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ECSTATIC OBJECT, BASTARDIZED PAST
Soloshow at Gallery Steinsland-Berliner 2014. More text and info below.
Exhibition introduction (scroll down for more images)
Rocks from space, ivory chests, milk teeth, knives found in the forest, crucifixes made of plastic,
clothes left behind, familypictures in fleamarkets, carved cherry stones, inherited necklaces, sex dolls,
beehives, padlocks, bonfires, war medals, rediscovered bones and damaged plaster casts.
In the early 1880s, a drowned young woman is pulled out of the river Seine in Paris. At the
morgue, the coroner is fascinated by her beautiful expression and so decides to cast a mould
of her face. The death mask rapidly gained wide-spread notoriety and within a few years this
embodiment of a young woman's suicide went by the name L'Inconnue de la Seine - The
unknown of the Seine - and became a commercial product where new casts from the original
where bought and placed above fireplaces all around Paris. People were fascinated
by the girl's tragic end and mesmerizing looks and in the years at the turn of the century her
melancholic smile was distributed around Europe in casts and copies, fakes and replicas. By
the 1930s, she is used as the model for the face of the First-Aid Practice Dummy. Still today
the dummy for practicing CPR carries the haunting features of the young woman from the
dark waters of the Seine - as if we keep on trying to save her. The story has yet another little
twist. It has recently been suggested that the iconic face of the original cast possibly belongs
not to an unknown suicide victim, but rather to a fairly well-known actress of the time.
In this story, several of the subjects that captivates Jonas Liveröd are intertwined. We find the
seminal object, the relic, the fetisch (in the form of a plaster cast), and so on. We discover
the winding history of the object, a story with unexpected turns, opaque detours and origins
which balances on a tightrope between fact and fiction. The young woman's death mask no
longer speaks of her own destiny, instead it has derived a new purpose and meaning due to us
and our regard. It tells of exaltation, deceit, sexuality, ambivalence, violent art history, transcendence,
misunderstandings, death cults, loss, and - perhaps most important - secrecy.
The works of Ecstatic object, bastardized past deals with the nature of these things; with falsified
history, emotional magic, and how a good story is often better and more veracious than
fact. It touches on why we carve out longing, shape the indefinite, and time and again project
our existence on objects, filling them with meaning, magic and a strange shimmer.
Detail of the sculpture The Little Punisher. In the background the drawing Lichtzimmer
Detail of the exhibition
View of the exhibition
Above: The Tower. Glued playing cards
Right: Dürers rabbit paper monument. Taxidermy rabbit, A4 paper and white-washed woodcut podium.
Above: Detail of the exhibition
Right: Sprucken urna (cracked urn) painted wood.
Thek book in bed. Ink on paper framed with coloured acrylic glass.
Above: Sock, spit, shirt, dream, end. Ink on paper
Right: A case of gravitational anarchy. Ink on coloured paper and black mdf.
A woodcut of a digital version of a photo from a film of Joseph Beuys performance I love
America and America loves me. Woodcut and high pressure paint.
The (suprematist) event and Voids are as important as flowers. Both ink on paper.
Sculptural sky: Ink on heavy paper, metal rods and black linen string. Detail of Sculptural sky
Above: The Collection -Ink on paper
Right: Detail of An attempt at recreating Parthenon from memory without ever having seen it for real.
Wood,glue, plaster, pencil, styrofoam and white washed, woodcut podium.
A drawing of a digital version of a photo of Herm of Dionysos which is an excellent Roman copy originally believed to
be a Greek original. and A drawing of a digital copy of a photo of a cast of a cast of an unknown drowned woman.
Both are ink on paper framed with coloured acrylic glass.
Porcelain & Laughing gas - ink, water colour and pencil on paper.
Berlin Amnesia (for O) - painted glass fibre.
Above: Oro - ink on coloured paper
Right:Two artists creating a sculpture / Two junkies with monkeys on their back. Felt textile, wood, metal.
Some manmade objects (sculpture not sculpture). Ink, watercolour and pencil on paper.