OSL duo 01. Size 100x240 cm. Photo on brushed aluminum.
12/3 - 19/4 2020
Gallery Semmingsen is proud to present the forth solo exhibition by Christine Istad at the gallery, titled ‘Delirious Metropol’. The show is comprised of ten large scale colour photographs from the artist’s ongoing body of work, produced between 2018 and 2020. Istad’s work displays a thorough commitment to the photographic medium.
A New Nature
We are all familiar with the term nostalgia. But perhaps less with the newer term “solastalgia”. A word “invented” by Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht to describe ecological sorrow. A melancholia felt strongly by many of us; a “homesickness” for lost landscapes and species, in an area where human civilization characterizes the environment to the extent that clear geological traces are deposited on earth.
Through photographic studies, Christine Istad highlights details in modern architecture, in photographs referring to the real time and place in which they were taken. The motifs appear abstract and dissolved, although many of her most recent works are more organic in form than her previous. None the less, trough her detailed focus on optical effects, reflections of light and rhythms, Istad creates images of new forms of landscapes; artificial spaces.
Identity, relationship between people, society and modern, high speed cities are topics that concern the artist. Her close-up studies of towering architecture and densely packed urbanity reveal both her interest in a loss of nature and mankind's capacity to adapt to alienation and find small 'pockets' for physical and psychological space. The result is reminiscent of a principle of cultural anthropology, where the main question is what happens to inherited traditions and fundamental values when technology and efficiency become the defining powers in our lives? How is the balance between man and nature, and nature within man, maintained when the individual is increasingly defined as a "mechanical figure"?
Istad’s works focus on contrasts found in our most modern and innovative metropolises, where tradition and technology are thrown into sharp relief. Her photo series are stunningly beautiful and plays with the viewers perception. What do we see? Is it the in- or outside of a building? Is it the building itself or reflections of buildings in its proximity?
Istad offers no answers. Instead she asks: How do we keep our identity and humanity in a world perceived as façades and reflections?
Text: Karin Sunderø
The exhibition is supported by Bildende Kunstneres Vederlagsfond, NBK
Astrid Hilde Semmingsen
Fru Kroghs Brygge 2, Tjuvholmen, 0252 Oslo, Norway.
Dissolved Hamburg 01. Size 70x100 cm. Photo digital print.
Dissolved Rodeo Dr. LA 02. Size 70x100 cm. OSL duo 01. Size 100x240 cm. Photo on brushed aluminum.
Dissolved OSL 01. 70x100 cm, photo on brushed aluminum. Dissolved Pantheon 01. 100x150 cm, photo digital print.
Dissolved OSL 01. Size 70x100 cm. Photo on brushed aluminum. Dissolved Pantheon 01. Size 100x150 cm. Digital print.
Dissolved OSL 01. Size 70x100 cm. Photo on brushed aluminum.
Dissolved Tokyo 01. Size 70x100 cm. Dissolved San Fransisco 01. Size 100x150 cm. Photo on brushed aluminum.
Dissolved San Fransisco 01. Size 100x150 cm. Photo on brushed aluminum.
Dissolved Tr.Heim 01. Dissolved Rodeo Dr. 02. Size 70x100 cm. OPhoto on brushed aluminum.
Dissolved Tokyo 01. Size 70x100 cm. Photo on brushed aluminum.
Delirious Metropol Pantheon 01. Size 100x150 cm. Digital print. OSL duo 02. Size 100x150 cm. Photo on brushed aluminum.
OSL duo 02. Size 100x240 cm. Photo on brushed aluminum
Delirious Rodeo Dr. 01. Delirious Rodeo Dr. 03. Size 70 x 100 cm. Photo on brushed aluminum.
From Left, Dissolved San Fransisco 01, Dissolved Tr.Heim 01, Dissolved Rodeo Dr. LA 01. Dissolved Rodeo Dr. LA 03.
Art Critic Klassekampen, Tommy Ohlsson.
From the other side of the glass
Art critique by Tommy Ohlsson in Klassekampen 15.4.2020
First, in case there is any doubt: I really do like exhibitions. There may have been times when I’ve even doubted that myself, but in light of the last weeks post-coital tristesse that doubt has all but evaporated. It feels good to know that all the drugs and the uninhibited group sex is more an effect of how I work, rather than of the work itself. None the less, I shall do the work.
In these times, when time itself is standing still, Gallery Semmingsen are displaying elev-en large scale photographs by Christine Istad. As usual, I had not read the press release nor done any googling in advance, so it took me a few minutes to realise that these were actually photographs – and not paintings. The imagery is so closely related to that of the painting, where it rests in the poetic twilight between abstraction and that of correct rep-resentation. A natural starting point when the focus of the work is the reflection of a light that we can't always, if ever, know the source of.
When, in addition, the applied lens transforms everything into mosaics and kaleidoscopic patterns, ones own gaze becomes fragmented as well. In a way it's almost like watching the world through the embellishment of a German beer glass (after having finished said beer). What was once known and distinguishable now appears unfamiliar and strange. The rhythmical and repetitive quality of the photographs leads you into a state of disori-entation, much like if you’d walked in to a hall of mirrors after having finished that same beer. Also the scale of these works can not be overlooked, they are appealing, beautiful and easy to get lost within.
Now that I know that the origin of each photograph is a city. And furthermore the titles in-form me that what I am looking at is different cities in a process of decomposition; Dis-solved San Fransisco, Dissolved Hamburg, Dissolved Trondheim, and so on – a trou-bling undertone is asserted. The photograph of Trondheim puts me into an almost trance-like state, but there is still something ominous about it. I would not be able to find my way in this life if Trondheim was no longer on the map. However, it is comforting to know that it is not the city itself that is dissolving in front of me. Neither in the photograph, nor in real life.