ELASTIC 10 Years Maria Hedlund The Whiteness Of The Whale Part I - III 23/4 - 9/5

Extended until Saturday 9/5

ELASTIC 10 Years will present works previously shown at the gallery: Maria Hedlund's "The Whiteness Of The Whale Part I - III" and "Calder Brown and Near An Open Window" by Dave Allen. The gallery wishes to highlight these projects and present them anew to our audience. Both of them are integral to the gallery's profile and aim to promote large scale projects by our artists.

Throughout Maria Hedlund’s work, there has been an imminent focus on objects and instances that are seemingly close to an everyday nature. This should not, however, be considered as a determining factor of her work as the representation of the object is of far greater importance. Rather than imposing a definitive structure of interpretation on the viewer, Hedlund’s methods of representation allow a freedom in the gaze and eye of the viewer, where it might be valuable to pay close attention to the periphery.

In 2008, when The Whiteness of the Whale – the very precursor to Hedlund’s most recent work – was exhibited, the exhibition room was quite directly in proportion to the sheer volume of a whale: The room was long and rectangular with a high ceiling. Entering the room was like entering this enormous animal; only, the whiteness of its skin was as white as the interior walls. This time however, the white room is differently proportioned and the overall layout of the exhibits has altogether changed. There is no predetermined sequence in which to approach the works, other than the two individual sequences of the colour photographs of Part III and the black-and-white photographs of Part I. The sound of the voiceover reading the chapter The Whiteness of the Whale from Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick is separated from the moving image of the whale tank, allowing the two different media to interact more freely with the room and the viewer. The interweaving of different media and their displacement in the two connected rooms creates a rather fluid and non-linear narrative without a definite beginning or end.

There is a constant interplay between absence and presence in many aspects of the separate works and ultimately in the totality of the exhibition, too. In the moving image, as well as in the photographic stills, the white whale is present one moment, and then suddenly gone, ominously leaving a trace of light behind the otherwise empty void of the black-and-white photography. Here, the public also come into view, seemingly standing right beside the huge white whale taking a photograph of it. Who is actually the spectacle and object of our gaze?

The spacing between the photographs also emphasises presence and absence in the way that the white space in between the images take part in the sequence as perhaps a liminal space of breathing or of thought. The frame inherent to the white cube is of central importance here. Hedlund effectively engages with the idea of the white cube and of framing. In the photographic stills, it is striking how the whiteness of the whale is unanimous with the walls of the gallery space. The frame inherent to the white cube becomes interchangeable with its content – which most obviously is the white whale. Among many other connotations, the narrator of Moby Dick, Ishmael, refers to the whiteness of the whale as carrying an intrinsic blankness, void and impossibility which paradoxically also encapsulates an endless amount of possibilities.

Text by Kristina Åström

Recent solo exhibitions include “Some Kind of Knowledge”, ELASTIC Gallery, Stockholm “Life at Hyttödammen”, ABC, Berlin, ”Dissolved”, ELASTIC Gallery, Malmö, ”The Whiteness of the Whale, Part I, II and III”, ELASTIC Gallery, Malmö, "The 1st at Moderna", Modern Museum, Stockholm Recent group shows include “at Georges”, George Bar & Grill, Zürich, curator Stefanie Hessler “The Visible”, Artipelag, Värmdö, curators Magnus Jensner, Jessica Höglund and Nicals Östlind “About Books”, Fullersta Gård, Huddinge, curators Eva-Lotta Holm and Peter Bergman “Another Story”, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, “The Book”, Galleri Flach, Stockholm ”Thrice upon a time”, Magasin 3, Stockholm, curator Tessa Praun, ”Connectivity Lost”, The Zilkha Gallery, Middletown, CT, USA, curators Ginger Gregg Druggan and Judith Hoos Fox ”Aletheia – Positions in Contemporary Photographies”, Helsinki City Art Museum, curators Jan-Erik Lundström and Elina Heikka, “Heterotopias”, the first contemporary art biennale in Thessaloniki,, curator Catherine David, Jan-Erik Lundström and Maria Tsantsanoglou “Time Space and Disorientation”, Borgovico 33, Como, curator Marianna Garin, ”Tourist class”, Malmö Museum, curator Lars O Ericsson, ”Whatever Happened to Social Democracy?”, Rooseum, Malmö, curator Charles Esche and Pavel Büchler

Recent acquisitions of Maria Hedlund's work includes Modern Museum, Stockholm and Malmö Art Museum. Her work is represented in a number of prominent collections like Bonnier Art Collection, Stockholm, Magasin III, Stockholm, Malmö Art Museum, Malmö, Modern Museum, Stockholm, Swedish Public Art Agency, Stockholm, Region Skåne, Skåne, European Central Bank Art Collection, Frankfurt/Main, ZKM/ Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe as well as numerous private collections.

For more information on the artists and the exhibited work, please contact the gallery, info@elasticgallery.com or alida@elasticgallery.com

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