Ditte Ejlerskov & Johan Furåker
The term “all inclusive” is obviously denoting a holiday in which all meals, drinks, and activities are included in the overall price, but what is your all inclusive dream? Can you make it real? How have the dreams of abundance been formulated and manifested in the past? How are they visualized today?
In one of the featuring works in the exhibition, the statement “you made me” can be read. This short piece of text, introduces a twofold semiotic interpretation, applicable to all the works in the exhibition. On the one hand as a self-reflection of the painting itself, answering directly the artist back; but on the other hand, it alludes to all the figures represented in the works surrounding it. Although not being in a portrait gallery, these figures inhabit the exhibition space as welcoming (g)hosts. Weaved in and out of dreamy colour gradients and organized on shelves together with other artefacts, these individuals become muses representing eccentric Italian heiresses and poets from the 20th century, movie-actors, hidden artificial intelligent creatures as well as contemporary pop stars, entertaining the show as casual embodiments of decadence and fully enjoying their freedom of anxiety or responsibility. They welcome the beholder into his/her own perfect resort – a dreamlike reality. The sentence “you made me” ultimately works as a reference to the idea that in the end, everyone is responsible for the creation of its own narrative.
Pop icons and chromotherapy
Ditte Ejlerskov's artistic process often entails an interaction with the Internet: written correspondences with email-scammers, paparazzi pictures downloaded from Google and contemporary music videos give shape to her universe. With both disdain and fascination, Ejlerskov introduces the pop icon Rihanna as a recurring motif in her work. In the present works, the images of Rihanna and Minaj will be found, however rather than performing as fan-art, they invite the viewer to start his/her own journey into his/her own fantasies.
In both her abstract and figurative paintings, Ejlerskov analyses and explores the potential of painting as a medium itself and they also concurrently work as tools for interpreting our contemporary dreams. Recently her work is focusing on the formal aspects inside her practice, represented here by a series of large-format hand-painted colour gradients. These works pose as healing and slightly vibrating, but static two-dimensional chromotherapies. Chromotherapy’s effects were already discussed in 1025 in the Persian Canon of Medicine, and methodologically consist of the use of light in the form of colour to balance the lacking energy in a person's body, on physical, emotional, spiritual and mental levels.
Ditte Ejlerskov (DK)
Ditte has mainly exhibited in Sweden for example at Röda Sten Konsthall in Göteborg, Malmö Konsthall and Malmö Art Museum in Malmö, Kristianstad Art Museum, Uppsala Art Museum, Ystad Art Museum, The Museum of Sketches in Lund and at The Royal Academy in Stockholm. She has exhibited in Norway at Kristiansand Kunsthall, Stenersenmuseet in Oslo, KUBE in Ålesund and Gallery North Norway in Harstad. In Denmark at Aarhus Kunstbygning, Kunsten in Aalborg, Arken in Ishøj, Art Centre Silkebord Bad and Museums Centre Aars, Den Frie Udstillingsbygning and Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen. At Bonn Art Museum in Germany, Cneai in Chatou in France and Amos Anderson Art Museum in Helsinki, Finland. Later this year she opens a show at Viborg Kunsthal in Denmark and she is now for the second time exhibiting at CCA.
Johan Furåker (SE)
Johan has exhibited solo at CAPC in Bordeaux in France. He has also exhibited at Cneai in Chatou and at Espace pour l’art in Arles. He has exhibited at institutions such as Reykjavik Art Museum in Iceland, Hämeenlinna Art Museum and Turku Art Museum in Finland, at KUBE in Ålesund, Gallery North Norway in Harstad and at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium in Norway, at Hannover Kunstverein in Germany and at Malmö Art Museum, Inter Arts Center in Malmö and Ystad Art Museum in Sweden, at Die Diele, Zürich, Switzerland, Ringsted Galleriet, Art Centre Silkebord Bad and Museums Centre Aars in Denmark and at CAVE / AYUMI GALLERY in Tokyo, Japan. These days he is preparing a solo exhibition in Norway at Kristiansand Kunsthall. This show marks his second exhibition at CCA as well.
From the same part of the world, however dating back to 4000 BC, Furåker has found in the ancient Persian gardens an inspiring feature in which he has continually worked within his practice and explored its influences in Andalusian or Indian gardens. In an on-going series of paintings, under the working title “Paradisus Terrestris” – the Earthly Paradise –, Furåker is depicting gardens from the Antiquity and the Renaissance. The garden tradition displays a powerful urge to use greenery, gravel, architecture and water to recreate spatially a new world. Those works act as a microcosm gathering within it all cultural mythologies and seducing the observer to enter into an imaginary paradise.
The self-made Luisa Cassati
Personalities, and their lives, are also an important element in Furåker's painting practice and are frequently represented in his works as myths and are found in concrete situations, locations and groups of people or events. In the present series of works, Furåker has delved into Luisa Cassati’s life, an eccentric Italian heiress and art patron. This extravagant woman would role-play dressing up as a Byzantine empress, yearning not only to become one, but also to become a living piece of art.
In this moment, do you remember the “you made me” painting back from the beginning?
The exhibition is supported by IASPIS, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee's International Programme for Visual Artists.