Lark / Plunge
Using words from the first page of Virginia Woolf’s novel ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ as a point of departure, the exhibition ‘Lark / Plunge’ presents new visual narratives surrounding the major themes of the text. Initially shown as an online exhibition in September 2011, ‘Lark / Plunge’ was a curatorial experiment in which artists were asked to respond to the words ‘Lark / Plunge’ and an image of the first page of ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ in three weeks time. Now the show will be translated from the virtual to the physical space; the original works will be transformed by their new venue and additional artists will contribute works to the show.
Virginia Woolf’s text, in which the heroine’s preparations for a party in 1920s London are continually interrupted by recollections of the past, raises questions concerning memory, subjective perception and its inevitable inaccuracy. 'What a lark! What a plunge!' cries Mrs. Dalloway to express her feeling of joy, facing a fresh new day. But her memory becomes blurry and reinvents itself – Is the past generated from the present or vice versa? While some artists concentrated on this scene and the physicality of the factor of time, others worked associatively with the terms 'lark' and 'plunge', allowing an unpredictable force to push the surface of the text out of balance: Whereas 'lark' denotes joy, a joke or a breed of birds, 'plunge' describes a fall or the act of diving.
The disconnect between a person’s memories and the reality of his or her life is reconsidered by Daniel Kingery in his photographic collage 'Two Memories'. Shots of his grandfather in Vietnam are scribbled over with annotative titles in black oil pastel: 'Grandfather in the den, smoking' and 'Grandfather showing me a karate chop', show the artist’s grandfather kneeling in the grass in uniform or standing underneath a palm tree. Linda Green's light box installation looks at the nature of the artists' exercise itself. 'I Like, and Likes Me', employs an image of Claude Lorraine’s 1648 painting 'The Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba,' which faces an empty chair and reflects upon the scholarly gesture of extracting meaning from remnants of our culture’s past. The title’s reference to Beuys reveals the ambivalent and performative relationship between viewer and image, reader and text, as well as present self and history.
Artists | Freya Dalsjö (DK), Florian Goldmann (D), Linda Green (USA), Ryan Hays (GB), Daniel Kingery (USA), Sako Kojima (J), Kate Mackeson (GB), Toshihiko Mitsuya (J), Annika Rixen (D), Linnea Saassen (N), Miriam Steinhauser (A), Kay Walkowiak (A) | Performances on the opening night by Ayaka Azechi, Sako Kojima, Linnea Saasen, Ingvild Hotlhe Bygdnes and Polly Ott