“Dark Clouds, Troubled Sea”
Most of my projects investigate the relationship between presence and absence, between being and not being, darkness and light, and between us and them. Despite the obvious dualities, it is not the disparities that are important. The contrasts don’t cancel each other out but rather support one another and expose new reference points with broader scope for interpretation and a wider experiential horizons.
Dark Clouds, Troubled Sea is the title I’ve chosen for the exhibition and thereby this duality is established. The title refers to common signs of bad weather and hostile sea, as well as to our interpretation of, and relation to, natural forces. As northerners, we are very preoccupied by weather; it is in fact part of our temperament. The weather, on the other hand, is a temporary manifestation, a variable atmospheric condition within the larger and more complex system we call climate. And the climate is changing. How will our temperament change with these climate changes?
Climate change is a global problem. In Asia, for example, the monsoon comes earlier and more violently. There, as here puts pressure on infrastructure as well as populations. On a flight from Kathmandu in Nepal, over the mountains towards India, I experienced some unexpected ferocious weather, that I was able to photograph through the aeroplane window. The result can be seen in the work, “Når Indra møter Tor / When Indra meets Thor”. Indra is the Hindu counterpart to the Nordic Thor. He is the God of storms, the weather God who can bring the rain and I can call down lightning. By establishing a connection between Nordic and Vedic mythology the work alludes both to human and cultural facets, as well as to the political aspect of the enormous climatic challenges we face.
The conceptual framework of “Dark Clouds, Troubled Sea” is global, while the exhibition has been born out of a direct correlation between the space, the building and the natural forces outside. We can sense the dystopian, the abandoned, in the poetic and aesthetic expression. The sound work “Fire glass / Four Glasses” emphasises this atmosphere and simultaneously harmonises with the sound of sheep-bells that occasionally infiltrate from the outside. The interactive wind installation “Blest motBlest / Blow reBlow” becomes alive by our movements, as individuals awaken to start duelling against each other. A video taken of the sea off Obrestad, after a storm, can be seen in the video and light installation ”Flyt / Flux”. The sound of rushing waves is present in the room but not so loud as to drown out the sound of the wind outside, that blows across Jæren with all its might and takes hold of the space. Opposite the video projection one encounters the light-drawing of a bent human figure in the scale of 1 to 1. These devices, in combination with the barn’s architecture accentuate humankind’s fragility.
Listen to a short sound documentation of “Four Glasses” here >>