NoPlace, Oslo proudly presents:
25.11.11 - 04.12.11
Opening: Friday 25.11.11, 20.00 - 23.00
Opening hours 14-17, Saturdays and Sundays
Maja Nilsen's work is heavily influenced by the baroque. But despite her thematic focus, the work is not didactic, it is not intended to elucidate. And even if the Baroque poses a strong current in her work, it is only one of many themes and references running through.
Given this eclectic torrent of reference, Nilsen's work is strangely mute. The referred takes the form of an avalanche of knowledge, of history - all condensed to an impenetrable mystery; to a composition that seeks only to jumble and complicate the given order. It's not a mystery as in a crime story where, after the required period of concentration has been spent on the work, the pieces fall into place to form a coherent narrative. The mystery it articulates is a perpetual why? The big why? of image making. To what end was this conjured? Why did someone piece this together? Of course this is putting the question the wrong way, because the question of why? presupposes a subordination of image to purpose when in reality the image, for the artist, answers only to desire, the desire for it to appear.
Images here do not open onto life as collective experience - the way the allegorical motifs of the baroque ideally would - but deflect from it instead. In this sense Nilsen has more in common with the wry surrealism of Magritte, and his attempts at evoking the essential mystery of the world, than with the furtive symbolism of the baroque artists she also covets. Her imagery, be it realized as a sculpture or a collage, is a vacuous entity that invites the projective, and these vicarious compositions point only to the absurd abundance of possibility that allows them.