Utstilling 30. april - 31. mai 2015

Ane Graff Overlyssalen

THE HUNGRY EYE

Utgangspunktet for Ane Graffs praksis er en interesse for materialitet. Graff har over flere år arbeidet med endringsprosesser i organisk materie gjennom forskjellige medier som tegning, skulptur, tekstil og maleri, – gjerne integrert i større installasjoner. I sin nyere verksproduksjon tar Graff for seg teorier om materialitet innenfor feministisk vitenskapsteori og gir en poetisk lesning av disse. Inspirert av tenkere som Karen Barad og Donna Haraway, ønsker Graff å bidra til å utvide vår forståelse av materialitet og av hvordan mennesket er integrert i det materielle. I de nevnte feministiske materielle teoriene handler det om å se det materielle som aktivt, i stadig endring, og som relasjonsbasert. Mennesket ses ikke som en atskilt enhet, men som dypt sammenfiltret med og påvirket av den fysiske verden.

Arven fra opplysningstidens rasjonalisme og mekanistiske verdensbilde har i vår tid vært bestemmende for hvordan vi definerer og forholder oss til den fysiske verden. Etter Descartes består mennesket av to hyperseparerte deler: En abstrakt, rasjonell bevissthet som kontrollerer og er herre over den fysiske, automatiserte kroppen. Naturen, som kroppen, blir definert som ”død materie” og som ren utstrekning. Tittelen ”The Hungry Eye” henviser til Descartes bruk av synsmetaforikk i sitt skille mellom det sansbare og det metafysiske. Han skiller mellom ”kroppens øye” og ”intellektets øye”; hvor ”intellektets øye” ser klarere jo mer ”kroppens øye” forblir blindt.

Ane Graff, f. Bodø i 1974, bor og arbeider i Oslo. Graff er utdannet ved Vestlandets Kunstakademi, Bergen, 2000-04. Seneste utstillinger inkluderer bla. ”2015 Triennial: Surround Audience” (2015), New Museum, NY, USA; “Momentum – the 7th Nordic Biennale of Contemporary Art” (2013), Moss, NOR; “Your Groundwater” (2013), Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kr. Sand, NOR; ‘Graff-Løw-Sandbeck’ (2012), Vigeland-museet, Oslo, NOR.

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Installasjonsfoto fra utstillingen
Through Stone
Soft Outer Cover
The Bruise
Throw
Installasjonsfoto fra utstillingen
1 Through Stone
Tekstil på lerret, 204 x 104 x 4 cm
Soft Outer Cover
Tekstil på lerret, 204 x 104 x 4 cm
2 The Bruise
Håndsydd hanske, stein, pidestall
4 Throw
Tekstil på lerret, 204 x 104 x 4 cm
The Hungry Eye (2)
5 The Hungry Eye (2)
Blyant og penn på papir

Thora Dolven Balke

I is
Let me tell you: I’m trying to seize the fourth dimension of this instant-now so fleeting that it’s already gone because it’s already become a new instant-now that’s also already gone. Every thing has an instant which it is. I want to grab hold of the is of the thing. These instants passing through the air I breathe: in fireworks they explode silently in space. I want to possess the atoms of time. And to capture the present, forbidden by its very nature: the present slips away and the instant too, I am this very second forever in the now. Only the act of love – the limpid star-like abstraction of feeling – captures the unknown moment, the instant hard as crystal and vibrating in the air and life is this untellable instant, larger than the event itself: during love the impersonal jewel of the moment shines in the air, the strange glory of the body, matter made feeling in the trembling of the instants – and the feeling is both immaterial and so objective that it seems to happen outside your body, sparkling on high, joy, joy is time’s material and the essence of the instant. And in the instant is the is of the instant. I want to seize my is. And like a bird I sing hallelujah into the air. And my song belongs to no one. But no passion suffered in pain and love is not followed by a hallelujah.

Clarice Lispector, “Agua Viva”, 1973

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Installasjonsfoto fra utstillingen
I is
Installasjonsfoto fra utstillingen
Eyewitness
Eyewitness
Installasjonsfoto fra utstillingen
1 I is
UV-print på silikon, nylon- & aluminiumbrosjyrestativ
Installasjonsfoto fra utstillingen
3 Eyewitness
Bearbeidede 22” TV skjermer, gummikabler, synkroniserte video loops , 25:37:17 min
3 Eyewitness
Bearbeidede 22” TV skjermer, gummikabler, synkroniserte video loops, 25:37:17 min
Ben
Song
Ben
22” TV skjerm, høyttaler, lyd 36:37 min
4 Song
Høyttalere, vaier, lyd loop 18:43 min – field recording av et innsekts parringssang som også varsler dens siste levedag, Brasil

Fadlabi 2. etasje

Local Heroes

Telling Histories, Telling Stories
Narratives of history are stories told. The difference between them and the other types of stories is that there is a significant level of claim to accuracy in depicting events that had significant impacts in peoples’ lives back then with consequences that may still be felt by some of us nowadays. Basically, if the story has a verified claim to depicting actual events that happened sometime in the past, we tend to name that story ‘history’.

Being a story, however, it cannot take you fully back in time. It can only deliver to you what the storyteller(s) saw, perceived, and remembered. In other words, not everything. Storytellers can be worse or better than a video camera. They can only see events unfolding from one angle at a time, just like the camera. They cannot see 360 degrees at once. In addition to that, and unlike raw camera footage, storytellers edit the footage by having them processed through their memory and perception before they deliver the story to you. That can make the story richer or poorer. Memory and perception are woven with language, coloured with biases, and transferred to others in wraps of context. The end product we receive is anything but a fully accurate and comprehensive account, and we shall learn to live with that.

