Inland Empire, 2008
280 x 70 x
Made out of plywood, a pair of socks, a textile rag, a garbage bag, a megaphone and a plastic bag from the hardware store chain Clas Ohlson, the Agitator stands as a dummy for political, social and artistic agitation. The figure might resemble a mix between the revolutionary freedom fighter stereotype and a Tarzan-like naïve nature’s child. The anti-liberalist/globalist/capitalist may find his gadgets of resistance in a transnational hardware store, just as the subversive artist shops his toolkit in the supermarket.
Gardening at Night
Oil on canvas
Planting dry seeds into moist soil, fertilizing and weeding, letting plants grow, flourish and eventually bear fruits, the gardener gently intervenes in nature’s course and may share the harvest from his efforts. Could this be a useful metaphor for the art process? The artist intervening into culture, under cover by night, secretly bringing forward new but inherent meaning and concepts as strange fruits start materializing…
Ghost against the Machine
Oil on canvas
The two major forces of the human psyche battling it out! On the one side: The machine, symbolising the controllable rationale; the plain logic and the mechanic view of linear cause and effect. And on the other side: the ghost, representing nature’s mysteries, the uncontrollable psyche and the endless depths of the universe. Culture v.s. nature. This struggle, ladies and gentlemen, is going on daily within us and around us, constituting our world. Let the games continue...
Winds of Change
200 x 130 x
Dragonflies, a silent breeze and, uh, something else… To encounter an object not knowing the reason for its existence nor understanding its function can be a scary experience or one of great relief depending on the context. For instance, coming across dubious structures in the woods will slightly raise our level of awareness, for although we know it must be from kids play, it reminds us of relics from possible horrifying rites performed by strange cultures. So what is this connection between the child (in us) and the culture of our fears, when their objects might resemble each other to such extent?
mixed media and oil on canvas
286 x 300 x
Are clichés less true just because they stick around and become embarrassing? A simple naïve story: boy meets girl and together they build a home. Love… Then what? Happiness? Family… or domestic violence, divorce, riots against bourgeois living? Commerce loves clichés, so we must too (or it never would have worked), although superficially we really hate them. Well, this is a billboard commercial promoting a simple cliché: Romance. Straight forward, crudely done, i.e. from the heart(!). Can you believe that? Nope- too embarrassing! This is art for crying out loud! There has to be irony, a backdoor… Those crazy transavantgardes were wrong, right?
Blackboard (Raise Hell)
190 x 142 x
School consists of a few things: Kids, a teacher, perhaps a roof, and
always a blackboard. Now this crudely made blackboard could be from rural
201 x 70 x
What is a soul if not detached from the body? But this idea of purity surely must mean that the soul on its own is cut off from performing actions of any kind, as without the body, any connection to the material world would be lacking. No socialising! Left as a carcass stripped bare from its interface, the soul strives upwards, casting its lonesome light into eternity…
Unknown Waters (to Simen)
oil on canvas
Some people (and artists) go more head on into exploring unidentified territories than others. And some sail away on unknown waters and never return. (Don’t we all, and won’t we all in the end)