Memory Fragments Lost, Memory Fragments Regained
My work in general takes on different art-historical references. It can either be through the choice of composition or by playing with the characters !"#$%&%''! since putting time out of joint ﬁlls a logical function for my project and agenda. This is an attempt to rehistoricise or produce alternative forms of historical storytelling, since some of the identities I try to represent have been excluded from art-history (queer, gay, transgender, alternative forms of male and female expression, etc). This disrupts bourgeois painting(s), an “embellished” concept of normality, which is reinforced in most of the works of traditional oil painting.
A painting project that I always return to is a series that is largely autobiographical and that I have referred to as “memory fragments” or “family secrets”, since it is a project that circles around family archives and memories. The main narrative is family, which I ﬁnd to be a theme that can harbour other interesting topics. For example: childhood, upbringing, religious structures, the nuclear family, relations, mental illness, traumas, and what they mean for human existence in general. As reference material I use old family albums and other artefacts from my family archive.
In a way I see my painting series that evolve around queer archives as a part of the same project, an extension of the family narrative into chosen family and queer ancestors. I knew some of the characters I portrayed in the family series, knew who some were even though I didn’t meet them, and yet some people further back I don’t even know the identities of, only that they are related to me. In the same respect the queer archive series portray the queer scene that I am a part of (community/chosen family), some characters I don’t know personally but I know their identities (for ex: queer icons), and some of the characters we do not know the names of but just like in the case with the family album we know that they are our queer relatives and predecessors.
And just like the persons from the family album is connected to my own existence, our symbolic queer “relatives” are linked to our existence through our identities. And as well linked through the struggle of our queer predecessors leading on to us today.The painting role with queer characters in the shape of a Tora is referring to the aesthetics of paintings from similar times as some of the pieces in the museum. As inspiration for the scenes I painted I used old black and white photos from late 1800 to early 1900 from queer archives. My idea was to portray the queer people that were “embellished away” from art history, and rehistoricise while using reference material from the queer scene from similar times as some of the painting eras that are represented in the collections.