(Photo: Tor Simen Ulstein)
With primary colours, geometric abstractions, movements, and the sculptural body as its main components, this collaborative project by the three Norwegian artists Ole Martin Lund Bø, Jan Freuchen and Linn Pedersen dwells somewhere between Goethes color wheel and the saturated Nike+ FuelBand. Using sports equipment as its raw material, the exhibition takes the form of a game where improvisation and coincidences occur within certain predefined parameters.
Eliptical movements in front of flickering flatscreens. Forest greens and equipment neons en plain air, with gestural swooshes on canvas trainers. Constructivist geometry on exercise machines, with weights, wires and elastic rubber bands as elongated abstractions of the limbs. Color-field paintings of the quantified self; blue heartbeats, yellow brainwaves, red calories.
At the assembly line production facilities the body was occupied with work, with the ability to daydream as ones only claim to liberty. In the creative economy work is overwhelmingly a mental occupation, reducing daydreaming to online procrastination. At the gym, the hypnotically self-restraining repetitions provide a mental detour to era of daydreams. Elastic Measures aims to capture this strange composite of functionality, aesthetics and care for the self.
In addition to the sculptural installations, the magazine Elastic Measures (Lord Jim Publishing, 2014) has been produced on the occasion of the exhibition.
In Thetaville the gallery space has become the setting for a labyrinthian scene, formerly used as a stage set for the two videos on view in the gallery. With the support of honeycomb cardboard walls, mirrors and doors Freuchen created the illusion of an endless maze inside the gallery prior to the exhibition itself, using it both as a backdrop and central element for his film. The film’s protagonist finds himself drifting around in this structure – bored, immersed in day-dreams or impatiently searching for an escape.
The film’s title Thetaville is, apart from its reference to Jean-Luc Godard's sci-noir Alphaville (1965), a transliteration of the brain’s low-frequency theta waves – where self-consciousness slips away and one can find oneself staring mindlessly at the ceiling. This tripped state is not only introverted, but also fleeting and all-embracing – as if subjectivity seeps out into the surroundings. In addition to the videos the exhibition consists of the deconstructed stage-set: partly turned into sculpture, partly into photographic collages presented in a newspaper produced especially for the exhibition. All the elements on view are thus modifications of one and the same situation, entangling the viewer in an ambient and theatrical setting as intruder, witness and co-protagonist.
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