This spring, ARoS is staging the most extensive exhibition to date with works by the Swedish artist, Annika Von Hausswolff (b. 1967). The exhibition is entitled Annika Von Hausswolff – It all ends with a new beginning and is staged in close collaboration with the artist. In addition to works dating from the 1990s until today, the exhibition also includes a completely new and site-specific work which Hausswolff has created especially for ARoS. On seeing Annika von Hausswolff’s motifs of drawn blinds, empty living rooms with sinister objects, children with chain saws, and naked bodies in the forest, we encounter a world which, all at once, seems both familiar and strange. We enter a parallel world where objects exude presence while people appear absent.
Since the 1990s, Annika von Hausswolff has made her mark as one of Scandinavia’s major artists. Working in a conceptual, feminist, and analytical way with the photographic medium, she belongs to the circle of young fine-art photographers who view and utilise the photograph in a new and often filmic manner. Her photographs are charged with a great deal of mystery: often very surrealistic and filled with recurring motifs and personal references. Frequently, the numerous objects and materials which she reproduces in her pictures are reminiscences of her childhood such as the recollection of her mother’s beige-coloured nylons.
Annika von Hausswolff is preoccupied with the human psyche and the way we experience our surroundings. In the main, her pictures are about perception: our experience of what we see, and the idea of being looked at. She presents sight as one of man’s most irrational, coded, and selective senses. Especially scopophobia, the fear of being looked at, is at the centre of several of her pictures. By hiding behind an object, turning their backs on us, or covering their eyes, Hausswolff’s figures avoid direct contact with our gaze. The exhibition title, It all ends with a new beginning, is a cryptic statement. In one sense, it expresses causality, a logical connection. In another, however, it is ambiguous and open. It implies an element of absurd repetition while also indicating that something new is underway. This interaction between coherence and uncertainty, absurdity and optimism, ending and beginning reflects, all at once, both the logical and the illogical universe characterising Hausswolff’s fascinating imagery. Curator: Maria Kappel Blegvad, MA