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-History of mythologisation
Ceiling-paintings are predominately connected to the periods of renaissance, rococo and baroque. With ceiling-paintings made in situ one strived to create a sensation of three-dimensionality and open up larger, indefinite space within the interior architecture. By employing different illusionist tricks, as manipulations of perspectives and trompe l’oeil-techniques, one managed create illusions of heavens inhabited by angels; imagined halls with pillars; or abstract spaces with emblematic or mythological figures and symbols. Ceiling paintings evoked fantasies, created dramatic narratives, had didactic functions or formed viewing spots for contemplation.
In this project I am embracing these qualities and functions of the classical ceiling paintings – which share some of the qualities of staged photography (a genre I have been invested in since the end of the 1990:s) – but at the same time transforming or inverting some of the aspects. The ceilings are photographed in different palaces in northern Italy, and are here used in an experiment with the functions of the scale, the position of the viewer, and notions of perception. By using small prints in one of my series – with the details enhanced by magnifying glass, mounted in certain elaborated frames – I transform the viewer to a giant looking into a “viewing instrument”, or peep hole, into another world of marvels. The environment of the ceiling paintings are “transplanted” into a new context in my work, and the viewing position from below are replaced with a horizontal peeping position in relation to the wall objects, where the viewer has to move to be able to acknowledge the spreading and the details of the image.
In the series, I also comment of the function and meaning of the photo-object – an “un-pure” hybridization of photography that had several short periods of existence in the history. The first period is connected with the earlier experiments with photography by the end of 19:th century – a period when photography existed in a terrain in between science, entertainment, technology and art. During this period a series of experiment with scopic technology, hybrid forms were invented that resulted in different images, different viewing machines and photographic tools (the Wunderkammer, the stereoscope, etc). The second period was during early postmodernism in the 1980:s when a number of artists made objects in the borderland between photography and sculpture. With a background as sculpture student, I’m in this work merging my sculpture- and photo-practices.