ANNIKA VON HAUSSWOLFF [solo-exhibition] at Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Paris, January 23 – March 14, 2020
Oh Mother, What Have You Done
Annika von Hausswolff at Andréhn-Schiptjenko Paris
January 23 – March 14, 2020
Andréhn-Schiptjenko is pleased to present Oh Mother, What Have You Done, a series of new works by Annika von Hausswolff. The opening takes place in presence of the artist on Thursday January 23 between 18-20h.
Annika von Hausswolff (b.1967) is one of the most influential photographic artists in Sweden and will be the subject of a large solo-exhibition at the Moderna Museet in a few months. She is well known for her carefully arranged images with documentary visual expression. Her images are often based on themes such as power structures, spatiality, psychoanalysis and the absence of human presence, though with traces of human activity. Several of her series of works have been inspired by crime-photography and in this most recent body of work her sources are mainly press and police archives.
As of late, von Hausswolff has also been interested in the transition from analogue and digital photography and has worked with the very medium of photography and the tools of the trade. Different techniques have been used in this series; UV-print on acrylic glass, oil paint, fine art prints and metal print high definition on aluminum.
Oh Mother, What Have You Done is a series of images where figures derived from the internet’s vast ocean of visual debris are floating in a colourful space not unlike that of children drawings. The figures represented have been isolated from their original context. The main characters in the images are women being arrested and/or handcuffed, walking from an unknown past into an uncertain future, either alone or accompanied by deputies of law. Some of the figures stem from movie settings and thus reality and fiction are blended together with no anticipated hierarchy. The concept of anticipation can be a key into the understanding of the series of images. What is expected from a woman, from a mother in the overall behavioural scheme of human beings? Are the images depicting oppression, rightful accusation or possibly some big misunderstanding?
The childlike application of colour is directly related to the title, Oh Mother What Have You Done. What the answer is to this question is subject for speculation. The child, who clearly knows right from wrong, either questions the mother or expresses pity. The image of the restrained mother could also be interpreted as a self-portrait by the artist. Creating art is always a form of transgression and as such an offense to the (metaphorical) child of the mother artist. Any child would like their mother to be as normal and neutral as possible and in the child’s universe there is really no acceptance for transgressive behaviour. Taking the argument further, the image of the handcuffed woman can be seen as emblematic – an image of the female artist as “criminal”, overstepping the norms of society.
Humans of all times have projected their need to feel flawless onto the accused other. The public punishment, historically executed in streets and squares, is being repeated today in public shaming on social media platforms and in digital tabloids.
Annika von Hausswolff trained at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design and the Royal Institute of Art and is currently adjunct professor in photography at HDK-Valand at Gothenburg University. Her work has met with great success internationally and she has had solo shows at The Hasselblad Foundation, Göteborg, La Conservera, Murcia, Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Stockholm, and ARoS Kunstmuseum in Aarhus, Denmark among others. Her works are included in collections such as Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Stockholm, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, KIASMA, Helsinki, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, ARoS Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York as well as in the FNAC (Fond National d’Art Contemporain) France and FRAC Pas-de-Calais and FRAC Languedoc Roussillon. Annika von Hausswolff represented Sweden at the 1999 Venice Biennale. She lives and works in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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Next exhibition: Tony Matelli, March 21 – May 9, 2020