14 Nov - 13 Dec 2014 STANDARD (OSLO)
Installation Views
Press release








14.11.2014-13.12.2014 / Preview: Friday 14.11.2014 / 19.00-21.00




STANDARD (OSLO) is proud to announce its third solo exhibition with British artist Emily Wardill. Taking its title from the one video work here on display, the exhibition also brings together four new framed works. Dwelling on the notion of memory palaces - a mental spatial visualization of familiar places - the narrator of the film introduces the viewer to a vision of monochromacy, a condition in which only one type of cone cell is stimulated in colour vision. The four marble ink prints and their frames manifest the rejection of an allocated fixed form also embodied in the film, all portraying a chaotic yet mappable movement.




"After having committed the arson, at the sight of fire […] she would always become calm [...] The sight of fire evokes pleasure at the level of sensuous thought. On the other hand, the appearance of fire immerses one in sensuous thought. The urge (melancholy, etc.) is satisfied whenever a fire is lit (later - arson is committed) she becomes 'happy', 'calms down': the immersion in sensuous thought is achieved."

- Sergeï Eisenstein on Disney (quoting text book descriptions of pyromania)


"The imagery of "The Palace" collapses the two forms of cognitive plasticity described in the voice over: that of impaired vision and its impact on subjectivity, and the willful abstract construction of the memory palace, that purports to extend neurological capacity. The monochromatic digital space is one of matter, mediated through an abstraction in which vital data is lost. Yet equally it approximates the selectivity of a process in which the need to remember, to create a workable logic for the retention of information, centers around the imaging of equivalence between physical form and abstract information."

- Richard Birkett, curator of Artists Space


Taking the starting point in writings of Sergeï Eisenstein where the latter makes an analogy between the Disney movies and the ever changing form of fire, Wardill's new series of marble ink works entitled "Fire shakes itself in the air" embody a willingness to capture the transcendental. Fire, by its organic motion, is on the edge of chaos: the space between being one thing and another. The works reflect the moment where the pattern and shapes are taking a form that is outside of our control, yet at the same time becoming fixed. The frames themselves, made from wood grains that take on what we would call psychedelic patterns, are as important to the work as the marble ink print. Equally so, they convey an impression of movement that simultaneously remains still. This attraction to the rejection of an allocated form translates in the prints and the frame, both portraying a fluctuation that has materialized.


This search into the sensory fluctuation of movement is also inherent to "The Palace". The black and white imagery is constantly moving, giving shapes to forms and to shadows that recall an architectural surface, and yet giving sight to undefined shapes. The camera dictates the side to side or back to front rhythms, always oscillating and never fixed. The labyrinthine path of architectural forms is superposed to a strict narrative, closing the gap between the challenges of monochromatic perception and the visualization of a memory palace.




Emily Wardill (b. 1977 in Rugby) lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal. Recent solo exhibitions include Index, Stockholm; The Collection Lincoln and Usher Gallery, Lincoln; Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Rugby; La Loge, Brussels; Kunsthalle Lissabon, Portugal; The Showroom Gallery, London; Spacex, Exeter; Carlier/Gebauer, Berlin; Altman-Siegel, San Francisco; de Appel, Amsterdam; London and Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London. Her works have also been included in group exhibitions at the Sydney Biennial, Sydney; Tate Britain, London; Witte de With, Rotterdam; MUMOK, Vienna; and MOCA, Miami.




Photography: Vegard Kleven