Anne Guro Larsmon - Girl, Interrupted!

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Exhibition catalog for a solo show by Anne Guro Larsmon at STYX Projects, Berlin, 2010.

Transcript of Anne Guro Larsmon - Girl, Interrupted!

  • Anne Guro Larsmon

    Gir

    l,

    int

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  • Soaked Chlo. Lavare. Dying honey.

  • S o l o e x h i b i t i o n b yAnne Guro Larsmon

    o p e n i n G p e r f o r m a n c e & t e x t b y Marthe Ramm Fortun

  • d a n c i n G a n d d i S p e r S i n G ,

    a m a S S i n G a n d b e c o m i n G .

    Geir Haraldseth

  • the tendency to read a work of art as biographical is incredibly

    tempting at times. andy Warhol, the character, is rarely left out when

    looking at, exactly, a Warhol. Jackson pollock comes to mind as a

    figure hard to omit when looking, thinking, or writing about his paint-

    ings. We are constantly reminded of the artist in representations in

    photos, movies, and the stories told, let alone the work in itself. tracy

    emin employs autobiography actively in her work and the artists bio-

    graphy becomes a genre and a medium in its own right as emin veers

    through stereotypical renditions of the artist, mixed in with soap opera

    scenarios, sex, and confessions. its hard to see a sculpture, print, or

    drawing by louise bourgeois and not think of the artists biographical

    writing. the artists biography is still a subject met with great interest

    by many, but what of a young artists first solo exhibition? are we al-

    lowed a peek into the world of anne Guro larsmon in her solo exhibi-

    tion, Girl, interrupted! ?

    looking at the works themselves, curious constellations of

    debris, found materials, doorways, posts and pillars, some more po-

    etic than another, some more unbelievable than others, there is not

    much that tells you anything about the artists biography. at least not

    at first sight. the materials selected by larsmon look like they belong

    somewhere in the past, like they have been ripped from time and

    space to be reconfigured here in the exhibition space. the items in the

    room have belonged at some point to some time. maybe a door from

    a house, tiles from a bathroom, or a cane from an elderly person. the

    materials have been selected and picked to represent form in unison

    with the other materials and the other works in the exhibition. form

    that point to art history, to design, to personal space, and to poetics.

    and to larsmon herself. the artist has developed a sense of joining

    and constellation that can be read in context of her generation of

    artists, as many are avid interpreters of the personal and general sub-

    texts, but larsmon often underlines the particularly personal, which is

    a great strength. While similar formal qualities and interests can be

    found in the work of other artists, there is something more vulnerable

    in larsmons work. Some artists might be more clear and obvious in

    shapes and choice of materials, while larsmon infuses her work with

    romance, loss, and melancholy.

    the title of the show refers to a painting by Vermeer, Girl

    interrupted at her music, from c. 1658-1661. the painting shows

  • a girl studying sheets of music with an instructor or a possible suitor

    leaning over the girl. the girl is not paying any intention to the instruc-

    tor, but rather looks over her shoulder and acknowledges the painter

    and creates a situation of uncertainty for the viewer. is she looking at

    the painter or at us? the subject of the painting is interacting with the

    painter, if not us, making us aware of our own stance in front of the

    painting, but also to consider the painter painting. larsmon has short-

    ened the title of the exhibition to Girl, interrupted! adding an excited

    exclamation mark! the shortened version strays from the art historical

    reference and leads us to a more popular and recent reference. the

    movie, Girl interrupted, from 1996, is a harrowing account of com-

    ing of age, madness, and friendship between a group of young girls

    in an institution. its easy to draw the lines to larsmon herself in both

    references. the girl in Vermeers painting is rupturing her restricted

    role as a subject and turns the painting into an intriguing personal

    case, something many artists are still trying to figure out to this day

    and age. in the case of the movie, its a story of finding ones way in

    the world, and the protagonist in the movie uses painting and music

    as therapeutic tools to encounter and restructure the world. im not

    insinuating that larsmon has been receiving therapy, spent time in an

    institution or taken lessons to learn how to play a musical instrument

    with a suitor behind her, but this is exactly the push and pull offered by

    such connotations. is larsmon the girl in the painting trying to find her

    way, or is she the painter, pulling the strings and setting the scenarios?

