When: 9 April to 5 May 2018, Thurs - Fri 2 - 6 pm, Sat 12 - 4 pm
Where: MOCA London, 113 Bellenden Road, London SE15 4QY
Janne Malmros - A-DS Scholar (2008-09), will be showing a selection of works, corresponding to her continuous investigation into various materials. All her works are informed by conceived research and a strong interest in botany, the environment, entomology, geometry, history, folklore and pattern.
The title of the exhibition Pandesia/Πανδαισία means feast or banquet in Greek. Metaphorically it speaks of a rich aesthetic experience and enjoyment. Malmros will exhibit textile works, ginkgo leaves of bronze and works with paper. In Second Skin, what looks from a distance like it's moth-eaten or torn T-shirt hangs against a growing flower pattern on the wall. Set at MOCA, the piece evokes a sense of time and memory. Upon closer inspection, we realise the flower patterns on the walls are carefully cut from the T-shirt. The piece's gentle architectural intervention draws our attention to details of the room; the old wooden floorboards, the alcoves and books.
The “second skin” we wear daily or for special occasions have become part of the walls. Just like spaces hold memories so does clothing. As seen in many of Malmros's works such as unfold (part of the Nature Morte exhibition), she cuts out patterns from upholstery or clothing to form new creations. In a way, the works are in a constant state of change, as they become part of the reading of the gallery spaces. Memory, form and materials are changing and the repetition of patterns and materials evoke a sense of temporality.
It is better to live in a state of impermanence than in one of finality - Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space
There is playfulness in Malmros's works where she pays attention to the discrete object from the everyday surrounding and the uncomplicated mass-produced products. Moreover, she often uses paper in her work folding it to create a 3D sculptural form out of the paper's inherent flatness. In Scorched - two solid box frames with upscaled tens of clubs have been laser cut on cardboard and bent. They are abstracted and only the clubs tell which suit it is. In Burnham Wood she works with the playing cards by carefully cutting parts of the clubs and raising them in the air. Casting shadows they conjure a sense of barren land akin to copses of trees. As with most of Malmros's works she plays with symbolism. Clubs in cards have a string of symbolism attached to it, they are meant to represent the epitome of the element of earth, summer, youth, health, fire, sexuality and death.
The deck of cards are bought from the souvenir shop at Rosenborg Castle in central Copenhagen. By changing its forms Malmros altered its function from a social leisure activity to an object of observations. The mimic action of the printed renaissance floral design on the cards becomes its own artifact and keeps shifting its cultural heritage and meaning between the historical representation to present alteration of the object, the material and the pattern itself.
A stack of bronze ginkgo leaves is placed on the bookshelf. As with Malmros’s other works she uses her research and the manipulation of materials to question its altered state through time and cultures. While being small in scale, the bronze ginkgo leaves hold weight through its botanic and symbolic history. As a symbol of longevity, the ginkgo leaf was often prominent in late 19th-century Asian art and Art Nouveau. By using scale we are drawn close to the small sculptures. We are reminded that while leaves are a fragile material by casting them in bronze they resonate with the resistance of the ginkgo trees themselves; withstanding both natural and man-made disasters, they are often seen as “living fossils”. Three ginkgo trees survived the Hiroshima blast and are still growing today.
Malmro's use of repetition, small details and alterations make us see the value in the things around us as well as intertwining our physical presence with nature, materials and time. Roberto Ekholm, 2018