15 May 2012
Elizabeth Croft and Jan Kjetil Bjørheim: Between You & Me
Between You & Me
Elizabeth Croft and Jan Kjetil Bjørheim
Galleri Sult, Stavanger
Mirrored ink blots and landscape photos
Artist couple Elizabeth Croft and Jan Kjetil Bjørheim present a collaboration exhibition at Galleri Sult.
Jan Kjetil Bjørheim: Maori warriors (my title)
The mirrored paint blots by Jan Kjetil Bjørheim are referring to the ink blots of the Rorschach test, where ten different pictures were used to set a phsycological diagnosis on patients or on criminals. I find it quite disturbing that such coincidential methods have been (and maybe still are used) for deciding the fate of humans, whether it is medical treatment or sentences.
Jan Kjetil Bjørheim:Bed Bug Embrace (my title)
Bjørheim’s paintings are far from coincidential, however. Even if the result can never be exactly predicted, he is in control of the surface, the fluidity, the mix of colors and the process. Even then he claims that 90% of the works are rejected. The results are paintings with an incredible depth and detail, with visual candy both as a whole and in the details.
Jan Kjetil Bjørheim: Twin birth (my title)
No titles are suggested for the paintings, just like in the Rorschach test. I am thrilled to see that the visitors are supposed to find their own titles. It is not exactly new that an artist leave the interpretation of his work to the public, but seldom is it done as actively as here. This is a very interesting way of interacting with the viewers, making the viewers’ opinions becoming a part of the works. You could of course call all paintings “Butterfly”, but that would not pay respect to either the artist or yourself. I put my names on the pictures, you put yours. Can you put a diagnosis on that? Probably. Does it matter? Not really, but what matters is that this forces you to describe your impressions.
Elizabeth Croft: Compliance
Elizabeth Croft is also mirroring her works, but these are photos, and she is in control of every tiny detail. Should I consider the photos as Rorschach tests, and give them my own names? That would be difficult. The photos have too much recognizable information, and would just leave me naming them “Landscapes”. Her own titles are “Compliance” - an act of conforming, yielding to others, or making things fit like in “the product is produces in compliance with the standards”. She has manipulated the landscapes digitally to let them appear exactly as she decides. The result is also an compliance, one side of the mirror complies with the other. The titles are both describing the process and the result.
Elizabeth Croft: Compliance
A rare winter mood at Ålgard is captured by her camera and transformed into several different vistas, all harmonical and symmetrical, but with an eerie feeling that something is wrong. At first I am delighted by the harmony the symmetry provides. But then it appears to me that this it not right. There are too many floats in the lake, and the landscape is repeated. I am trapped in a landscape of movies like “The Truman Show” or “Inception”. First I try to recognize the seams, which is quite easy. Then I desperately look for some irregularity, and is releaved to find some (I won’t tell you what). I am in control again, this beautiful trap has lost its grip on me, I may just enjoy its beauty.
Elizabeth Croft: Compliance (detail)