That said, it follows that no one should be surprised that there are many different versions of history out there; as there should be. There may be some dominant versions at given time periods and in most parts of the world, depending on the order of the time, but there has never been a single version of human history since the recording and communication of history – i.e. storytelling – ever began.

We can give brief examples to that. You know nowadays we live in the era of ‘the pristine West’? It is the era when the dominant version of history most people around the world embrace – fully or partially – says that Europe, throughout recorded history, was the center of historical developments of human societies, not just by influencing other civilizations outside of Europe over time, but also by having a continuous line of historical heritage that is almost autonomous of any major influence from outside of Europe. That continuous line is usually depicted as “ancient Greece begat Rome, Rome begat Christian Europe, Christian Europe begat the Renaissance, the Renaissance the Enlightenment, the Enlightenment political democracy and the industrial revolution. Industry, crossed with democracy, in turn yielded the United States [of America], embodying the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”¹ It is quite a spectacular story, in which the focal point (the hero) is identified throughout thousands of years, and the outcome self-evident in today’s modern civilization. This story also has another name. It is called the Eurocentric version of history. In this version, the storytellers are obviously Europeans. It is the story of the world according to Europeans. In this version there is no denying that other places around the world had their own histories, or that other old civilizations interacted with Europeans (such as Egypt and the Islamic empire), or that European colonization and settlement happened to Africa and Asia, or that there were already human groups in the Americas and Australia when European settlers arrived there. None of that is denied. But the premise is that all of it was not as critical in shaping human history as was the internal, self-motivated and self-generated dynamics of European history.

It should be quite obvious to see that there is quite a number of problems with this version of history, especially if claimed as the most accurate and verified version. For example we now have abundance of evidence regarding how ancient China did many things that together made Europe a dominant force in modern history, before Europe did them! The Chinese invented and used gunpowder first, built large ships that sailed across the big oceans, and had many critical advances in metallurgy and other applied sciences before Europe did. What is more interesting is that the Chinese dynasties of those times did not have the same interests in conquering and exploiting the rest of the world with those powerful technologies as Europe later sought to.² Naturally, different forms of arts and culture, and ways of viewing the world, developed in China. In other words, China must have its own, different, and equally legitimate version of history. For example, the Chinese drew their own version of the world map, centuries ago, with China at the centre of the world, not ‘the far east’. Technically speaking, China could be at the centre of the world map; who decided that Greenwich is the centre anyway?³

In addition to China, the Middle East and North Africa region easily has its own version of history too. Persia, Egypt, and the Islamic Empire do not only have a continuous line of recorded history with many events, developments and major world influences that do not have a major role for Europe in the picture. The same could be said about the history of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and some parts of India. All in all, we don’t have one human history — we have many human histories.

There are some peoples in this world, however, in this post-colonial era, that have lost touch with their own historical narratives. Their own historical developments were severely interrupted, disconnected and mutilated. Their technologies, social structures, arts and memories, were deliberately emaciated.4 So they are left now with a bigger task of remembering their own stories. The African proverb says that until the lion learns to speak, the tale will always favor the hunter’s side. It is true indeed. More accurately however, until the lion’s voice is heard, and understood as a voice of another eligible storyteller, the hunter who won that battle will proceed to tell his own bias version of the story of lions everywhere. It should be obvious that if the lion was there, saw what happened, and was even part of it, then the lion has another legitimate version of the story. The late Azanian (South African) musician Miriam Makeba once said, “The conqueror writes history; they came, they conquered, they write. You don’t expect people who came to invade us to write the truth about us. They will always write negative things about us and they have to do that because they have to justify their invasion in all countries.” That in short, ladies and gentlemen, is how many of us – children of post-colonial societies – feel about the ‘pristine West’ (Eurocentric) version of history.

And our arts, and the histories of our arts? They are as critical for us today to excavate and illuminate – to ourselves and to the world – as it is for us to do the same to ‘our’ cultures; for culture is largely woven from the fabric of art, and then it becomes an identity. And the process of finding our histories, re-telling our stories and re-building our authentic identities, is “an act of culture” after all.5
by Gussai H. Sheikheldin

¹ Eric Wolf, quoted in John M. Hobson’s (2004) The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization. Cambridge University Press. pg. 1.
² Niall Ferguson (2011). Civilization: the West and the Rest. The Penguin Press HC
³ Well, we actually know who decided that Greenwich should be the centre of the map. Hint: it was not a ‘scientific’ choice.
4 Cheikh Anta Diop (1988). Precolonial Black Africa. translated by Harold Salemson (from French). Chicago Review Press.
5 Amilcar Cabral (1974). “National Liberation Culture.” Transitioin, 45: 12-17. (excerpt from a paper presented in 1970, Memorial Lecture Series at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, under the auspices of The Program of Eastern African Studies. Translated from French to English by Maureen Webster).

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The Sailor
Omar
On the Edge II
Ayoub
The Winner
3 The Sailor
akryl på lerret, 211x200 cm
4 Omar
akryl på lerret, 180x145 cm
5 On the Edge II
akryl på lerret, 180x140 cm
6 Ayoub
akryl på lerret, 180x140 cm
7 The Winner
akryl på lerret, 180x140 cm
Barber Chart
Handsome Ali
The King and the Queen
Oversiktsbilde fra utstillingen
Oversiktsbilde fra utstillingen
8 Barber Chart
akryl på lerret , 200x290 cm
10 Handsome Ali
akryl på lerret, 145x180 cm
11 The King and the Queen
akryl på lerret, 145x180 cm
Oversiktsbilde fra utstillingen
Oversiktsbilde fra utstillingen
Oversiktsbilde fra utstillingen
Oversiktsbilde fra utstillingen