Culture Nov 23 – Dec 3 • Free entry
Borghild Rudjord Unneland（NO）
TCG ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM(AIR)
Curator： Zhou Fengyi
Location：TCG Nordica International Culture Center（ F.3 -B.1 the Second Avenue of Rain Town, Kunming）
About the Artist
Borghild Rudjord Unneland born 1978, is a Norwegian artist educated at Bergen Academy of Art and Design. During the last years she has produced several solo exhibitions in renowned art institutions as well as a number of group exhibitions both nationally and internationally as well as public commissions.
I predominately work with installations, using everyday objects and natural materials as important effects. In my work I explore relationships between materials, surfaces and details and the associative affects they produce. Through unexpected material combinations, manipulated surfaces and unforeseen attached details, I seek to instigate new lines of thought.
The relationship between thought and material presence lies at the core of my art production. The sculptures can be interpreted like poems in physical form, where the links that appear in the encounters between different objects generate associative connections like stanzas in a poem.
Preface–The shape of time
Borghild is from Norway who is the second resident artist I have received. She is very friendly and easy-going. I like to work with her, which makes me not have too much psychological burden due to language barriers. During her stay, the work went well. I have learned many new words, and it is not very difficult to speak English.
With the development of the work, there are many ideas appearing in her creative process. When the first work was just formed, she could pray to God and said to me, “I can finally sleep.” In the following days, she overturned the plan that had been planned for nearly two months, temporarily changing the work materials and exhibition theme. Her anxiety and insomnia come from the connection between her works and time. Her settling of time is relatively short, while her works depend on time.
Borghild brought a lot of clothes from Norway, which filled up the whole suitcase. She told me that behind every piece of clothing there are stories you couldn’t see. They are frozen in the past time, and you will never see them again. Through these solid shaped clothes, I can see the shape of time and the emotion behind the clothes. In the sun, as the shadow gradually changes, the work looks as if a stalactite.
It’s a great honor for me to observe the creative process of these works on site. During Borghild’s short stay, she didn’t give me more text about her and her works except for talking. Besides some articles about her are in Norwegian, i can’t find more description of her because she does not want to use the text to interpret her works. Before she came to Nordica, in order to learn more about her, I browsed her personal home page, which did not have too many text descriptions about the works, only the works’ names or even Norwegian.
In the absence of the text explanation given by others, the meaning of the work is only carried in the digital image which can be acquired by vision at this time. She and I don’t have the same cultural background and common language. If the objects recorded by images are the carriers of the language of her works, how should I interpret them? In my life experience, reading a person or a work is undoubtedly mixed with my emotional status and cognitive limitations. Maybe the meaning can be described as “Chinglish art” (laughter). Later, she said that it was her goal not to rely on words to explain her works because she was interested in the visual language and atmosphere that were not easy to express in words. Perhaps, “Chinglish art” is also a reasonable language form to some extent. (Note: “Chinglish art”: in a certain context, it means a cognitive way with personal limitations, and the right of interpretation belongs to the author.)
Borghild arrived in Kunming on the evening of November 10, 2019 and began to work in the residence on November 11. Today is the evening of the 16th, I wrote a preface for her exhibition for publicity—less than a week before Borghild’s entry into the exhibition. At the moment, I have to leave an unknown suspense, because her works are still in the process of creation. As she first tried to name her Exhibition: “Everything is Waiting”, everything is moving in it’s time.
I was just about to finish writing when Borghild sent me the theme of the exhibition. She said, “The exhibition petrification is dealing with the staging of something left behind. Traces of something unknown hanging on the wall or left on the floor. What was once soft have become rock hard, like a muscle memory of past materialities. In ‘ ‘Art as Technique’ (1917) Viktor Shklovsky wrote ” And art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony.” In this exhibition I am not making the stone stony but rather I am discussing how we can make what was once soft and pliable, soft again.” Finally, she named the exhibition “Petrifications”.
To some extent, fossilization is indeed a shape of time, and Borghild’s job is to hide this kind of things in the past time, which were once soft and warm. As she said, “The relationship between thought and material presence lies at the core of my art production. The sculptures can be interpreted like poems in physical form, where the links that appear in the encounters between different objects generate associative connections like stanzas in a poem.”