Fotogalleriet, Oslo, Norway
22.5 – 29.6 2014

Press release: Crooked Trinkets, Stramrud’s exhibition at Fotogalleriet, shows work from the touring solo exhibition of the same title at Levanger Kunstforening, Svolvær Kunstforening, Voss Kunstlag, Kunsthall Stavanger, and Kristiansand Kunsthall 2013-2014. It predominantly concentrates on Stramrud’s photographic series Livingroom Poetics and Shadow is the Queen of Color.

Marthe Elise Stramrud’s work is both comment and play on fine art’s age-old ambiguous relationship between reality and representation, on art’s desire to elevate a three-dimensional everyday object to its sublime two-dimensional representation. It is thus not accidental that Stramrud deliberately references 17th century still life painting, with her pursued interest in the lifeless object and its capacity to obtain a higher value by being reproduced in a poetic manner.

Stramrud is not a painter, however. Nor are her photographs painterly-like reproductions of traditional still life sujets. Like in Livingroom Poetics, there is something unfamiliar in the photographs of her sculptural compositions, based on unexpected combinations of ordinary objects such as a milk jar with a rope, a spool with a plastic tube or a rock with a kitchen sponge. By stripping objects off its original function and combining them to form a new sculptural entity, Stramrud unavoidably points at Surrealist juxtaposition techniques with its aim to create an image of emotional power and poetic reality.

It is, however, through aspects like colour or neutral background that the surrealist uncanniness fades out and is replaced by a reduced nakedness. The photographs thus tell a more rational, yet poetic and humorous, story about how the world is constructed and how we construct the world around us. Also Stramrud’s subsequent work including Shadow is the Queen of Color investigates these aspects, playing with attributes traditionally connected to specific artistic media and objects, thus allowing for multiple points of view.

All photos: Istvan Virag/Fotogalleriet