#274 Jump

84x64 cm each, installation dimensions variable | Filler, oak frame, oak stands

  • About

    The work contains two panels placed on oak stands on the floor.

    "I say - Jump, and you answer - How high?" is an expression of the authoritarian military logic. Note that the reply is a question. When you answer an ideological call, it's of lesser important what you respond than the fact that you do. The response, in whatever form, is still a sign of your submission. This is what philosopher Louis Althusser calls interpellation, a hailing that unconsciously transforms individuals to subjects of ideology. It may sound bad, but language itself always carries some set of rules, and without submitting ourselves to it, communication would not be possible. There would be no way to get any interactive work done.

    To be just another cog in the machine may strip the individual of its very subjectivity. But apart from efficiency, there is another temptation - to lose yourself to a grander purpose, and be part of something bigger. It triggers the desire to bridge the gap between the alienated self and the outside world by identifying it as the big other, ideology as an organism, and surrender body and mind to a higher, external will. It doesn't mean one can't live a pleasurable life, but one can't doubt or question the overall system that links the group together. It creates limits for one's individuality and defines its space in the ideological structure.

  • 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