A new solo show by Norwegian artist A K Dolven, which consists of two film works completed in the last year, runs at the Wilkinson Gallery until the end of April.
In 'Madonna with Man - Oslo / London (4:30min)' the films were shot with a fixed camera. The traditional Madonna and child pose is recreated using a business woman with a man resting his head on her lap. In the Oslo film, large windows extend across the frame and look out onto the harbour and the hills in the distance. Paper stacks atop an unusually long modernist desk together cut into this scenic view. The passing of time is marked by a crossing ferry and birds in flight - these are the only elements that disrupt an otherwise eerie stillness. The London film also has two large windows extended across the frame and to one side there is a large aquarium. Amongst the files on the desk sit a Buddha and a pear; as if an extension of the couple's held pose. Outside the wind breathes life into flags atop Victorian buildings. The films explore the ambiguities manifest in what is essentially a relationship of power. The women in this work are top ranking professionals in international business.
'Amazon (1.30min)' is a 16mm film projection of an androgynous figure shooting. A fast edit gives this minute and a half long film the sense of a single shot. For the most part the camera is tight on the body - neck, chest and arm muscles snap between tension and rest. When it jumps back it exposes the torso as that of a single-breasted woman. Under the glare of harsh sunlight the arrow imprints stark shadows as the woman relentlessly shoots. Even when we see the spear's head, we never see a target. It is not about 'where it is aimed' but about the act of 'getting there'. Amazon makes reference to the Greek myth of a matriarchal society of brave female warriors who are said to have cut off one breast to hit their target better. The work speaks of harnessed strength, female courage and determination to act and overcome perceived physical and psychological restrictions.
A K Dolven
22 March - 30 April 2006
242 Cambridge Heath Road (junction Hackney Rd) London E2 9DA
Tel: 020 8980 2662
e mail: email@example.com
Gallery opening hours: Thurs-Sat 11-6 Sun 12-6 or by appointment