Exhibitors: Tomas Colbengtson, Grethe Irene Einarsen, Camilla Figenschou, Hanne Grieg Hermansen, Dan Lestander, Trygve Luktvasslimo, Camille Norment, Ina Otzko, Sonja Siltala and Bjørn Tore Stavang.
«Reflex» has been produced jointly by the North Norwegian Artist Center NNKS and the Sámi Center for Contemporary Art.
The exhibition has mirror images and reflection as its central theme. It’s said that a mirror cannot lie. There’s something magic about how it shows an exact but also a completely opposite representation of reality.
Traditionally, the north has attracted artists by the special light conditions of the region. «Reflex» plays with this tradition, turning it at the same time upside down, as, here, we are seldom dealing with sublime light connected with a natural landscape. The magnificent, natural light is often replaced by other types of light: everything from concrete sources of light such as neon lamps to reflections in materials that make the light bounce back to the surroundings of the gallery, or reflections that every now and then obscure what we thought to be the main motif.
Identity is a central theme in the exhibition whether it focuses on how we form our identity in the social media (Grethe Irene Einarsen), on Sámi cultural identity (Tomas Colbengtson), or on a more temporary and flexible identity, as in the art of Trygve Luktvasslimo. Luktvasslimo’s work can be seen in the light of maybe the world’s best-known story of the mirror, that is, the myth about Narcissus, an adolescent who fell in love with his own mirror image and lost eventually his life because of this. Similar issues arise in Camille Norment’s Driftglass, a kind of anti-mirror in which the person standing in front of the mirror cannot see a clear reflection of (him)herself. A crack in the logic of the mirror can also be found in Bjørn Tore Stavang’s illusionistic paintings. Hanne Grieg Hermansen, again, conveys photographic effects as unintentional reflexes to the medium of drawing.
People meeting their environment is also a repeating theme in the exhibition. The northern landscape is presented in all its magnitude in the short film by Camilla Figenschou, but, instead of a romanticized idyll, we see unexpected and sometimes uncomfortable interactions. In Dan Lestander’s videos, people also have surprising dialogues with nature. In Sonja Siltala’s photography, creatures imitate the landscape of Finnmark playfully, while Ina Otzko makes a mirror of the interior reflect her own body in a series of photographs that also works together with the texts of Hanne Bremness. «Reflex» can be seen as a study of identity at several levels: that of the artist, the spectator and the geography around us.
Curators: Jan Erik Lundström and Torill Østby Haaland