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QUALIA-language but no words/linguagem mas sem palavras  
Installation for Palácio de Dom Manuel, Évora, Portugal 2014. Organized by Foundation Obras and Câmara Municipal de Évora, supported by the Swedish Embassy in Lisbon.  Photo: Manuel Ribeiro

The philosophical term Qualia is a word for the subjective quality of conscious experiences. A term for certain perceptual experiences, which no amount of purely physical information includes; like noticing the scent of a flower or experiencing a color or a piece of art. Qualia is how we experience our world when we are conscious, what it is like to have an experience. Or in the words of Daniel Denett (1942): ”Qualia is an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things seem to us". 

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En särskild sol/A Sun of One's Own Aguélimuseet, Sala 2015

An exhibition in dialogue with the swedish painter and mystic Ivan Aguéli (1869-1917), also known by his sufi-name Sheikh 'Abd al-Hādī 'Aqīlī.

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TRANSIT - Installation Lund Cathedral 2012                     photo: Anna Kallberg

" [...] The wiping cloth in the painter's hand is of the sort which must eventually get stained, haphazardly. The cloth takes part in the process, an initiated recipient of actions and decisions, impulses and considerations, perhaps even momentary breakdowns. The white fabric receives without resistance. It makes no demands on its own handling, has no opinions or demands of aesthetic order and execution. Whatever happens happens as it does when a form occurs on its own without supervision. Meanwhile the artist is busy depicting her own form against a light or dark background.

      But when the cloth unfolds an image free from aim and purpose appears through its creases ("Trasa II/Cloth II"). It was not upon this humble piece of cloth that the intended – the painting, the work of art – was meant to appear. And yet it happened. In the moment where the painter becomes aware of how the assistant, the cloth, bears witness to a new act that encompasses them both, and subsequently lets the image of the cloth manifest itself on a canvas, a new metaphor with its own potential meaning emerges. The origination of paint on material, a quiet visual miracle bearing equal radiance to the magical painting ("Painting I"), whose pulsating sky blue surface captures the gaze of the spectator and reminds us that colour is a wonder of light that breaks sevenfold in movement and direction."

 

Nina Weibull, Ph.D., Senior Curator, The Art Collections, Stockholm University, Editor of Divan - Journal of Psychoanalysis and Culture

Translation: Katja Larsson

 

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IN MEMORIAM  Installation Katarina kyrka 2010  photo: Jann Lipka

The installation IN MEMORIAM, that opened during All Soul´s Day, was about death but also about people who have come to be role models. Not due to any recognised spectacular deed, but because they have - in the midst of their human imperfection - been able to bring joy, hope and inspiration to somebody in their surroundings. People that have left a strong impression on someone's life, helped somebody keep their spirits up and made life a little easier to live.

By handing in photographs of a passed away loved one, who in his or her life acted as a role model in this capacity, anybody who wanted to could contribute to the work. The images were scanned, digitally processed and printed on transparent film in order to be attached to the windows of the church. Participants could also contribute with a text or simply write the name of their chosen person and put up on the wall. The exhibition kept expanding with visitors adding new texts and images and grew into a rich material consisting of accounts of many compelling destinies of the people depicted. Those handing in images were largely individuals, but work places and schools also contributed in different ways. Seventh graders from a nearby school made linoleum prints and wrote texts about the loved ones they had lost. The installation IN MEMORIAM served to remind us about the impressions we make in each others lives and that every human has a story worth telling.

"Religion has throughout history emphasised the relationship to the dead, the ancestors. In great parts of the world it is still - for good or bad - family ties that dictate our living conditions. You are first and foremost your parent's offspring. In our commercial culture identity instead comes to be defined by the choices we make as consumers. Advertisements want to make us believe that we, by choosing the right gadgets, can mould ourselves into what we want to be in the eyes of the world. As if our life is a sort of project for illustrations to be added to. The price for the freedom to 'create yourself' is perhaps the lack of a sense of belonging that seems to permeate our society. Perhaps it is this lack of a connection to one another and to all of creation that makes us - regardless of how well informed we are about the environmental impact - live as if we don't believe in a tomorrow, neither for ourselves nor for coming generations.

The purpose of the exhibition IN MEMORIAM was partly to bring attention to those who have come before and what they have meant, but also to give room for the loss and sorrow felt in their wake. And most of all: to allow these faces to tell us that human beings are so much greater than contemporary media will have us think."

 

Erika Dahlén      Translation: Katja Larsson

For a panorama view of the installation "in memoriam" see: http://www.360cities.net/image/in-memoriam-erika-dahlen-katarina-kyrka#34.90,-23.20,70.0 

(photo: Jann Lipka)