curators in a world of visual self-expression
TOFT HONERUD 2014-2016
Today, we are inundated by a huge quantity of images the like of which we have never before experienced or been able to foresee. Social media creates organic archives of images of both global and local phenomena, archives that are in effect a consequence of a self-documenting practice, rather than an end in themselves. In the project Curators in a World of Visual Self-Expression (2015-16) the artistic duo TOFT HONERUD approach this constant stream of images. The artists comment on various tendencies in the visual aesthetics of these virtual streams formed through social media, and explore their spatial and sculptural manifestations in order to study and analyze their content.
part I: narco vida
2015, found footage, inkjet prints, vitrine tables, video
In narcovida, TOFT HONERUD follow hashtags on Instagram related to the most powerful cartels that control the drug traffic in Mexico. While these drug-traffickers live a life in hiding, they document and publish trophies of their experiences. These images give credibility to the criminals, insinuating or even proving their crimes, but they develop their own visual language and aesthetics without markers that would give away their location or identity. The coding and use of status markers for self-presentation – in this case images of gilded weapons, drug deliveries and sexy ladies – is well known to us, since in essence these are the same kinds of trophies used in regular blogs, such as mothers posting pictures of children, interior design or organic food.
b/wh inkjet prints
#duemay2016 creates an archive and a global network of expectant mothers due to give birth at the same time. The focus is on ultrasound-scan pictures of their fetuses, posted before the women are twelve weeks into the pregnancy. The scan which is done internally in the womans body is published in order to announce a new life. By being blown up and mounted on the wall, these images abstract out of all proportion the beginnings of these only possible lives.
Every Sunset Counts
#sunset is on the top-20 list of the most popular hashtags on Instagram, with about 100 million pictures to date. The image of the sunset is repeated eternally, and as with many of the clichés in life, it is something that touches us to the core.
Sissel Lie-Karlsen has been taking photographs of the sunsets and sunrises in her home in Kongsberg for a number of years. The ones she likes the most, she shares on Facebook. It is her voice we hear on the soundtrack saying: “I think there’s something about the calmness in these sunsets; people need calm things to look at. There’s so much happening all the time; we’re bombarded with everything between heaven and earth. There’s something quiet about a sunset, something that’s beautiful without the need to pretend. It makes us more grounded.”