KNOWING ME KNOWING YOU
Curated by Void & Co., Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxi, Bregenz, Austria (2019)
In Your Shower Of Light, My Shadow Dries Out, 2019,
photographic laser engraving, acrylic on canvas, 56 x 31,5 cm.
Everything Is Present, 2019,
photographic laser engraving, acrylic on canvas, 58 x 31,5 cm.
I Saw It, You Opened It, 2019,
photographic laser engraving, acrylic on canvas, 46,5 x 25,5 cm.
Relieved, I Meet You, 2019,
photographic laser engraving, acrylic on canvas, 28x20 cm.
Snow blinded I See Your Silhouette, 2019
photographic laser engraving, acrylic on canvas, 35,5 x 32,5 cm.
You Provoke Me, I Happily Enter, 2019,
photographic laser engraving, acrylic on canvas, 28x21 cm.
You Swim, I Float, 2019,
photographic laser engraving, acrylic on canvas, 33x20 cm.
Your Ice Face Empowers My Glaze, 2019,
photographic laser engraving, acrylic on canvas, 32x24,5 cm.
Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn & Taxis and Void & Co. present
KNOWING ME KNOWING YOU
13.04 - 12.05.19
Hesselholdt & Mejlvang (DK) / Tiril Hasselknippe (NO) / Ahmed Umar (NO) /
Jeff Olsson (SE) / Maria Meinild (SE) / Ditte Knus Tønnesen (DK) /
Ronja Svaneborg (DK)
The exhibition title Knowing Me Knowing You, refers to the well-known ABBA-song of the same name, which for many awakens associations to the idea of the stereotypical Scandinavian. The title and the song also leads us to think about the unavoidable fact that one knows others through oneself. By encountering the idea of the Scandinavian from a mid-European perspective this exhibition looks into how language, culture and traditions are formative of our thinking and perception. What is national identity? To what extent is this identity built upon expectations from our surroundings? And to what degree can or should our expectations be altered?
The exhibition consists of works by artists from Sweden, Norway and Denmark and presents works in a variety of media; for example video, sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. The majority of the involved artists have experience of being a foreigner and obtaining knowledge of intercultural everyday life. Common to all invited artists is that they challenge our expectations of their own story.
When approaching the exhibition, the first thing encountering the visitor is an unusual and unknown flag hanging from the balcony of Künstlerhaus. The works ‘Nationless Flag’ and ‘Native, Exotic, Normal/State of Emergency’ on show by Hesselholdt & Mejlvang question our stereotypical and normative thinking regarding ethnicity, nationality and looks. Ahmed Umar’s work ‘Identitet. Brodert’ (Identity. Embroidered), visually depicts the ongoing pursuit of belonging and cultural fidelity, in a folk costume in which elements from Norway and Sudan are merged. In the installation ‘Faraway in time, space or sentiment’, Ronja Svaneborg follows the methodology of the diorama, the kind found in natural history museums depicting frozen sections of distant cultures or fauna, addressing how the preconceived conceptions, with which we tend to meet each other, typically build on an insignificant base of knowledge and insight. Tiril Hasselknippe’s balcony series gives associations to a lost civilisation where the original function of the balcony is no longer relevant. Set in a context of the very real post-societal conditions manifested in the refugee crisis, Hasselknippe reflects on the division of resources, rights, space and freedom, uncovering dystopia in our present. In Maria Meinild’s video installation ‘A HUM’, puppeteers and objects are seen together in choreographed movements, inspired by psychodrama; a form of group therapy that utilises elements of theatre and roleplay. The work explores the borders between the self and the other, and between human and non-human. The works of Jeff Olsson mixes the traditional national romantic image of Swedish culture with a strong American flavour that stems from the history of migration to North America during the 19th Century, altering one’s view on Swedish folklore. Inspired by the Nordic painters’ landscape imagery, Ditte Knus Tønnesen hunts the idea of the sublime, followed by the enlightenment of nature’s petrifying brutality and dramatic power, in a hybrid between painting and photography.
Void & Co. is a curatorial and artistic collaboration between curator Silja Leifsdóttir (IS/NO), and visual artists Ditte Knus Tønnesen (DK) and Ronja Svaneborg (DK), founded in Copenhagen 2018, ten years ader the trio graduated from The Glasgow School of Art, Scotland. In their collaboration they place thematic emphasis on visual perception and social structures.
The exhibition is Kindly supported by Nordisk Kulturfond and Grosserer L.F. Foghts Fond
Ditte Knus Tønnesen works with photography in a field between image and spatial construction. She tests, questions and expands the medium through a variety of different techniques and traditions – often creating a conversation between handmade and digital embodied though antiquated and contemporary techniques.
For this exhibition Tønnesen shows new work in a hybrid between painting and photography. Through working with photographic montage using a laser engraving technique, the photograph is burned into the painted canvas, almost as a type of relief. A new depth of field appears as the painted information is being reduced and replaced by photographic information exposing a space between the painted expressive language and the very fine detailed photographic truth.
Inspired by the Nordic painters’ landscape imagery with its core ingredients being space, light, fog along the romantic and reflexive spirit, Tønnesen hunts the idea of the sublime, followed by the enlightenment of nature’s petrifying brutality and dramatic power.
Our interpretation between a painting and a photograph is often defined by counter poles as subjective, unique, manmade vs. objective, reproducible, industrial produced but in Tønnesen’s new work there perimeters are burned away, just as she acknowledges that the landscape imagery is a product of human development and acquisition of the world rather than the distinctiveness and spirit of certain places.