#267 Supported By Norwegian Arts Council
64x84 cm each, installation dimensions variable | Filler, oak frame
This work is installed by hanging the panels from just one fix point in the upper left corner. The angle in which they hang is depending on the relationship between their shape and gravity. The images status as physical objects is emphasised.
The work deals with whether, or to what degree, art or any statement made using language, is to be considered proper action with physical consequences in the real world. Is art a useful field for activism, and what agency is there in opinion-making anyway? What difference is there between just talking about things and actually doing them? The term "this is not a drill" is a title of a handbook in activism by the environmental organisation Extinction Rebellion. No drill suggests, in general, a severe situation that calls for immediate action but can, in particular, apply to climate change and oil production.
The title implies that any statement has to be read accordingly to the context it's given in. What is the position of the sender in the overall power structure? The material circumstances are decisive for all parties in any discussion. What does it mean to support or fund positions that criticise or act against your interest? What does it mean to accept that support?
Finally, the title highlights the fact that the relationship between a name, a title, or any word for that matter, to the physical reality - to the truth - is entirely arbitrary.
To the mind, a word is always also an image. 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, to use language, we have to speak or write it. We have to realize it. Nothing ever communicates without being inscribed into a matter of some sort. But how words are inserted 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, and how we shape it, reflects on who we are, it can reveal unconscious or hidden meanings.
Humans inscribed the first written words 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 in some way change the receiver forever.
There is a constant tension between language and reality as matter. The human subject is defined by an individual will, as opposed to the strict causality of nature. This will strive to be expressed through language. Maybe self-awareness is a result of language at use. Language as a way for the ego to invent itself, to inscribe itself into the world. It is no coincident that many of the first examples of texts are curses, prayers, laws or inventories — different ways of trying to influence and master reality.
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.