22 January – 27 February 2011
The show at Röda Sten takes the title from her new piece, Testaments Betrayed.
Even though links with her previous work La Verdad Sobre Esta Obra can be traced in the new piece, her focus moves towards a sort of political economy of the image, engaging in a complex process of questioning our visual culture, its social codes and workings of perception and communication.
If in La Verdad Sobre Esta Obra the viewer’s perception is challenged in its physicality, in Testaments Betrayed the action is moved back inside the “image box”.
Two new sculptural elements are also introduced – the large, backwards leaning screen and the Theatron-like seating construction.
The linear narrative is almost non-existent, while a stylistic choice with symbolically related images, cut together in a way that suggests psychological relations rather than a temporal continuum, pervades the screen.
The work is rich with references to different methods of montage and their respective ideological implications.
Put in historic perspective, on the one side we have the classical Hollywood style of editing, where meaning is constructed in a linear, uninterrupted “continuity”.
On the other hand we have the revolutionary techniques of montage experimented by the early Soviet film-makers, with Eisenstein and his “intellectual montage” as the brightest example. In the latter, inference is to be reached through what he called “reductio ad absurdum” – a constant interpolation of seemingly unrelated shots – meant to enhance the analytic faculties and the engagement of the viewer.
Testaments Betrayed deals with our omnipresent “mediatised reality”, but instead of dismissing it as unreal “shadows from the cave”, Cherinet recognizes that images, discourses, texts and media are indeed quite real in their modes of industrial production, social force, political effects and cultural power. She immerses herself in “mediatised reality” in order to perceive and analyse reality itself.
Disinterested in directing the viewer’s emotions, Cherinet rather seems to aim at an opportunity to encourage and direct the thought process itself.
Even though narrative storytelling is central to her practice, Cherinet uses the combination of image/language flows – our communication systems – with a twist.
In her body of work, fictitious or real stories are depicted or told repetitively and comparatively, with subtle, almost invisible changes permeating the different versions (Allegory of the Cock, Minor Field Study).
She often employs what could be described as a “stream of consciousness”, a fictional device and narrative mode used in psychology and literature, where unedited conversations of characters are allowed to flow and narration lacks “correct” punctuation or syntax, favouring a looser, more incomplete style (White Women).
In this way, Cherinet resists easy dichotomies associated with her background (white versus black, man versus woman, reality versus fiction). She rather acts as a multiple “agency” – woman, half breed, artist/author – opening up a new space in her work, a space in which preconceptions are challenged and categories defied.
Testaments Betrayed consists of the following works by Loulou Cherinet:
White Women (2002); Bleeding Men 1 (2003); Bleeding Men 2 (2005); Spotted Women 1:2 (2006); Minor Field Study (2006); Allegory of the Cock (2006); Spotted Women 2:1 (2008); Magical Transformations of the World (2009);
La Verdad Sobre Esta Obra (2010); Testaments Betrayed (2011)
2 December 2010 – 6 January 2011
Opening 2 December 5-9 pm
Galleri Niklas Belnius is proud to present The truth about this work, a site-specific video installation by Loulou Cherinet.
During a car trip through Slovenia we stopped at country store for supplies. We bought two litres of 96,6% pure alcohol. On the flight home we spiked our drinks with considerable amounts from one of the bottles. The taxi journey from Arlanda is eternally etched in my memory, it was sleet outside, and I cooled one hand through the open window and placed the other on her forehead. The lights along the motorway, the smell of leather from the car coupé, the cold air from the outside and the heat from the alcohol that incinerated and radiated through the delicate skin in her forehead.
Imagine how the palm of our hand register hallucinatory fragments, how it reads and renders a meaningful message there in the backseat. Essential basic naive mental layers interacting with more defined and developed structures. Conclusions based on experience are in compromise with standpoints of a fundamental cultural, and moralistic nature. It is a cognitive narrative in real-time. Not a passive contemplation but a doing, an active acting. A hierarchy composed by forces and counter-forces that are unified and concluded in a densified story, in an image of a human being. An image fulfilled, containing all the unconscious material that the conscious has displaced, everything that do not exist in the official repertoire.
It has to be real. The time in Washington, the welding sparks and the cigarettes. The time in Indonesia, the great paintings, the water leak in the ceiling. The return journey, the knife incident, love, impotency and insanity. The bars in Gothenburg, Hayward Gallery, Moderna Museet, Centre Georges Pompidou and the Mori Art Museum. The miracle in Vienna, the implausible high odds winner at the race tracks who saved the economy. And here we are – right at the heart of the result and at the centre of a construction – with access to new works. A configured basic material in a materialised format, half encoded, half projected or projected because it is encoded. Just lift your hand to the forehead and make yourself aware.
Linus Elmes, Oslo, 2010
Loulou Cherinet was born in Gothenburg in 1970.
MA Fine Art, Royal University College of Fine Arts, Stockholm/Sweden, BA Fine Art, Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art & Design, Addis Ababa /Ethiopia
Selected Previous exhibitions
2010, Manifesta 8 – Pavilion 1, Murcia/Spain
2009, Predicting The Past – Modern Art Museum Gebre Kristos Desta Centre, Addis Ababa/Ethiopia
2008, The Allegory of the Cock & Spotted Women – Stenasalen, Göteborg Museum of Art, Gothenburg/Sweden
2007, MAP, Mobile Art Production – Tredje Spåret, Slussen, Stockholm/Sweden
2007, Time Code – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna (MAMbo), Bologna/Italy
2006, AFRICA REMIX – Moderna Museet, Stockholm/Sweden
2006, HOW TO LIVE TOGETHER – 27th Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil
2006, The Moderna Exhibition – Moderna Museet, Stockholm/Sweden
2005, AFRICA REMIX – contemporary art from a continent – Hayward Gallery, London/UK – Centre Pompidou, Paris/France
Loulou is represented at Moderna Museet, Stockholm / Sweden,Sindika Dokolo African Collection of Contemporary Art (SDACCA, Luanda/Angola, ASNI Gallery, Addis Ababa/Ethiopia, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria/Egypt, AAU Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa/Ethiopia, Balai Seni Rupa – Museum of Fine Art, Jakarta/Indonesia, Ciputra collection, Jakarta/Indonesia
Loulou Cherinet. The truth about this work, 2010. Video installation. Manifesta 8. Murcia, Artillery Barracks. Pavilion 1. Photo copyright Ilya Rabinovich, 2010
Carl Michael von Hausswolff
Johanna Gustafsson Fürst
Miriam Bäckström, Negatives, 2010
via Bertola 34
I -10122 Torino