Of What is Left, by Magnus Bons, 2015

A exhibition text written by Magnus Bons on the occasion of the group exhibition Of What is Left at Kunstschlager, in Reykjavik, Iceland, in April 2015.

Of What is Left – to imagine the spaces in-between

“Leaving a trace in languages means leaving a trace within the unforeseen of what are now the shared conditions of our lives.”
— Édouard Glissant

When the poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant writes about translation, he also says
something essential about art. It seems to me that translation concerns gaining and losing
meaning and information. Since art resides in language, the work of art is the result of such an
act of translation. For what happens when a work of art is presented by the artist? The
material of the object – whether it´s sculpture, text or digital images – intermingles and
merges with the subject matter of the art work, shifting each other´s original meaning in the
process. Matter and concept transforms and opens up into independent domains. What we get
is, speaking with Glissant, “a trace within the unforeseen”.
All of the four artists in the exhibition are, in separate ways, dealing with these traces as
evocative thought forms. They´re handling the remnants of that which otherwise would be
overlooked. Their shared working method is one of dislocations, trying to get in between
cultural concepts and finding alternative meaning to preconceived notions. The artists are
united in their negotiations of visualizing differences.

Christina Göthesson´s erased Bibles and mixed soils of different nationalities are subtle
questionings of a floating global and cultural condition. Who decides what is worth holding
on to? Who writes our history? How can we formulate truly independent lives with words and
traditions that shape us at the same time?
Joel Hurlburt transforms digital screenings from nature into inverted visual renderings of the
actual spaces lying in the gaps. What we see is the unexpected result of processed information
concerning snowflakes in motion. The highly tangible image expands in an alternative use of
advanced technology, and gives body to immaterial phenomena.
Ola Nilsson´s text charts are poetic itineraries that develop images of places yet not known.
His diaristic constructions combine descriptions of imposed paths in an apartment and letters
that remains unanswered. A mental sphere arises that contains both the outline of a particular
space and the limitless realms of contemplation.
Susanne Högdahl Holm´s tiny shelters built from the pages of seminal books functions as
intimate and empathetic interventions in the real. She highlights the contradictory relationship
between the abstract nature of words and the harsh reality of fugitives in exile. The books get
destroyed in the process, while simultaneously expanding their original intentions.

text by Magnus Bons, Stockholm, 2015