Material: Collage from drawings in transparent paper.
Piece for the exhibition 'Signe still alive'. Gothenburg (Sweden).
This work is based on the painter Signe Hvistendahl’s (1881-1943) private writings. Eva Sundberg, Signe’s granddaughter that so kindly have given me access to these texts, told me from the start that her grandmother's handwriting was very difficult to read. Many of my projects are about non-communication, difficulties to reach a dialog and what happens when a language does not work. So I immediately knew that this was a rich material to work with.
Signe’s texts are written in Swedish and Norwegian, languages that I am not fluent in, and the unclear calligraphy make them even more difficult to understand. I also did not want to reveal to others, or even to myself, the private thoughts that could be found in her writings.
Therefore, my intention was to keep distance to the content and avoid to ‘read’ and instead just ’look’ at the words. I was not searching for the actual meaning of the words and sentences but what I could find by following Signe’s pen strokes and also study the shapes of her letters and words. I copied the text by hand onto transparent paper and finally I composed a collage out of them.
Everything in Signe Hvistendahl’s documents, apart from the digits that I could read and also understand without problem, shall in the work I’m showing be seen as texts converted into drawings.
Read about the exhibition here (in Swedish).