Detail from installation at the exhibition The Image of Things, Guttormsgaards Arkiv. Photo: István Virág.

The Infiltrator

Five vinyl text prints.

Work made in relation to the residency The Collective Subject of History, organized by Praksis and held at Guttormsgaards Arkiv in Blaker (Norway), an eclectic collection consisting of thousands of objects gathered from around the world, located in the collectors home. The residency aimed to explore the potentials of the archive as a site for re-making collective histories, how to make relevant the personal narratives, and how the challenging of current historiography may add to future processes of history making. (More on the residency here).

“Kim Svensson’s approach to the archive is on methods of display in order to grasp which gestures are applied to both disrupt and connect linearities we become aware of when looking as an outsider. What happens when intimacy is allowed into the process of engaging with the archive? Can we dissolve pre-existing linearities and create new structures and connections?”
Text: Stephanie von Spreter

As a correspondence to the archive, The Infiltrator consists of five footnotes based upon definitions and terms relating to ”Theatre”, written to resonate an intimate and performative approach towards gestures, disruptions and display taking place in the archive. The footnotes cross-reference specific objects, each other and correspond with specific locations in the archive; creating a ‘choreographed’ awareness among the encounters and eventually punctuating the universe of the archive.

Performing at Destiny’s Atelier, Oslo. Photo: Destiny’s Atelier.

Hanging on the hinge, the Jonbar hinge

Reading. (15 minutes).

Taking the phrase "Jonbar Hinge" as a point of departure, a phrase that describes the rather abrupt moment of when a choice are to be made between objects that lead to different future outcomes, an interruption of time. The performance utilizes a spoken-word format touching on the subjects of speculation, ambivalence and desire that draws loosely on several fiction works such as the books The Legion of Time (1938) by Jack Williamsson, A Sound of Thunder (1952) by Ray Bradbury and the film Matrix (1999). I bring my own "objects" which are my own voice and a metronome, creating a strict syntax as well as a conflict between voice and rhythm. The reading distabilizes the idea of a linear narrative due to the entangled stories, setting up/suggesting scenes of various sorts using possibilites and deadlocks deriving from the fragmented timescale in science fiction.

Wishing well

Diptych. Two framed photographs, each 40x30 cm.

Each day I walk the same route to and home from my studio. A Thursday morning walking this route I walked past a puddle, I made a quick glimpse at it and noticed a coin laying on the bottom of it. I continued walking approximately 20 meters but stopped and turned back, decided to take a photograph of it.
The same day on the afternoon walking my way home, I walked past the puddle again. I then noticed that the puddle had shrinked and that the coin was gone. Each photograph are conjoined with the time they were taken (09.32, 16.21).


Framed photograph with text.
40x50 cm.

The print consists of an image of the exterior of the Crystal Palace, when it held the Great Exhibition in London 1851. A bulding notably unique in it’s time due to that large parts of the building were in glass. The photograph are conjoined with the information given to the visitors of the Pan American Exposition in 1901; "Please remember that when you enter the gates you are part of the show".
Bringing these two elements from separate historical exhibitions together, the print enlightens the translucent situation and act of being observed and observing at the same time.

The shepherd and his companions went out on a starry night

Three framed photographs and three frames with tipped in photographs and texts.

Illustrations of stars and star constellations in books dating back to the 17th century are photographed and used as specimens.
With the same observing eye as the scientist had in the making of the illustration books, the camera and it´s lens points at the same stars selected from the specimens. The photographs are after combined with fictional texts sharing a suggested observation of what is happening in the documented pages photographed from this richly illustrated book of stars and their mythological creatures.
The photographs of the pages in the book are placed on a shelf, while the framed images of the stars and the texts are hanged slightly higher on the wall, putting the observers gaze in same action as the scientist and when this work was made.

The Great White Silence

Slide projection and overhead projection.

Photographed images on black and white film and later contact-copied onto positive black and white slide film. Projected through a carousel slide projector.

The Great White Silence is a slideshow that takes it´s departure from images, paintings and fiction depicting the north and the south poles. The images were found in several archives and are dated back to various expeditions between the late 19th century to the 1950's.
The starting point comes from fiction that specifically has described these places, due to the distance of these places they have often been rendered in mythical ways.
The title of the work is taken from a documentary film from 1924, with the same title. The film was mainly directed by the photographer Herbert Ponting and shot during the Terra Nova expedition 1910-1913. The film was also restored and released by the British film institute in 2011, this time with a musical soundtrack.
The slide-projection are accompanied by short notes projected through an overhead projector. The notes are both taken from texts found among the images and reflections on the images when they were found in the archives.
The images have a total lack of human presence, the only signaling of a possible presence in the landscapes is the traces of movement; movements of curiosity (traces, artifacts) but also of the remote presence of the photographer. Each image are taken from a distance, revealing the hands holding the archival materials and the environment they were found in, gesturing the distance to the subject itself.

Kim Svensson, 2018