Stian Ådlandsvik opens solo exhibition at Z Gallery Arts, Vancouver BC

Bruised Features | Stian Ådlandsvik

Artist Reception:
Thursday, May 18, 2017, 6PM - 8PM

Z Gallery Arts
102 - 1688 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC Canada

Portrait of Leibniz, after Pierre Savart (2017)
Cape of Leibniz interpreted as a car-cover by a tailor in Leipzig (DE),
incised to replicate a car-cover in Oslo, frame, ink-jet print mounted on aluminium
Diptych 192 x 160 cm and 80 x 120 cm

Bruised Features

A thing “is never just an object, but a fossil in which a constellation of forces are petrified. Things are never just inert objects, passive items, or lifeless shucks, but consist of tensions, forces, hidden powers, all being constantly exchanged” (Steyerl 2010, A Thing Like me and you).

Bruised Features brings together new productions and recent iterations of Stian Ådlandsvik’s ongoing study of work and bodies. In the exhibition objects are allowed and made to suggest several modalities of functioning, for instance by fusions that brings how they belong to a set and acquire meaning in to view.

Walking past a covered-up car every day on the way to his studio on the post-industrial outskirts of Oslo, Ådlandsvik noticed a tear in the cover, exposing the shiny surfaces and velocity enhancing design of the car. The things we surround ourselves with are chaste in the sharing of their biography. It consists of materials, forms, designs, work hours and the touch of the soft and calloused hands of numerous people, not divulging the connectivity to each other or to you, the end user. Enveloping themselves in a mystic purity, the stories they contain is in effect one of concealment and suppression.

In an ongoing series of paintings Ådlandsvik takes scanners, printers, DVD-players, screens and various other production-and-entertainment gadgets to pieces. Each machine is distributed across a canvas that is covered by layers of thin paint, disrupting the paint crust. The process unfolds in segments and repetitions, creating a history of traces and wounds on and into the depth of the field of colour developing on the stretched canvas. The last people to see these parts of the machines were the factory workers assembling them, their labour reversed and exposed becomes part of the painting.

Dissection is a desire aimed at the operational limit of things.

White feathers from a duvet protrudes from a cut splitting a low podium of concrete in two. A pair of sneakers are placed on top of the podium. A meteorite has been delicately mounted and emerges from the surface of the inner sole. The history of the meteorite is one of high speed, a quality shared by sneakers. It is a rare object, and as such the meteorite further imbues value to the shoe, while its rugged form obliterates the function of the shoe as a shell for a soft foot.

In a portrait of Leibniz (an engraving from 1768, signed Pierre Savart, 52 years after the philosopher and polymath died) his likeness is presented within a square, central perspective frame engraved onto the same surface as the portrait. A piece of the fabric from Leibniz’ cloak punctures the flatness to spill over the edge of the frame, casting an engraved shadow.

Ådlandsvik gave this image to a tailor in the German city of Leipzig (Leibniz’ place of birth) and asked him to interpret this cloak, but fitting it to suit a car. The skill and knowledge of the tailor is directed towards the property, not the owner. The new tailored cloak is framed, a segment of the cloth is hanging out over the edge of the frame through a hole in the glass. Next to it is a photograph of a car covered by the the transfigured cloak of Leibniz, the gash in the fabric as seen in Oslo is induced on the textile.

Fabric covers a surface, protects it and puts disparate things into relation. A folded cloth brings nodes closer to each other, establishing connections even when they seem separated by distance in space and time.

In Bruised Features Ådlandsvik explores the entanglement of things, how their insides and outsides, their skins and the stuff that makes machines work, hides and displays work, bodies and relations. Bruising brings a life history to the pristine. In splits and tears their insides are allowed to come forth.

Stian Ådlandsvik (1981) is a Norwegian artist based in Oslo. He holds a degree from the National academy of fine arts in Oslo, and from the University of fine arts of Hamburg. Recent exhibitions include Goblin Treasure at Noplace, Oslo and Societé Anonyme at Galleri K, Oslo. His work has been acquired by several collections including the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo and Nomas Foundation in Rome.

Text by Ragnhild Aamås