Enacting a kind of artistic rebirth, the young Swedish artist’s new show at Union (on Teesdale Street, E2) sees him expanding his interest in human psychology by a thorough exploration of the body. The figures present everywhere in ‘The birth of us’ are both symbolically fragmented and eerily truthful – casts containing the nebulous ambiguities and irrationality of internalised emotion.
The works in the gallery mix equal doses of the material and corporeal with the idea of invisible auras. We see a photograph of a spectral figure buried in a palimpsest of its own movements, here looking like shadows obscuring the clarity of the standing body hiding in the background. In his sculptures, universal dichotomies such as presence/absence, being/non-being, pleasure/pain, old/young are expressed through the artist’s autobiographical shedding.
‘The birth of us’, two oil painted silicon figures depicting the torsos of a boy and a girl, technically perfect renditions of anatomical shapes, are memorable for the ambiguous marks they bear, reminders of an embrace or of a violent interaction. ‘One as two (3)’ is made up of two aluminum masks (one a cast of the artist and one of his mother) tensely facing one another rather literally due to the magnets causing the artist’s face cast to gravitate toward the other. His cast is held apart by a metal wire, like a statement of the need for distance and separation, but the pieces are inextricably linked through the oneness of the art work, a strong, tangibly raw expression of a usually hidden, deeply dual teeter totter dynamic.
Krisar’s previous work also dug into the idea of explicit subjectivity as a theme in art. His ‘Chords 1-17′ (shown at Staley Wise Gallery in 2002) comprised a series of majestic photographs of horizons taken by the artist in the Seychelles Islands, accompanied with recorded compositions recorded by Krisar himself. Each photo linked with a piece, as if the two were inseparable in the artist’s conceptualisation of the project. ‘I want to reach absolute purity, I want to depict a world without humans and without thought’, Krisar stated then, and a similar pared-down aesthetic is palpable in his current image making, where what the viewer finds is no plain bodies, but almost the figure as a witness to the artist’s emotional perspective.
ANDERS KRISAR, ‘THE BIRTH OF US’
29 Nov 2007 – 2 Mar 20008
UnionTeesdale Street (open Sat & Sun 12-5pm)
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