#265 Master

64x84 cm | Filler, oak frame

  • About

    The dog, apparently, has somehow partly left the closed instinct-driven behaviour and relationship with its surroundings, and entered the realm of language. It can exercise some sort of self-control and understand a certain number of words, or at least commands. The question is if it has any self-awareness and thus can make autonomous choices the way humans do. Probably not. It seems as if it has gained free will by controlling its instinctive impulses, only to place it in the hands of its master. It is using language by proxy. It has a peculiar limbo position between an alienated, atomised subject within language, and the dissolved identity of an animal, boundlessly united with the world, fully exposed to the fluidity of the Real.

    In this way, it lingers between Man and God (which of course is dog spelt backwards). An infidel in need of salvation by either entering the symbolised universe and becoming a unified self-contained subject or returning to the multitude state of nature and all-seeing divinity.

  • Tablet

    To the mind, a word is always also an image. Language connects to categories and clusters of information that projects an internal image when triggered. In that sense, understanding words function no different than normal perception. When we see, images are constructed inside the mind. We never perceive reality objectively or in itself. Perception is an interpretation and thus consist of language, in the same manner as understanding words.
    However, as vision usually stems from physical reality, so does also words, written or spoken. Nothing ever communicates without being inscribed into a matter of some sort. The stuff surrounding us is also what connects us; without it, we would be completely sealed off. How, or in what way, words inserts into reality affects how we perceive them. Thus reality itself seeps into language. There exists no clear or unmediated communication. Matter adds to the message. Because which matter we choose to communicate through reflects on who we are, it can also help to reveal unconscious or hidden meanings.

    The first written words were inscribed in stone or clay. One of the purposes was to save them for the future, to protect them from the volatility of time. To speak, or to write, is always to some extent, an act of power. The receiver must initially submit his or her attention to the message. No matter how insignificant, its meaning will always change the receiver forever. The receiver usually processes the reception, but he or she will never be the same as before. It is no coincident that many of the first examples of texts are curses, prayers or laws — different ways of trying to influence reality.

  • Template

    Tablet series is part of Template, a compilation of works made by using pieces of wooden plates as templates. They function as a mould or matrix for the finished work.

    Reminiscent of Richard Serra's Verb List I try to use simple and clearly defined actions to shape the filler in my works. This method ensures there is always non-cognitive aspects of the production process.


If you have any questions about anything regarding my works, please don´t hesitate to contact me!

Johan Söderström | Grenseveien 9b, Oslo, Norway | t. +47 41 355 355 | jodsoderstrom@gmail.com

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©Johan Söderström 2015