I want to belong to the living is a collaborative exhibition with Anna Hillbom, Isfrid Angard Siljehaug and Ann-Catrin Olsson. We share an urgency to make possible a tactile re-reading of the past, where the agency of each artist’s work at times is blurred, at times visible. For the exhibition at Åbo Konsthall we wish to present new works, that enable a play between object, artist and agency in the gallery space, as well as in a broader sense of history writing. Elements from art history, architecture, mythology and the body are used to enable a personal understanding of time, a rupture in chronology. By that bring out a possible mystic, a giggle, something skin-warm.
I want to belong to the living indicates a wish to bring to life fragments adapted from the past. Canalized and altered, they become animated shreds of something vaguely familiar. The title refers to the body’s yearning for eternality. A fantasy about sculptures who long to be touched. Like John Berger is looking for the living in Greek sculptures.
All the sculptures stolen from Greece who are now in foreign museums, are strangely un-sensual and that’s one of the reasons they belong here (in Greece). The sensual in art is in a way a glorification of participation, a cohesion between body and nature. Here does no such cohesion exist.The famous ideals that the classic sculptors searched for was actually a comfort for the loneliness of the body. All these sculptures were, it seems to me now, mediators of a well controlled longing without end.
The Island Sifnos
Anna Hillbom (Gällivare, Sweden 1983) has studied at Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam and Umeå Konsthögskola.
In elementary and playful shapes, Anna Hillbom aims to bring out a sense of fragility and magnitude. Archaic gestures, archeological findings and everyday objects, are processed into vaguely familiar shapes. Brass, plaster, ceramic and wood is handled in order to bring out intrinsic qualities of the material, and a possible mystic.
Isfrid Angard Siljehaug (b. 1986 Trondheim, Norway) is a visual artist and weaveress living and working in Amsterdam. Her artistic practice consists of an ongoing exploration and rereading of cultural heritage and images. Through a combined curiosity for the history of textile and a personal sensuous and physical experience of being in this world, she grants herself access to a time that has been.
Isfrid Angard Siljehaug studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam and at the Royal Academy in the Hague. From 2017 – 2019 she studied handweaving at De Ambachtelijke Weverij in Amsterdam.
The work of Ann-Catrin Olsson revolves around questions such as; can I feel a connection to someone through an intuitive understanding of movement and stillness in another material, based on my own bodily experiences. And how does a world full of utils to improve the body’s performance, affect that understanding. Can I understand a movement that my own body cannot perform? Ann-Catrin works with sculpture and installation, using materials that either in themselves carry movements, like that of a narrow / young birch, a wave or a piece of driftwood. Or materials that have a clear function in their relationship to the body, such as textile functional materials, like reflective fabric and mesh.
Ann-Catrin Olsson lives and works in Gävle, Sweden. She received her master’s degree in fine art from Umeå Academy of Fine Art in 2015.
This exhibition is supported by Iaspis/Swedish Arts Council and Nordisk Kulturfond.