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Johan Söderström

#428 Obstructed View

by

Johan Söderström

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#428 Obstructed View by Johan Söderström
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#428 Obstructed View

by

Johan Söderström

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$ 1,500

Overview

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2022

Filler on board, folded cards

Unique Work

Dimensions: 64cm (H) x 84cm (W) x 5cm (D) / 25.2" (H) x 33.1" (W) x 2" (D)

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

Artist Statement

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84x64 cm | Filler, oak panel, six folded cards

This work features six folded cards with short descriptions of sounds. When exhibited, the cards can be shifted by gallery staff so the work can be experienced differently by visitors at separate times. The sounds are: Suspenseful music, Approaching footsteps, Background noise, Barking dog, Engine starting, Howling wind.

It was inspired by watching movies with subtitles for the hearing impaired. The fact that written language can function as a substitute for audial or visual input intrigued me. Of course, it can. How would we otherwise enjoy literature? But the reason for this is that sound and vision are perceived in the language register. Not only when watching television but seeing and hearing in general. Perception requires interpretation and is a semantic act. So adding another layer of language doesn't change the experience fundamentally.
Still, some levels of experience escape codification and can't be transferred into language. Perhaps we experience part of reality from outside the subjective position and instead from the place of the physical body. Not separated from the world but united and within the realm of matter. We can describe this experience as being outside the picture. The pictorial field (the illusion of depth being a semantic construction) always has an exterior, something obscured. Perception depends on the border of vision, but the frame itself is never visible.

There is something uncanny with a parallel line of information, not part of the image but at the same time influencing it, like a hidden demand that overrides the experience. I have chosen the sounds written on the cards and perhaps the image depicting a street corner to hint at a "noir" expression.

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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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