TURIN.- Quartz Studio
is presenting her spinning takes place near the mouth / I see what I eat / I eat what I see / It is an eating that is about risk, the first solo show in Italy by the Swedish artist Astrid Svangren (Göteborg, Sweden, 1972), drafted by the Danish curator Nina Wöhlk.
The site-specific installation conceived for Quartz Studio - states the artist - seeks to think through colour as a living entity. Something that has agency, the ability to shape and be shaped by the context that gives it its form. It explores colour as a language that gives meaning to feelings, thoughts, and dreams and all their contradictions, and which resists any other form of expression. Colour as irreducible to language; experienced only as lived. The work is an attempt to know what cannot be said.
The work presents itself as a homely, feminine setting in an abstract sense, with constructed weavers spinning wheel, wood oven and homely fixtures such as shelves, tables, mirrors and hooks to hang memories. The space is, however, be absent of any human bodily presence; it is not a human being that lives there, but the colour that moves in and around the objects. The colour gives the objects their life and arouses the idea of the memories they contain; those that we give them when we see them. The colour is red. Red like the first fire, the first light, the first blood that gave life. But it is warm, so it also gives the feeling of always having been there. Here, the work blurs the idea of what might be reduced to a single point of origin and something that is ongoing and continuous. It is not quite possible to locate it in time. It simply is. The work is contained within a small room, with a large single window at one end looking in. The work can be looked in upon, in a similar way that we might look in upon ourselves. But the work also, in different ways, attempts to escape from the space through pipes and wires and other secret means. It is not clear anymore if the room is a home or rather a cage. In order to know it, an exploration deeper and deeper into how colour, meaning, dreams, memories are entangled would be necessary, with a certain madness of possibly never fully knowing. And so, knowing is disrupted, it is only experience that remains.
Svangrens works - declares in addition the curator - are found at the very edge of painting. More than traditionally framed canvases, they are three-dimensional volumes of textile, foils and found materials. Her works comprise signs, traces and gestures, which are not merely conceptual vehicles for concepts and ideas, observed and interpreted, but lived. For her, to experience goes beyond the limits of speech. As part of a new critical awareness against the dominant conceptual tenets of Western-oriented thinking, Svangren amplifies para-linguistic means of communication, the multi-sensorial and the feminine. Svangren can be seen with reference to artists as Eva Hesse, Lynda Bengalis and Robert Smithson, while poets such as Hélene Cixous, Katarina Frostenson and Inger Christensen continue to inspire her.