Jag ser ett mörker, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Hellvi, 2016
We are pleased to present this summer’s exhibition at Hellvi Kännungs, Gotland. The rebuilt limestone barn located on northeastern Gotland functions as Galleri Magnus Karlsson’s project space during summertime and this year marks our sixth consecutive presence throughout the month of July. This year’s exhibition, I See a Darkness, presents works by artists Roger Andersson, Idun Baltzersen, Sara-Vide Ericson and Klara Kristalova.
The exhibition borrows its title from the song I See a Darkness by the American musician and songwriter Will Oldham, performed together with Johnny Cash in one of his last recordings. It is one of the most poignant moment in rock history where they sing about friendship, love and a zest for life, with death and impermanence as a constant companion.
This is hardly a unique theme, but rather something that has been central in human cultural expressions throughout our history. Especially in a secular society where the end becomes even more definite. Parallel with the thoughts of our own mortality, is the fear of the end of the civilization. Terror, wars, refugee crisis, irresponsible world leaders and the climate change create a dark cloud over our existence.
Navigation through darkness can be especially difficult in life’s various transitional phases. The artists of the exhibition have all processed the transition between childhood and adult life in various ways in their work. Among other things reflecting on vulnerability and exclusion and focusing on the contrasts of life – dream and wakefulness, reality and fiction, life and death. In a figurative tradition, but with different expressions they all show a deep interest in their material and method. Traditional techniques such as ceramics, printmaking, watercolor and painting, are given a contemporary language by pushing the limits of its possibilities
The subjects in the exhibition’s works carry a pain, but also holds a strength and purposefulness. What do they see in the dark? Which worlds or dreams can offer them peace or refuge? There is also a trigger and increased vitality when on the ledge facing an impending darkness, in the tension between security and disaster. The original meaning of the word Apocalypse is unveiling or disclosure, and the basic principle is that there is a better option beyond the darkness. Behind the curtain, beyond the grave or beyond the teenage angst. In a state of vulnerability and disorientation, examination of darkness is what can carry us forward. A vision in the dark.