Animal re/structure


Artists: Emil Holmer, Sonja Gerdes, Ingwill Gjelsvik, Jorun Viken
Curator: Aage Langhelle
Opening: 17. Januar 2013, 19 - 21 Uhr
Within the framework of the exhibition, the composer, cook and web designer Michael Maria Ziffels will offer small vegan delicacies for consumption.
Exhibition period: 18.01 - 26.01. 2013
The exhibition is supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

 Many artists use animals in their work – both in concrete and metaphorical meaning. What happens when established signs for animals are broken up, changed and redefined, so that a new meaning emerges? This exhibition aims to explore how animalistic and organic structures are turned into objects or signs in contemporary art.
The term "animal" is a broad one. To sharpen the problem, two additional parameters were used for the selection of artists: Alien and re/structure. In contemporary art, there is a tendency to use alienating elements and processes to thematize our relationship to other species, while at the same time to examine how culture and society will be affected by this.
Our relationship to animals often is inconsistent and paradoxical. On the one hand, we as consumers contribute to an objectification of animals by maintaining an industrial agriculture, where animals are not worth more than their fur or the price per kilo of meat obtained. On the other side our pets are moved up the ladder in social hierarchy, and for many people they take over the importance of a "child" or "partner".
The common denominator of the works in the show is re/structure of the available organic material. The starting point may be an anatomical study or a collage that features an animal motif. More or less intended the artist looses some control over the work process. An identifiable structure, maybe the photo of an internal organ (human?) appears in an unusual context, is transformed into amorphous material or is turned into an unknown creature. The human element is relativized, abandoned to the free play of forces, we are left behind as bare objects, reduced to a primate, worthy of a post in the TV channel Animal Planet.
The exhibition may perhaps contribute to the debate on the ethical ideas on which our relationship to other species is based, and may thematize the political and aesthetic implications – both inside and outside the art.

About the artists:
holmer 900

Emil Holmer
"That painting had the working-title "transmitter" because of the bipolar structure. The two white organic forms are painted on top of two technological structures, which show through the finished painting.
I’ve made a lot of works expressing tension between two worlds. Often, one is technological, neon, abstract – the other organic, mindless, swamp-like. It's as if there were two paintings in each one."
comfyhoodapplication gjelsvikIngwill Gjelsvik
"The discrimination of others based on their species, race, or sex is a recurrent and fundamental theme in IngwillGjelsvik’s work. Earlier, she has worked with animal rights based on a moral position towards the abusive treatment of animals. In her new project however, her own life with her dog, and her experience of losing her beloved pet that she has shared her life with for ten years,form a strong presence. Gjelsviks own relationship to the surroundings near her home, and her daily walks with her dog Zuki constitute some of the many sources of inspiration for her art."

talismanforoxygenenergizer gerdes 900

Sonja Gerdes, see the website: oxygenenergizer


Jorun Viken
"Anatomical drawings are Viken‘s point of origin. However, the progressive assembling of the animal‘s anatomy is followed by desintegration. The factual drawing study goes unchecked, and the drawings gradually change their character. A drawn organic construction is partly deconstructed. Viken‘s streak is expressive and powerful. Spreading over the arc, the ink is washing out the constructive figures and contributing to an atmosphere of doom."
More about the artists in Archiv