Kristina Bength — Within Cuts and Bends
Within Cuts and Bends
Past: May 31 → July 16, 2011
The Swedish artist Kristina Bength reactivates and translates past events into paintings and drawings. She reveals the possibility of distorting history and memory and replaying the present.
At L MD galerie, Kristina Bength shows the project Within Cuts and Bends, presented partly during « Le Salon du Dessin Contemporain » at Carrousel du Louvre in March. Within Cuts and Bends departs from photographic archive material that comes from the photographer, actress and impostress Amanda Kristina Pedersen, who in 1904 was convicted of fraud and forgery in Falun, Kristina Bength’s hometown.
Since 2008, Kristina Bength has worked on the story of Amanda Kristina Pedersen by bringing the game of fraud and imposture into play in several ways. Within Cuts and Bends is a slide of watercolour paintings that resembles an immovable silent film telling a story in fragments at the point where photographic realism meets the flowing motion of the aquarelle. The paintings depict spaces devoid of human presence, and they both invite and exclude the spectator from entering these spaces. Mute surfaces that keep the gaze out are alternated with surfaces that move freely and provoke forms that heavily contrast with photography. In other words, the aquarelle paintings give dominant significance to how the water’s fluid, transformative quality conquers and challenges the static time of photography.
In terms of material and technique as well as content, water plays an important part in Within Cuts and Bends. Being both a means of the painting process and a motif alluded upon, Water signifies the attempt to trace histories/stories and give new form to them by changing them. In this sense water becomes a metaphor of recollection and oblivion, referring back to the overall question of what it means to remember and forget, but also to what it means to use archive material and restage it in new stories. The difficulties and pitfalls of returning to the past and re-write history is the main theme of Kristina Bength’s art. The events as such cannot return, but they can recur in other forms if painting succeeds to put the storytelling potential of the archive into use.
The installation’s sculptural form establishes an allegorical relation to cinema, and there is also something mechanical over the installation. The paintings creates a separate form and are attached to steel wires that outline their own geometry of lines and forms in the exhibition space, and the installation gives the impression of being a construction that has suddenly stopped, lost its motion and been abandoned, quite similar to the milieus that the series of paintings are showing. Another dimension of Bength’s installation is the tense meeting between the metallic firmness of the wires and the fragility of the aquarelle paintings’ paper and tape. This tension is also emphasized in the paintings.
Kristina Bength was born in 1984 in Falun (Sweden), where she also works and live.
Opening Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 6 PM