    the artist is certainly willing to be playful in this situation, by adding

    an exclamation mark, changing the potential trauma of interrupting

    a subject, being formed, into a statement, perhaps an emancipatory

    shout of triumph.

    the sculptures in the exhibition can all be read as scenarios,

    or even a larger unified scenario with many sets, or stories. the sets

    might be pulled from larsmons own life, but they suggest a passing,

    and a story. the scent of a perfume bottle will fill the room at the open-

    ing, but slowly dissipates over time. thats entropy, but larsmon uses

    our olfactory sense to spin tales, seduce and narrate the exhibition,

    instead of showing us decay by more terminal means a la Smithson.

    if we follow the trail of information left by the press release, we find

    that the scent was used by larsmons mother, who died while larsmon

    was still a young girl, interrupted. the presence of the mothers smell

  • dissipates, and all that is left are the bottles of perfume and their

    exquisite pumps.

    there is an upward movement in the exhibition. many of the

    sculptures consist of cylinders and pillars that connect to elongate

    and reach. they are made out of steel or wood, like hesitation Walz,

    consisting of bars from a banister. theres a wooden beam covered

    with white tiles, leaning over and tilting. its heavy and clunky. there

    are three metal rods fitted with door handles on top, ready to open

    if you can reach them. like a small child wanting to repeat the pat-

    terns of a mother, to play, to reach, something out of reach, something

    unattainable. the scenarios are referencing those moments from

    childhood, where things are so close, yet so far away, not just objects

    of desire, but concepts of life, where you enter a room, or look up a

    flight of stairs or down the basement, trying to grasp your position in

    the world and identity is constructed. if we return to Vermeers painting

    of the girl, interrupted, it is easy to forget that the motif is actually a

    domestic set, inside a room, with chairs, a table, a window, a paint-

    ing and other everyday items. the items are clearly not just items, but

    act as symbols, cluing us in on status, values, stories and hinting at

    the persons person. larsmon is doing the same in this exhibition, but

    effectively destroying the links to the every day world, by disassembling

    items and mementos into materials, extending and re-accumulating

    them in a dramatic setting. the narrative in the exhibition is seductive

    on many levels, through smell and constellations, and we are invited

    along to dance, perhaps a waltz, where larsmon is leading the way.

  • Something lingers in this room, caught in the simulacrum of object-

    memory-history. the momentary interruption is soft like a mothers

    scolding. harsh words seem a token of care in her absence, demonic

    when she is near. Words are spoken in secret, to encompass a series

    of domestic rules. Who will maintain these rituals; rearrange the fur-

    niture, keepsake traditions? Girl, not-so-comely now.

    4 S i t u a t i o n S

    Marthe Ramm Fortun

  • the artist herself is part of the simulacrum, caught in a love affair

    with the commodity. there is no shape or logic to the past 100 years.

    a century of violence is transformed into sweeping movements with

    specific gestures and facial expressions. if this room is a home, it is

    womb bound and possessible like a picasso painting. the artist inter-

    rupts this space with her image.

  • the peeping tom animates the space, adding its scents to her voca-

    bulary. objecthood relies on an observer to transcend into reality.

    Soaked in it, this manifestation is killing the totem and re-creating

    it in one sweeping movement. the text is supported by a desire for

    something outside the body. the palimpsest could be a flowered

    wallpaper, a backdrop for your fading presence.

  • beauty forces itself on the sharp structure of anti-aesthetics, invert-

    ing the subject. like a spread in the new york post, the images are

    spilling, pouring onto text. fresh type ink smudges the door handle,

    negotiating the neutrality of the gallery space. true to this coalition

    of object-memory-history, Vermeer painted his subjects as startled

    deer. She adds movement to his brushstrokes.

  • Hesitation Waltz, 2010.Found objects on wooden plate. 50 x 25 x 100 cm.

  • Soaked Chlo II, 2010.Perfume on wooden shelf.45 x 21 x 70 cm.

  • High heels, 20