parallel images of stereoscopy. Alana Lake uses pre-existing images to create her photographs of a photograph. The images distance the viewer from the artificiality of the zoo (these animals would not naturally be found there), yet she places them within a frame and combines two realities in one image.
It is this duality of realities, illusions, actions, desires and unexplained happenings that come together to create an exhibition with the presence of something threatening, tempting and unknown, but also something familiar and homely.
KONTORprojects is curating a show at Fotogalleriet [format] in Malmö
What should have remanied secret, has come to light
9 AUGUST- 7 SEPTEMBER 2014 PRIVATE VIEW 8 AUGUST 17-20
Exhibitiong artists: Guler Ates (TR/UK), Honey Biba Beckerlee (DK) Mette Bersang (DK), Louise Bøgelund Saugmann (DK), Alana Lake (UK), Christopher Landin (SE/DK), Jenny Nordquist (SE/DK), Diana Sherer (DE/NE), Esther Teichmann (DE/USA), Signe Vad (DK), Simone Alexandra Ærsøe (DK).
Fotogalleriet [format] is situated in Mazettihuset at Friisgatan 15B,
214 21, Malmö.
wed-fri 14-18, sat & sun 13-16
How to get there:
Train run every 10-20 min from Copenhagen to Triangeln, Malmö.
The gallery is a 4 min walk from the station.