The first film (25 min) of Kajsa Dahlberg’s installation is based on a conversation with the Danish playwright and dramaturgist Ulla Ryum. During the 1960s and 70s, Ryum developed what she called the Spiral Dramaturgy. The model is based on Ryum’s perception that linear narrative, in which one event follows another in chronological succession, does not take into consideration the cyclical and material aspects of life. Instead, Ryum proposes an associative relationship between images in ways that open up for critical reflection and gives the viewer the opportunity to search around in the course of the story. Through the conversation we are led between different stories in a spiral form that seems to move freely through time and space, and thus embodies rather than explains Ryum’s model.
The second film (12 min) is both about and developed using sea kelp. The film examines development processes, as well as the relationships between image, screen, skin and surface. Algae and kelp have been used throughout history for many different purposes, such as in early photography techniques, fertilizers, and explosives, and today in the production of nutrients and antibiotics. Apart from the films, the installation consists of fabrics plant-dyed using the exposure of the sun. Fabric and water are put in jars together with Salix which is grown to extract poisonous residues from contaminated ground, as well as other plants, and left in the sun over time. In the installation Dahlberg is, in a similar way to the conversation with Ryum, seeking a story that can emerge in between different materials, as well as between the human, organic, material, technological and digital.
Kajsa Dahlberg (b.1973 in Gothenburg, Sweden) lives and works in Oslo. Informed by queer feminist theory, Dahlberg’s work investigates the specific relationships between filmic, or graphic, inscriptions of bodies, human as well as non-human, and the mechanisms through which these become disciplinary forces in our societies. Dahlberg studied at Malmö Art Academy and was a fellow at Whitney Independent Study Program, New York. Dahlberg has exhibited at a.o. Kunsthall Trondheim (2016), MuHKA (2015), Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde (2013), Turku Biennial (2011), The Lunds konsthall (2010), Index,. She is currently a research fellow at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.
Supported by GIBCA, Konstnärsnämnden, Office for Contemporary Art Norway: OCA, and Kulturkontakt Nord.
A film with Ulla Ryum on non-linear storytelling and intertwined chronologies; a 16 mm silent B/W film developed with bladder wrack seaweed; plant solar dyed peace silk textiles and day for night UV filter
Courtesy the artist
Röda Sten Konsthall
Kajsa Dahlberg, Unbinding time, 2019. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler