“Dissecting Anneberg” An installation at Hempel Glasmuseum
These works are very connected to the place they were conceived and made - Norway.
In the spring of 2015 I was given an artist residency in Bergen on the Norwegian west coast. When I went, I did not make any concrete plans of what to do, but wanted to see what inspiration the location would give me.
On my first day there, I found an old house in the middle of town, which was being demolished.
I went inside out of pure curiosity and I found it extremely beautiful, sad and touching.
The house was around 200 year old and the solid wooden walls were covered with layers of wallpaper. These were the marks of all the generations who had been living there, and in that sense it gave me the visual image of changing times, like year rings on a tree.
A Polish worker was cutting it all into regular squares - so it would be more convenient to trash.
It was a very powerful combination of beauty, decay, violence and a natural flow of time. An image of death and new things coming instead - which struck me. I wanted to have a piece of wall from this house to use for my new sculptures, which would give the same emotional charge as I got when I saw the house.
The real object, which gave me this charge is gone. The house has seized to exist and I will never find another one just like that.
But I preserved a small part of it and turned it into a group of sculptures, which I hope will bring about the poetic feeling of vanishing Scandinavian wooden structures, revealing an earlier life.
The glass parts of my sculptures are exact casts of the wooden parts of the wall, but each of them has gone through a transformation – they are subtle and almost invisible but they still exist and this is very important to me.
I want to take the viewers on a journey between the strange fragments of something bigger, which is now gone, and into their own images of what it once was through the sculptural hints I created.
I wanted to transform this vanishing wood into new objects with a very different destiny, to give a feeling of the natural flow of life combined with a poetic, nostalgic aesthetic of things and matters evolving.
Technically I was using the same molds again and again until they got completely destroyed and make the glass react on it.
I used lost wax technique as well when I made a model. This can only be used once. In this way the method I used was very much a continuation and reflection of the process which the house I liked so much had gone through.
The simple geometrical shapes - square and rectangular – are references to the regular structures of the house.
I mostly used clear and grey glass to give the feeling of something on the border between existing and non-existing. And I added silver to emphasize the natural structures of the old wood and to show that apparent pieces of trash can be treasures.
All Photos from this serie of works made by Kurt Rodahl Hoppe
This installation is my artistic response to the specific interior of Hempel Glasmuseum and the landscape surrounding it. In particular the gigantic window, which serves as the background for my work as well as the main light source of the room.
I wanted to create an art piece which would not only play along with the architectural structure, but also give it a new interpretation. The suspended modules of wood and glass are repeating the rhythm of the window frame but are at the same time breaking it.
The wood I used – is local wood, which I found on site just before mounting the objects, in order to bring a historical and site specific context to the work. The color, shape and size of the wood planks have not been changed and are intentionally left in the condition I found them in order to keep this tight connection with the surroundings.
This wood was the material houses used to be built of here and in this way it carries in it the time and space heritage of this place. I believe these planks still hold the energy people were using to cut, paint and build, even though the houses they came from have now been renovated or destroyed.
The glass in this work represents the local wood in shape and form, but it has a very different expression. Glass is a contrast to the wood in many ways. Shiny and transparent it is reflecting the light from the sea and the sky, while the wood works as a black, strong vertical rhythm, playing against the light.
I applied silver on the glass not only to make it even more light reflective. Silver gets black in time through its communication with the world and the atmosphere, while wood, on the contrary, becomes silverish grey with age.
The glass itself represents transformation and a changing substance – on the borderline between real and non-existing objects. The old wood represents the changes through time in this very specific small corner of the world.
The minimal, powerful and very Danish view from the window is a part of the installation – and the flag in the background is very much included.
By playing with the idea of the abstract and representational, found and fabricated pieces, my aim is to change the perception and feeling of this space and our presence in it over time.