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Elna Hagemann: Still Life With Bottle. (A study of the light, colours and shapes in Morandi ́s paintings, while acting as a bottle).

Malin Bülow og Elna Hagemann

May 31st - August 5th 2018

Malin Bülow and Elna Hagemann treat the human body as a shared starting point for their exhibition at SOFT Galleri. Bülow situates the body in relation to architecture and rectangular rigid forms, while Hagemann treats the body as a performative object in staged photographs. Elasticity and flowing masses meet when the artists take possession of the gallery space.

Hagemann has used textile materials in her process of creating photographs and a sculpture for the exhibition. In the photo series Still Life with Bottle (A study of the light, colours and shapes in Morandi ́s paintings, while acting as a bottle), she stages herself in different postures and costumes, like an object in a painting. The series is the latest instalment in an extensive oeuvre that takes recourse in both absurdity and seriousness to critically examine the canon of art history. Her photos allude to intractable and oppressive situations from which women try to break free. Hagemann also presents a larger sculpture. Through it, she examines expectations related to women’s roles, also textile materials as soft and pliable yet transformed into hard plastic. The form thus operates in a paradoxical situation between flowing and frozen states, perhaps also referencing the possibility for unlimited bodily states. It appears as a maladapted sculpture with neither backbone nor pliability, barely able to stay on its plinth.

Bülow’s work explores elasticity in relation to the body and movement, initiating an ambivalent experience of rigidity and flexibility. Mjuk polygon, elastisk polyeder – ett rørelseexperiement mellan konkav och konvex is a real physical body in the gallery room, encased inside a textile membrane that is attached to a rectangular frame on the wall via an elastic tube. With this work, Bülow wants the viewing public to alternate between identifying with the subject and interpreting it. The choreography of the dancer inside the membrane is languid and repetitive, causing the piece to appear more as an animated elastic sculpture or a performative still life. The elastic material is slick white and thus acts like an extension of the gallery space and when enfolding the body, an extension to our most natural boundary – skin. Skin as a barrier to the inside of our body, and skin as an interpersonal boundary. 

Mjuk polygon, elastisk polyeder – ett rørelseexperiement mellan konkav och konvex will be activated by the dancers Wanda Breistrand and Marte Bjørnseth Kristoffersen every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 3 pm throughout the month of June. Follow us at in case of changes in the programme.

Malin Bülow (b. 1979) has an MFA from Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Faculty of Visual Arts, 2016) and a BFA from Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam (2012). She also holds a Msc in neuroscience from VU University in Amsterdam (2008) and a BSc in molecular biology from the University of Lund in Sweden (2006). Bülow has exhibited widely, including at Cosmoscow International Art Fair in Moscow, HI GORDON in Vienna, the performance festival at Kunstbanken in Hamar, RAKE in Trondheim, the degree show at Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, Hotel Pro Forma in Copenhagen, Podium, Black Box and One Night Only in Oslo, and been a featured festival artist for Sted Søker Kunst in Ski.

Elna Hagemann (b. 1976) studied at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Faculty of Visual Arts 1998 – 2002) and the art school Kunstskolen in Bergen (1996 – 1998). She has previously held solo exhibitions at Vestfold Kunstsenter, Akershus Kunstnersenter, Noplace Oslo and Galleri UKS, and been represented in group shows at (among others) the galleries Kunstnerforbundet, Kunstnernes Hus and Fotogalleriet in Oslo, in addition to several international art venues such as Lidkjøping Konsthall in Sweden, Kunsthalle Lophem in Belgium, Grim Museum in Berlin and Lethaby Gallery in London.

Foto: Øystein Thorvaldsen

Foto: Øystein Thorvaldsen

Foto: Øystein Thorvaldsen