Galleri Format Oslo
We are accustomed to ‘presence’ being expressed in two registers, two modes, two experiences: presence in space and presence in time. The physicist will tell us that both registers are indispensable. They will say that nothing is unless it is at some place and that nothing is unless it is at some time. Presence, the explain, is the foundation of our world. Presence is our master and we are the servants of presence. We are at odds with space and time, and yet we cannot escape them: like opponents in a Yavapai strap fight, attached at the wrist, both inseparable and fighting each other until death.
Anne Léger`s sculptures let us escape from this metaphysical prison. Her work understands things that cannot simply present themselves. The need to create artistically is of course a need to ‘be here now’. But it seeks a presence that is different than space and time. And it does so in ways that disrupt the patterns and pathos of presence as the experience of ‘here’ and ‘now’.
The trajectory of an immigrant artist like Anne Léger, is the story, condensed in her sculptures, of multiple and layered presences within presence. Her pieces hold and reveal the emotional, moral, aesthetic, and intellectual depth of a different kind of presence than the physical one. It’s about the presence of memories and regrets, hopes and ambitions, fears and trepidations. None of these experiences is actually ‘here’ ‘now’. They are all pointed backward or forward, above or beneath what seems possible, and flagrantly permitting a passage into the necessary spaces of what voices inside us and voices from outside us will blithely call `impossible`.
The uniqueness of Anne Léger’s sculptures springs from a secret they share with us, if we choose to accept its mercy. Her sculptures are never about something that is present. It never delivers to us what is already present or even represent something that is already present. What we ‘see’ in her sculptures, is not ‘there’. Because if it were there, it would not be. In effect it passes over what is immediately visible in the here and now, and instead calls forth, like a cry in a Norwegian forest, what is invisible.
In essence, the visual arts are the ‘invisible’ arts, the arts of what is invisible, the presence of what is not present. It is only by surrendering to this paradox that we make our way forward, only by conceding to what is unplanned and unexpected, surprising or even unthinkable, that we become the humans we are.
J. Peter Burgess
IF THOU WERT THE ASS
The Rustic Bunting lives in the wet woodlands of Hedmarken, Norway. At least it used to live there. During the winter it heads east, to South-east Asia. Or at least it used to head there. But in Asia the Rustic Bunting was caught and sold on the black market. As snacks. Back home, in Norway, someone was in the possession of some papers. Papers with words describing the need to protect the Rustic Bunting’s natural habitat. But it took too long with the words. To read them? To understand them? In any case, most likely, the Rustic Bunting no longer exists in Norway. The installation ‘If thou wert the ass’ is about nature. It´s about mankind’s belonging to nature. About mankind’s indifference to nature. It´s about broken harmony, destruction, extinction. And a search for a place where everything is better.
A small group of animals are on their way from one unknown place to another; a badger, a beaver, a hare and the Rustic Bunting. Where are they headed? Where did they come from? And what are they doing here – together? The choice of animals was made based on the following key words: urbanization, mystique, elegance, speed, slowness, defencelessness and survivor’s instinct. Together, the animals, and the installation as a whole, visualize a “note on an everyday panic”. The artist has both tried to digest and visualize a sad and painful condition, but she has also created a way out; an escape route. A childish hope of a better world, in one way or another. Species become more urban, they change, travel, move, disappear. Can they look back? Do we? What about ahead, where we should look? The installation illustrates a wish to fix something that is broken. A naïve hope that everything can be fixed, mended, become well again, patched, glued, taped and bandaged together. It would be great if it worked.
The title of the installation is borrowed from a sequence in Timon of Athens, by William Shakespeare. A sequence that, for the artist, says a great deal about how mankind is and the way we live today; We follow a destructive path, where there will always be something there waiting - a ‘beast’, a consequence - ready to take us onwards.
“What beast couldst thou be, that were not subject to a beast?” - William Shakespeare.
Therese Hoen was born in 1983, in Oslo, Norway. She finished her bachelor degree in ceramics at Bergen National Academy of Art in 2006 and later, her MFA in 2011, also at KHiB (now KMD, part of UiB). In addition to her art studies, Hoen also has one semester of studies in set design from DAMU, Prague. She now lives and works in Oslo. Hoen’s artistic practice evolves around subjects such as reality escape, the concept of (mental) travel, memory, presence and meeting points between body and space/ shape and architecture. She always works closely with the architecture in which she shapes her installations, and her works will thus often carry some sort of site specific element. Walls, floor and ceiling absorb and cover up parts of the story/narrative, and are vital components in the works. Hoen mainly work with sculpture and installation. In 2017 Therese Hoen was awarded ASF and Norwegian Crafts grant and a place at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts summer program. Her works have been exhibited at Galleri FORMAT Bergen (now KRAFT), The Project Room at Risør Kunstpark, The Project Room at Carl Berner, Oslo, and KODE 1, Bergen, as part of Årsutstillingen 2014.
PRESENTATION OF NORWEGIAN JEWELLERY ART