Smoke and Mirrors
For her solo show at Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, Trine Lise Nedreaas debuts her new 3-screen video installation - Smoke and Mirrors, together with other works created during her recent time in Berlin.
The title piece brings us first the mystical Mac Donaldi - King of Soap Bubbles, a master of his own universe. Omnipotent and playful, he creates mesmerizing smoke-filled bubbles that hover in the air, their brief existence drawn to an inevitable close in a puff of smoke; Iryna - Backbender closes in on the fascinating, awkward and discomforting shapes of a contortionist, her unfaltering smile belying the efforts of her unbelievable deformations; In Yana and Noname a ventriloquist silently handles her jester dummy. The childlike world of make-believe revealing a sinister unspoken violence. Together these films present key elements in the artist's ongoing exploration of the humancondition: our insignificance in a grander setting and our powerlessness over our own nature; our attempts to accommodate and navigate a complex world; and the forces that manipulate and influence our everyday activities, both mundane and profound.
Pinned to the wall nearby in the gallery's industrial basement, a motley crew of ventriloquist dummies, illusionists and monsters hang alongside studies of spiritual leaders and their evangelized worshippers; Fan is a rogues gallery of sorts - a makeshift scrapbook of the artist's passing obsessions.
Exploring the dual notions 'Seeing is believing / believing is seeing': Mind's eye is a collection of Rorschach mirror inkblot images, mounted directly on to the wall - each subtly reworked, these ambiguous forms present a catalog of our own inner visions; Marvels is a series of polaroids in which the shape of a heart is captured in celestial scenes; and Why is a stereoscopic toy where question marks leap out from stellar nurseries. Is there anything out there? Is there anything in here?
Coupling wondrous curiosity with the looming sense of instability, Nedreaas circles around our hopes, fears, wonder and awe in a world of uncertainty.
Trine Lise Nedreaas was born in Bergen Norway in 1972. She studied art history and philosophy at the University of Bergen before moving to London to train at Central St. Martins and at the Slade School of Fine Art. Her work has been shown in institutions like The PS1 MoMA in NY, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, KunstWerke in Berlin and Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo. Trine Lise Nedreaas is represented in several prestigious collections such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Norway, Staatliches Museum Schwerin, Germany, Neuen Berliner Kunstvereins, Germany, and Bergen Art Museum, Norway.