You walk into an enclosed space. The windows seal off the outside world.
Your eyes stumble through the tactile landscape, your body is carried away in waves of movement. Astrid Svangren occupies this space. She rattles out streams of words, repeating phrases and fragments like a murmuring list that softly and firmly makes its way to your ear. She folds and rolls and stretches the material possibilities. She makes frail exclamations and then whips around to chest-beating boasts, defiant dares, wounded questions. She composes images that bounce and twirl acrobatically in a choreography of absolute precision, then pull themselves up into a passionate yet stoic calm.
You can clearly see the hand, the works have been touched.
You can clearly sense the body, the works breath movement.
Astrid Svangren weaves language into the texture of her images. She dresses the works with different layers of tone and expression and plaits movement into her materials. Every tic, stutter, and syllable opens up pockets of sensation and mood. Water, mud, billowing dunes, torn edges, scraps of wrappings, reflecting surfaces, and silver smooth as a mirror. She gives way to the flow of contradictions and the liberty of interruptions that exist within the structure of each line, each stroke, each mark. She tackles the materials violently – drags, washes, scratches – and then mends and repairs them in order to come close, to enter inside of them and push them beyond their limits.
She performs images that carry a transitional motion and explores conditions that evoke a frail and unconditional persistence. She sets out to drape emotion.
Words can be salted with fire, sensations can be seasoned with colour.
Blue is the warmest colour of them all.
/ Elena Tzotzi
curator, writer and co-director of Signal – Center for Contemporary Art