NINA BEIER
"ONE PLUS ONE"


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04.05.-10-05.2020:   CHADWICK RANTANEN
11.05.-17.05.2020:   TORBJØRN RØDLAND
18.05.-24.05.2020:   ASAL PEIROVI
25.05.-31.05.2020:   MIKAEL LO PRESTI
01.06.-07.06.2020:   MARI SLAATTELID
08.06.-14.06.2020:   GARDAR EIDE EINARSSON
15.06.-21.06.2020:   MICHAELA MEISE
22.06.-28.06.2020:   HANNAH RYGGEN
29.06.-05.07.2020:   NINA BEIER
06.07.-12.07.2020:   MARIUS ENGH
13.07.-19.07.2020:   FREDRIK VÆRSLEV


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A certain element of violence imbues from Nina Beier’s Portrait Mode. The found garments of myriad animal prints such as snake skin, leopard print, and patterns lie pressed into composed flattened, crushed, and compressed forms under the perspex of the triptych. The splayed textiles allude to skinned animals intended as hunting trophies. Embedded within the monumentality of the work, indicating towards the tradition of landscape painting, reverberates a perversity in the proximity to the suggestion of a natural landscape. An imitation and interplay between the natural and the unnatural. Violence echoes throughout the seriality of the prints, in the labour and circulation of mass produced materials in which the fulfilment of a repetitive pattern, shapes and limits activity into bifurcated tasks that are controlled and made replaceable. The excessiveness of the found materials act as a dystopian feedback loop.

An indexical presence is emphasised by the inevitable traces transmitted to clothing from the body, suggesting a potential for reanimation, obfuscating the distinction between the intersection and slippage of the sign and the signified. The notion of the displaced shell draws resonances with Michelangelo Buonarotti’s flayed skin of St. Bartholomew in The Last Judgement, 1536-1541, Kiki Kogelnik’s draped vinyl cyborg silhouettes from the 1960s and ‘70s, and Alexandra Bircken’s latex figures of the Deflated Bodies series. Skin acts as a shell and container enclosing the body, pointing towards the notion of architecture, and architecture as a living breathing organism. The consistency of latex in Bircken’s forms particularly replicates the texture of skin, as desiccating and disintegrating. The German architect, Gottfried Semper claimed that the origin of architecture lay in weaving, with textiles employed to weave walls for architectural purposes rather than for clothing. The architect stressed the close similarities between the etymological roots between the German words for house, hut and skin, with the German word for wall developed from the words winding and wrapping.

With the trope of preservation and memory, skin and architectural shelter act as the outline and as the housing of the body, visibly encasing, covering, and protecting the form, drawing similarities with the characteristics of clothing. This outer layer functions as the point of engagement between the interior and the exterior. The title Portrait Mode explicitly refers to these notions of self-representation, yet the abstracted forms point to a de-tethered, disembodied corporeal experience. A triptych is loaded with Renaissance imagery, yet a technological undertone transpires in Beier’s triptych through the visual connotations of the granulated, pixellating image of a flickering TV and the portrait mode option in the camera of the iPhone.

- Liv Cuniberti

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Nina Beier
Portrait Mode [Triptych]
2011

Found garments, plexi-glass, oak frame
306 x 612 x 6.5 cm
Unique / SONB/P 2011-034

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