Every earlier stage persists alongside the later, which has arisen from it
02.04 - 17.04.2021 KHM1 / Malmö Art Academy
The exhibition Every earlier stage persists alongside the later, which has arisen from it was my master degree exhibition, and consisted of a larger series of paintings, which, together with metal constructions formed an architectural installation. The canvases were over- taking the room as if being subjects of their own. The visitor would turn around a corner to find a painting that was not first visible; a painting that made a tight corridor forcing a certain movement, or a painting that was close to falling over the visitor. An intimacy with the paintings was created - or rather forced - which brought focus from the painting as image, to the painting as physical and psycho- logical process.
The paintings in the exhibition were presented as they were made throughout the painterly process; fixed in one position in relation to architecture/walls. The canvases were leaning, bending and overturning. Through fixing the canvas, the body were forced into certain movement patterns. They became obstacles blocking the normal interaction and viewpoints in the process - forcing the body up close to the surfaces, not being able to get the ’objective’ distant view of the development of the work. Through the installation the body was challenged, which gave a variety of painterly outcomes - relating to physical and psychological limits.
The visitor stepped into the residues of this painterly situation, and was placed in the ’shoes’ of an other. The lines and marks present on the canvases mirrored the movements - and silent language - of a body. In the exhibition the visitor was invited to follow the movements of an other - with gaze, and with body.
Through the exhibition I wanted to explore the relationship between body and painting, and its workings on a psychological level. It was a project that placed discourses on the power play between painter and painting at center - forefronting questions of the physical and psychological processes of painting, and the intimacy and submission embedded in it. The project placed itself in the intersection of a discourse on the subjectivity of painting - as having a ’higher power’ over the painter - on one hand, and on the other Isabelle Graw’s theories on the indexicality of painting - as saturated with the person/subjectivity of the artist. Seen in this light the process of painting seems to be a battle which dissolves boundaries between self and other - with stepping back being the only way for the painter to reach control. The project was a way to grasp the workings of power in the formation of a subject. To reach a form of painterly automatism under the submission - or adaption - to power.
The title refers to a formulation by Sigmund Freud on the plasticity of mental development, mentioned in his ’Thoughts for the Time on War and Death’. The title suggests the painting as mirror or stand-in for a subject, with the development and layers of the painting as the psychological processes of a subject.