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Johan Söderström

#345 Pareidolia

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Johan Söderström

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#345 Pareidolia by Johan Söderström
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#345 Pareidolia

by

Johan Söderström

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$ 1,400

Or 3 payments of US$466.67 via instalments at 0% interest!IconInformation

Overview

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2021

Filler on board, oak frame, stones

Unique Work

Dimensions: 90cm (H) x 64cm (W) x 5cm (D) / 35.4" (H) x 25.2" (W) x 2" (D)

Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.

Artist Statement

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For this work, I placed seven stones in the wet filler and let it dry. The same stones should be placed on top of the panel in corresponding positions.

Pareidolia is the tendency to see shapes and figurations where they don't exist. Such as in clouds or in the grey fields of the moon. It also includes the ability to hear hidden messages in music or random noise. Both tests for interpreting subconscious signals - such as Rorschach images, or various techniques of foretelling or reading signs, use pareidolia. The phenomenon is probably a result of the perception's constant process of interpreting and understanding visual stimuli. The linguistic concepts we perceive are not part of the material reality itself. They exist only in our minds. In a way, everything we see is a form of pareidolia.

One of the shapes easiest to perceive for the brain is the face. Being able to read the emotional register of the surroundings in the smallest detail is an essential ability. Faces are important. Simple renderings of them, like smileys, or emojis, can even be written with characters and have become a complement to the written language. They can substantiate or undermine text in the same way that body language does with speech. Small, almost imperceptible shifts in facial expressions or the use of subtle emojis can change a message from friendly to threatening. In the same way, animation of dead matter or objects can be perceived as both life-giving and frightening. Perhaps this duality reminds us that the perceptive conscious self also consists only of flesh - raw matter.

The face on the picture may appear slightly vicious. When we project supernatural evil on nature and the physical environment, it is perhaps to hide the even more frightening fact that nature is utterly indifferent to us. This void can be described by Jacques Lacan's concept of the Real. A register outside language where the subject dissolves. A kernel, closed and hard as stone, where nothing can be understood or even experienced. Where meaning no longer has relevance. Nevertheless, it is the only thing that really exists in a physical sense.

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Artist Profile

Born: 1969

Hometown: Stockholm

Based in: Oslo

I am interested in process-based painting and the profound human solitude. While exploring one thing, I sometimes try to formulate something about the other.

My work is made from construction filler in oak frames. I have developed a unique technique, where I insert 6 mm thick layers of grey and white filler into the frame like intarsia, instead of on top of each other as in conventional painting. The result gives a graphic expression that at the same time has tactile materiality. I use some simple but clearly defined methods to apply the filler in the frame. These limit the expression of cognitively controlled processes, thus opening an opportunity to reveal something unknown.

They often take the form of series or installations that extend into the room.

I base my work on the notion of a primary alienation in the human subject. By using painting, I want to formulate something around this lack, or the desire, integrated into our perception of reality. I want to explore whether the problem can illuminate other forms of social and cultural alienation—for example, privileges, class, racism and xenophobia. In short, different types of distances between people.

I have previously shown works in Scandinavia at Konsthallen Trollhättan, Konsthallen Lokstallet, Konstepidemin, Kristiansands Konsthall, Akershus Kunstsenter, Trondheim Senter for Samtidskunst och Tenthaus Oslo. I am educated in Norway at Kunstakademiet in Trondheim and live and work in Oslo.


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