Stein hard mjelk
Installasjonsbilde fra utstillingen (2022) — Ragnhild Aamås
Fuglebåtbærar / Bird Boat Bench (2022) — Ragnhild Aamås
Miriam Hansen: Diffuser 3 (health & headache) (2022) — Ragnhild Aamås
Fuglebåtbærar / Bird Boat Bench og Miriam Hansen: Diffuser 3 (health & headache) (2022) — Ragnhild Aamås
Dei levande søve, og dei døde har godt av å bli litt skremt / Maintenance sleep (2022) — Ragnhild Aamås
Dei levande søve, og dei døde har godt av å bli litt skremt / Maintenance sleep (2022) — Ragnhild Aamås
Dei levande søve, og dei døde har godt av å bli litt skremt / Maintenance sleep (2022) — Ragnhild Aamås

Ragnhild Aamås
Rock Hard Milk
Gallery spaces on the 1st floor
15.09.22 – 16.10.22

In Stein hard mjelk [Rock Hard Milk], Ragnhild Aamås goes to the core of her practice and investigates one of the fundamental topics that have followed her throughout her artistic practice. The exhibition, the artist looks at passages as points of entry to an imagery where the various acts of foreshadowing can be a means of visualising what is happening in our real time and recent past. Through the artworks in the project, the passageway becomes a portal to a non-linear assemblage of what has happened before and of what is yet to happen.

Sculptures of salt scrub soap with tallow moulded in the shape of an ox tongue lie in Gilde boxes in the exhibition space, with one alsomounted as a hand soap in Kunstnerforbundet’s toilet. The soap sculptures can be read as a reference to animal welfare in the industrial age, to the wild and the tamed, as well as to the loss of a meaningful connection to nature. However, they also stand in clear relation to a mythical layer in the human’s many-thousand-years of co-existence with animals, as, for example, Auðumbla, a primeval cow in Norse mythology that licked free the tufts of hair of Búri, an ancestor of the Æsir, from the salt that arose between fire and ice.

A boat form—somewhere between a rock carving and an object of use, a bench and a construction principle—awkwardly spans the two rooms on the 1st floor, blocking one of the many passageways in the space. The boat is central in archaic myths and rituals where it is since archaic times the soul’s vehicle in re-establishment of order, by carrying the sun across the sky, past the horizon, and down to the underground in order to be resurrected as part of the cycle in the movement of day to night.

A series of rubber reliefs speculatively linked to the supraporter (or “overdoor”)—a decorated or painted panel above a door, most popular in the Baroque and Rococo periods, where entire halls in castles and palaces were often paneled— are mounted above the passageways of the rooms. In ancient folklore, such panels have been associated with the transcendental, a means of getting in touch with the supernatural and looking into the future. Aamås' rubber reliefs are images of recursivity ("feedback", a principle from cybernetics, which entails that two different elements can be combined into a new entity, i.e. change is a consequence of repetition).

Aamås has invited the artist Miriam Hansen to contribute to the exhibition with a further development of Hansen’s Diffuser series first shown at the artist-run exhibition space Hulias in 2021. This diffuser or scent spreader is based on the plants bog-myrtle (Myrica gale) and broadleaf plantain (Plantago major). Both bog-myrtle and broadleaf plantain have properties related to, among other things, wound healing, and both have through the ages been closely linked to folk cultural acts of divination.

Life-threatening crises have moved closer. Climate crisis and viruses, war and a staggering economy threaten the world and the fear that spreads, as shapeless as aroma, bleakens our ownership of a future. Aamås's passageways in Rock Hard Milk become a visual investigation of traditions around alternative models for perspective and future outlook, where events in the past and future do not refer to a remote non-state or non-place, but are omnipresent in a collective present.

Ragnhild Aamås (b. 1984, Volda) is based in Oslo. Her writing-driven practice branches out into sculpture, installation, performance, and assemblages with found material in various media. Aamås has studied philosophy and archeology at the University of Oslo, holds a MRes Art Exhibition Studies at Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts and Design, and a master's degree from the Oslo Academy of Arts in 2012. Recent exhibitions and performances include the operas Echopraxia, Swallow/Autarkia, Vilnius (2021) and As we worry we dance (AWWWD), Kunsthall Oslo (2021), as part of the artist group infopsin, and with her own work in Over regnbuen, Preus Fotomuseum, Horten, (2022), Brudaholen at Altan (2021), and SQUEEZ at She Will (2020). Aamås has been one of the driving forces behind the artist-run exhibition space Podium Oslo since 2015. She regularly contributes texts to and has published in Periskop, Billedkunst, and

Miriam Hansen (b. 1988) is based in Oslo and holds a master’s degree from the Oslo Academy of Arts. Her practice takes the form of temporary installations that open cycles of growth and decay, care, and maintenance. Recent exhibitions include Hulias (Oslo), the Sculpture Triennial, Oslo, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, Poppositions art fair, Brussels, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, and Podium Oslo.

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