[Photo above: Hanne Grieg Hermansen, series of 3 drawings, 2016: Sunset by Fagerholt, Sunset by Lutvann and Sunset by Fontainebleau.]
For this exhibition Marianne Bjørnmyr and Hanne Grieg Hermansen present both new and previous works using different approaches but similar thematics. With her analogue photographs, Marianne uses science history as a starting point in order to highlight central questions regarding the human need to register, prove and control various natural phenomena of the world. Hanne works with detailed drawings based on photographs where the technical aspects of photography have obstructed the intended subject.
Here, the two bodies of work have been put in relation to each other based on their shared interest in the most fundamental characteristics of photography: light and visibility. The word “Photography” has its origin in the Greek words phas (light) and graphê (to draw). Directly translated it means “to draw with light”. At the same time, light is fundamental to man’s ability to make use of vision as a way to perceive the world. However, our sensory apparatus has limitations.
Marianne Bjørnmyr has been particularly interested in science history connected to astronomy and observations of celestial bodies. Her main piece in this exhibition, 1080 Seconds That Only Exist in Here, is based on how the discovery of photography made it possible to register millions of stars, only a fraction of which were visible to the human eye. As a paradox of visibility, some of these stars are presented to us in a spatial multi-channel slide installation. Marianne’s other works for this exhibition are part of the same project, where she focuses on the history of visibility and the use of measurements in science as a means to organise and establish reality.
Hanne Grieg Hermansen has in recent years been interested in the optical effect of light as portrayed with the use of paper and pencil. Central to her project is the technique and time spent, revealing a disproportion between the time it takes for light to attach itself to photographic film and for the pencil to portray it on drawing paper. Backlight is a recurring subject in her work in this exhibition, either as sunlight through trees, or artificial light in the form of spotlights. The latter represent a more abstract form of light; the subject is gone, and what is left is the diffuse play in colours in the optics of the camera. The blinding subjects of the pictures throw light back towards us, the observers, and alters the situation of both the observer and the relationship between subject and object. The effect of the drawings is supported by the lighting.
Photography has for the past 150 years been utilised to document reality, both in scientific and artistic contexts. This has opened up new ways of seeing, and shaped our perception of reality. The works in the exhibition engage with the possibilities and limitations in photography. Time and again, it can appear as if the camera, or rather photography as a medium, has gained a conscience and the technique taken on a life of its own.
Marianne Bjørnmyr (b. 1986, Bodø) works with research based photography, often based on anecdotes from scientific history. Through experimentation with analogue photographic techniques and various forms of presentations, she disrupts our notions about both photography and reality. Marianne has a background in photographic studies at London College of Communication (MA 2012). She has previously had solo exhibitions at Reykjavik Photography Museum and Babel exhibition room in Trondheim. She has participated in a number of group and collective exhibitions, including several participations in the annual North Norwegian Art Exhibition.
Hanne Grieg Hermansen (b. 1984) works with drawing, primarily based on photographs. Time; manual labour; shifts in value; illusion and the tipping point between drawing and photography are significant components in her artistic practice. Equally central is imitating the eye and the camera as visual apparatus and visual technology respectively. Hanne is educated at Bergen Academy of Art (MA 2010) and Oslo National Academy of the Arts (BA 2008). She has previously had solo exhibitions at The Norwegian Drawing Association in Oslo, Tag Team in Bergen, Kurant in Tromsø and Sami Centre for Contemporary Art in Karasjok.