Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mobius Circle

Exhibition view from Place in Gorey, Ireland. More to come when I've taken more photographs.

Are we not sad?

In the cartoons of Tom and Jerry, no one ever dies. Sticks of dynamite are forced into orifices, a head is squashed in a sandwich toaster, a piano drops from on high, but no one ever dies. Tom may ascend with harps and angles but we can be sure that he will miraculously return to continue the endless struggle, to strategize, run and endure. There is no moment of recess, of consideration or stasis where we might engage in the contemplation of their hectic existence or their final end. But then this was not intended as some ontological platform, for a few moments the reality of existence is suspended and we laugh as his tail catches in the mangle that slowly reels him in.

The essence of this humor is evident within Mobius Circle. At times Opdøl hints towards a Hanna - Barberaesque reflection on mortality as contrast to the realism with which she renders the stark process of life and death. A comedic cultural reference, as salve to the elephant in the room. This consideration may be a product of distance from her home country, as it finds many parallels in the Scandinavian sense of humor and it’s morbidly, beautiful myth. A region where Trolls with a fondness for pet bears and the company of princesses, will also rape and consume human flesh. Opdøl’s cultural identity and experience is ever present in her practice, as she plainly states in the accompanying text, “growing up on a farm, life and death is an everyday occurrence”. This is not to say that the work is devoid of sympathy. The presence of humor is scant but generous, a recognition of it as a human device for coping and continuing. The treatment of the drawn subjects is imbued with an obsessive empathy, each hair, each feather, still resonates past breath. At times, it seems that the presentation of these chosen animals in their new, much extended life as art, is a gift that alludes towards the religious beliefs that support our ability to live with what we know.

This collection of works at Place employs several art disciplines ranging from installation, bronze casting and drawing, to Opdøl’s first use of video documentation. It is an evolving process wrestling with ethereal substance. The title stretches further into the intangible by engaging with mathematical theory, referencing the peculiarities of the Mobius strip, which can be described as a continuous, non-orientable band. It has a very curious property, if a line is drawn from the seam down the middle to meet back at the same seam, it will somehow always end up at the "other side".

Paul Murnaghan

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Work in progress.

Making use of available material.
Deer legs.

Playing around.

Back doing some painting. A winter wonderlandscape.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mobius Circle

place invites you to the launch of Mobius Circle,

an exhibition of new work by artist Magnhild Opdøl

Opening february 18, 6-8pm

at place, 5 John St, Gorey Co. Wexford

Circles are a reoccurring theme in my recent work, life to death and back again. On a previous trip home to Norway, I collected water and footage from a melting glacier. The short loop shows the flow of the melting water in Norway, the sculptural piece accompanying the footage allows this glacial water to evaporate back into the air, completing its journey.

I often collect other parts of the history surrounding my pieces, and make them part of my projects. An orange basin has now become a sculptural piece together with a drawing and the photograph for the invitation. This piece began when a sheep lay on her newborn lamb, and the lamb died. Growing up on a farm, life and death is an everyday occurrence. The process of documenting this lamb is my way of honoring this creature, and it will, like many great people, be allowed to live forever, through my work. The lamb has been drawn and photographed deceased and has been given a new life as a taxidermic sculpture and photographed back in the habitat that it never saw. So I guess even if I separate the projects into different shows, and make them into something else, they are part of the same circle, and are also linked together through my process and collection.

Curator Paul Murnaghan

Exhibition continues till 19th March. Open 11am - 5.30 pm Monday to Saturday