Det som forsvinner og det som blir igjen

Øystein Dahlstrøm

May 22 – June 29, 2019

BGE Contemporary is delighted to announce «Det som forsvinner og det som blir igjen», a solo exhibition by Norwegian artist Øystein Dahlstrøm (1976), opening on May 22, at 6 pm. The exhibition consists of photographic works of architecture, carpets and landscapes, where structures and surfaces within the motifs are enhanced. The depictions are characterized  by substantial traces and changes that have occurred over time.

Carpets photographed from above are portrayed in the four art works titled “Imprint #1-#4”. This kind of “bird view” is often used by archeologists to map out landscapes and topography, as it enhances characteristics which are hard to recognise when one is situated in the mist of the landscape. Dahlstrøm captures patterns of human usage within the carpet surfaces, perhaps most evident is a line of wear and tear of a little human pathway in what have been the location between a table and a corner sofa. 

In 1967, British land artist Richard Long took the train out of London, to an open field, where he walked back and forth until a visible line of trampled grass appeared. He then proceeded to photograph this art work, from an angle which made the trail particularly visible. This artwork, titled “A Line Made by Walking”, documents an action; he created a line within nature. Long’s intervention on nature was passing and humble, yet a strong representation of human presence. Equally so, human intervention is emphasised in Dahlstrøm’s series of work for this exhibition. Changes that have occurred over time, in carpets as in landscape affected by humans.

Dahlstrøm states about his motivation behind «Det som forsvinner og det som blir igjen»; “We now know how the human influence on nature is so significant that it leads to comprehensive changes of the Earth's surface, which we call the Anthropocene. The landscape in which I tread when taking photos, is often located on the borders between city and nature, in areas which are in the process of transitioning from one purpose to another. Plots are being excavated, heaps of sand and gravel, buildings are disappearing, objects are being left behind, and nature attempts to reconquest. 

We can understand time through changes in our environment and what is left behind; the sight which is created after humans have departed a place. Signs of human intervention or touch remain as existential markers, evidence of presence, and a way to measure the human scale.”

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