motlys | Group Exhibition | 02.05 – 15.06 | 2013
Chris Cornish, Dayanita Singh, Johan Thurfjell, Marthe Elise Stramrud, Sofie Berntsen, Toril Johannessen, Tor Børresen
OSL contemporary is proud to present the group exhibition motlys, curated by Randi Thommessen. The gallery will show works by Norwegian artists Marthe Elise Stramrud, Toril Johannessen, Sofie Berntsen and Tor Børresen; Swedish Johan Thurfjell; English Chris Cornish and Indian Dayanita Singh. The exhibition comprise photography, drawing, installation and sculpture. Randi Thommessen is educated as an artist at Central St. Martins in London and as a curator at the Art Academy in Bergen. In 2007 she founded the Oslo-based gallery LAUTOM contemporary, which she directed until recently. LAUTOM presented over 30 exhibitions and participated in a number of international art fairs.
"The light that brightens the sky is sent through a dark universe to a dark earth from the sun over a distance of ninety-three million miles."
Light is fleeting and uncapturable, yet at the same time, material. It can be seen, but never grasped. The exhibition, motlys shows works that pertain to light and perception. With the help of light and distance, the artists reflect on the "here and now", over something that may have happened or what might come to be. Light is envisaged as a picture of the fleeting, perishable and unsteady, or the quality of time that transforms and destroys.
Several of the artists work with photography, a medium that is in itself materialization of light. The photographs of Marthe Elise Stramrud and Dayanita Singh create precise plays of light, complex rooms and designs within the picture frame. Stramrud's works depict a glass box lit from different angles, so that the box's shadow create added perspectives; while Singh's still, black-white photo shows a grid of light in a swimming pool. Toril Johannesen's work may also be understood as a reflection on photography. Her starting point is a low-resolution digital image obtained from the Internet. The image is dramatically enlarged before Johannessen has drawn each pixel with a marker. When viewed in close-up the picture appears unidentifiable and abstract; it is only from a distance that the subject emerges. In the work, Ghosts, Johan Thurfjell has removed the photographic portraits from the many frames he has collected over time. The yellowed papers that remain become a gentle chronicle of how light, over time, destroys – the paper, the memories.
In Sofie Berntsen's work, Eterna Matic (2007/2013), we find a playful wonderment over the physical phenomenon of light. In her assemblage she reflects on the world's beauty and complexity; that light is made up of material waves that break and bend; is all white, but simultaneously contains all the colors of the spectrum. In contrast, Chris Cornish's sculpture Horizon, Black Rock City (40.768, -119.220, 02/09/11, 05.32H) (2013) is an object that seeks to capture "light itself" at a specific place and time. As with several of the works in the exhibition, the production involves a digital process. Cornish employs a technique used to create special effects in film, where measurements of light-conditions and -temperatures are reconstructed and digitally added to a scene during post-production. Toril Johannessen's work entails a reflection on how photography is filtered and transformed through the Internet, while Tor Børresen use a digital visualization of sound as the subject of his work. The word "death" is shown as a shadow on the wall, suggesting a theme that threads through several pieces in the exhibition.
"if we had wished to begin with the first causes of visual perception, a discussion of light should have preceded all others, for without light the eyes can observe no shape, no color, no space or movement."
Rudolf Amheim, Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye, 1954/1974
Photography: Randi Thommesen