Earthly Powers

SU-EN, Ebba Bohlin, Pieter Aertsen
29 October – 29 November 2015
Uppsala Art Museum

Programme   |    Reflections by Irma Optimist and Sinéad O´Donnell

“Earthly Powers” is an exhibition and program series that in various ways deals with earthly forces that are of significance for human life; bodily functions, earth's gravity, driving forces and the movement of the senses, physical and spiritual needs and divergences. The exhibition features the video installations “Voracious – the body of gluttony” by SU-EN as well as “Transgression” and “A Tendency to Move Toward a Center of Attractive Force” by Ebba Bohlin. A third part of the exhibition features Pieter Aertsen's painting “The Butcher's Stall” from 1551, that is normally part of the Uppsala University collection on exhibit in another section of the museum. The title of the exhibition has been borrowed from the Anthony Burgess novel of the same name from 1980.

Voracious - videostill

Voracious – the body of gluttony
In collaboration with Rickard Sporrong.
Video loop, 24 minutes. 2015

The craving world
She can never get enough

Devouring the world
She simply must taste

Consumed by the world
Who is eating whom?

The embodiment of hunger
Her body is the world

The video piece Voracious deals with notions such as gluttony, desire, thirst and desperation. The body's strong physical relationship to the world through these instincts and driving forces. The video conveys a smell of soil and putrefaction, the breathing of hunger and sounds. But also presents an act of a kind of love-making where the body yearns to taste and eat of the world to become one with it. Something dies so that something can live. An eternal cycle of life and death.

Concept: SU-EN.
Choreography, space, costume, voice: SU-EN.
Participants: SU-EN and the mini pig Laban.
Camera and post-production: Rickard Sporrong.
Sound editing and design: Rickard Sporrong.
Lighting and B camera: Magnus Göthlund.
Assistant: KAI-EN

Ebba Bohlin, Transgression

Ebba Bohlin
Video loop, 10 minutes. 2014

Performance enacted by Sindri Runudde in connection with the exhibition “Transgressions” at Konstnärshuset in Stockholm, 2014. Included in the piece “Transgression” is an accompanying text from the Swedish Journal on Nutritional Therapy and Functional Medicine written by Patrick Wahlberg. Both the exhibition and text deals with how parts of the body, such as the intestines, can affect the functions and well-being of the brain. Nowadays, we normally do not make a connection between the rest of the body with the brain, but that seems to be changing. Bohlin has chosen to manifest this in a piece that constitutes a transgressive expression of sorts. This performance, documented and presented as a video loop, signals man's ambivalent relationship to the physical boundaries, while at the same time referring to contemporary medical research. This nevertheless goes hand in hand with certain aspects of psychological research that tends increasingly towards neuropsychology, where our disorders and sensitivities are associated with the physical, and can thus be cured through a purely medical approach.

A Tendency to Move Toward a Center of Attractive Force
Video loop, 5 minutes. 2013/2014

Performance enacted by Sindri Runudde in connection with the exhibition “Gravity” at the Finnish Culture Institute in Stockholm, 2013/2014. The title alludes to a definition of gravity, that is, one of the laws of nature that governs the human condition on Earth. As a means of drawing attention to the fact that humans are in fact bound by the laws of physics, and that our bodies will always be matter – as a prerequisite for every thought, idea or invention – can be surprisingly controversial. We carry the wilderness in our bodies, and are forced to accept this irrational circumstance as the basis for our existence.

Ebba Bohlin, concept, choreography in collaboration with Sindri Runudde, dancer
Time: 29 October 18:00
Place: Uppsala Art Museum, 4th floor
Debut performance of a new, site-specific performance in connection with the Vesalius jubilee, and in dialogue with Pieter Aertsen's painting “The Butcher's Stall”. Ebba Bohlin examines a bodily experience where the physical and mental processes interact. Eastern medicine is juxtaposed here with a Western view of the human body. In this performance, each part of the body is examined separately, as in the French children's song “Alouette”.

The Vesalius jubilee celebrates 500 years since the birth of Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) and is a collaborative effort between the Hagströmer Library at the Karolinska Institute, the County Council of Uppsala, Cathedral, Uppsala Municipality and Uppsala University.

24 november 2015