Artist: Marie Raffn
Title: an oval, a vowel, an e
Curators: Paola Paleari and Anne Zychalak Stolten
Location: Vestjyllands Kunstpavillon, Videbæk, Denmark
Dates: June 26th – July 18th, 2021
Photographer: Jacob Friis-Holm Nielsen
Performer: Helene Buchhave Lind
What if one found oneself, in body and mind, within a cubist, polysemic universe – within an abstract language? That’s precisely the invitation behind an oval, a vowel, an e. Marie Raffn’s (b. 1991) solo exhibition at Vestjyllands Kunstpavillon leads our thoughts and associations towards a spatial, enlarged, fragmented drawing. A kind of three-dimensional, pluralistic and fractal translation of two-dimensionality.
In the installation, which consists of bent steel bars encasing geometric color fields in plaster, some of the casts remain in their nest, while others join a larger circular system of many interconnected parts. A geometric circuit.
From a distance, the metal stripes can be perceived as the line of a drawing, a notational hum, as a score, signs for sounds, or as a scribble – an (un)accessible script.
Some of the sculptural forms could also resemble creatures or remind us of species from across the globe. They open up a number of questions about both our and other animals’ perceptions, and suggest an exploration of cognitive biodiversity from several perspectives.
We all reduce dimensionality in our own fashion; and somehow depict and understand the world cubistically, in different ways. Some species emit sounds and orient themselves by following echoes from surrounding objects. Can the works in the room detect each other and establish a similar relationship?
Through an experimental approach to sculpture and a fascination for language, typography, rhythm and abstraction, Raffn has created a kind of spatial mapping.
The show is accompanied by a map of the exhibition space at a scale of 1:40 with a graphical/textual representation of the works and their composition in the room. The map’s division into fields suggests different reading directions that point towards a Cubist writing style, where the object is broken up and reassembled in an abstract form. Folded together, the leaflet is proportional to the building seen from above and will – like a city map – be readable anywhere, in any space. Later on, it will be lodged in the back-cover pocket of Raffn’s upcoming artist book.
Raffn’s artistic practice can be seen in a performative light, where the exhibition room – in this case Vestjyllands Kunstpavillon – is never a terminal point but rather a temporary place where the sculptures can unfold as thoughts that are given a voice.
At the opening, selected sculptures served as a score for abstract sounds of and between species: an interpretation performed by violinist Helene Buchhave Lind.
The exhibition is produced at Statens Værksteder for Kunst and supported by The Danish Arts Foundation and Dansk Tennis Fond. The VK contemporary art program 2021-2022 is curated by Paola Paleari and Anne Zychalak Stolten and supported by Det Obelske Familiefond and The Danish Arts Foundation.