CONCEPTION by Randi Strand

The themes in this exhibition are snow, the sky, and Braille. The gaze is directed at the sky and the universe. Towards the infinite, the supranational, and our various ways of experiencing the world. With a constant focus on climate, we are reminded that our values and our existence are transitory, our current ways of life by no means self-evident.

Snow is a contradictory symbol. It is an image of purity, silence, and beauty, yet at the same time a metaphor for coldness and isolation. Snow can come as a blessing, or as a curse. Snow shows us our vulnerability to the elements, for better or for worse. I have endeavoured to show the different faces of snow.

The pictures show snow as seen by a camera, but sometimes it looks more as if it were the universe the camera has seen; there are strange and fascinating similarities between the very smallest and the very largest scales of reality.

The exhibition combines the snow motif with Braille. Such a thematically limited framework creates both tensions and interconnections between the abstract and the concrete, between the poetic and the dramatic. Infinity and transitoriness meet. The chaos of the universe meets one human means of imposing order: writing.

The texts in the pictures are aphorisms taken from The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa. Many of these texts are subtle descriptions of how perception and thought are related in our lives.

The juxtaposition of photographs and Braille produces a paradoxical image. The pictures bring together two languages that play with and against each other in terms of both expression and content. The reference to a lost way of communicating is transformed into an image of other channels of communication. Braille can be viewed as a metaphor for what falls outside the field of view, whether or not one is sighted. It can refer to the power of our imagination, and our constant inclination to strive for the furthest limits of what is comprehensible.

The Norwegian version of Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet used in this exhibition is Uroens bok, translated by Christian Rugstad, Solum Forlag 1997.

Randi Strand