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Barbro Raen Thomassen - Artist´s Statements




The medium could be sculpture, installation, land art, drawing, photo, multimedia. It could be paper, concrete, wood, earth, stone, grass, ash, dust, light. Or something else. The works emerge autonomous, looking for somewhere to be. Or the place may be given: an exhibition hall, an outside yard, a barley field, a bunker. The place invites cooperation, occupation, investigation. The work comes into existence in an understanding with the place. Under all circumstances: an exercise in concentration, keeping a fixed glance, tuning the ear, searching for that which does not immediately let itself be found, waiting till it happens. My attention is drawn to the overlooked, the rejected, the almost invisible, almost negligible. Is this where the significant and beautiful is to be found? “Beauty and the humiliated”, Albert Camu´s word pair: He “wished to be true to them both.” What value has a seed of weed? What value has a disabled child lacking in mobility and language? “Art is a wound that turns into light,” said Georges Braque. It is a miracle whenever it happens.





“What do you want with your art?” The observer´s question to the artist. The artist has completed her work. For maybe two years she has prepared her exhibition. She has not written, she has not sung, she has not acted. She has used no words. Because words could not adequately say what needed to be said. It had to be images, objects, or something quite different. Yet she has done her work, shown it, handed it over. And then she has withdrawn. Now it is left to the eye of the beholder. It is no longer a question of what the artist intends, but of what the observer wants. The observer may wonder: What do I seek in encounter with this art? What does the work of art want with me? Will I have to put aside what I do not understand in favour of something I may learn? Will I need to put aside what I do understand for the sake of something I may learn? The artist has spent two years on her work of art. Could the observer give it two minutes? Two quarters of an hour? Two hours? Two days? Without demanding an answer from the artist? But rather turning the questions towards himself? Our own questions probably shape us more than the answers. Within the questions lie possibilities, movement, openings. Hold on to the questions. Penetrate them. Dwell inside them. And see if something happens.

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