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Toril Johannessen

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Transcendental Physics

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Press release, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, January 2010:

Toril Johannessen opens the spring season in NO.5. In her fascination with nature and the history of science she creates her visual works by way of methodical testing and an analytical attitude to the empirical and theoretical. The aesthetic grows up in a personal interpretation of the documentary where she also draws on metaphorical and mytholo¬gizing elements that are latent in the source material.

The exhibition in NO.5 consists of two works. One is a sculpture, which is absolutely the largest object one can possibly get into the gallery space in one piece, and thus circumscribes the volume and architectural framework of the exhibition. Unlike a ship in a bottle it is not hidden tricks that make the arrangement possible, but primarily a mapping of the physical conditions.

The second work is concerned with hypothetical points of contact between the German scientist Johann Zöllner (1834-1882) and the Canadian/US visual artist Agnes Martin (1912-2004). Inspired by the latter’s geometrical motifs, Johannessen plays on Zöllner’s discovery that parallel lines appear to be tilted when they are intersected by shorter lines at a particular angle (“Zöllner’s illusion”). A further meaning of the work can be read out of the fact that both Zöllner and Martin, through their methodical, scientific investigations, have explored various spiritual dimensions.

As part of her exhibition project, Toril Johannessen will give a lecture at the University of Bergen, Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies, subject area: art history. 9 February 2010, 14.15–16.00. Sydneshaugen skole, auditorium Q.

The lecture is open for the public.

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Transcendental Physics

Exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall NO.5, January 2010.

4D Construction
Sculpture (massive styrofoam, sanded and sealed).
761 x 227 x 148 cm.