Vibeke Tandberg

30 Sep - 05 Nov 2005

Vibeke Tandberg
Reading the Newspaper Without Hands

The title of Vibeke Tandbergs new Film Reading the Newspaper Without Hands (2005) is at the same time the title of her new exhibition at Klosterfelde. We see the artist reclining on a deckchair in her garden, a newspaper on her lap, the pages of which are being turned by random gusts of wind.

Her series of 46 collages, IHT Sept. 29, 2004, however, came into being with somewhat more of an effort. It took months to break up the entire copy of the International Herald Tribune dating from the 29th of September into its integral parts and put it into a new order. Instead of the usual column headings like economics, feature pages or politics the artist has developed 31 categories derived directly from working with the material, thus we find titles that are reminiscent of children’s dictionaries, like Animals, Colours, Body Parts, next to others that were seemingly deducted from to more structural analysis, like Words With Less than Five Letters, You and Related Words, Words With a Question Mark, etc.
Words, Letters & Signs. Without Meaning when taken out of Contetxt, this title of one collage seems to sum up the entire series. Further categories are derived from the ‘skeleton parts’ of the newspaper that contain no more text: Page No. 20 & 5 Without Words & Numbers’. Reinforced by the titles of the pages, the result of her work comes across like the statistical survey of the frequency of occurrence of certain words and signs in a daily newspaper. This seemingly rigorous analytical process is suspended through the graphic arrangement of the collages, that appears partly in vertical columns, partly star-shaped or more ‘loosely allover’, clearly showing the traces of their technical production.
At first glance, Tandberg‘s work is reminiscent of the concrete poetry of the ’Wiener Gruppe’, of poems and collages of Rühm or Achleitner. With them she also shares the intention to look at language in terms of mere material and to stress its visual dimension as well as the desire to counter the daily stimulus satiation of information through a system of its own.
As opposed to the concrete poems, however, IHT Sept. 29, 2004 is concerned more with running through useless organising principles and hence a more formal aspect. In this respect the work equals a series of photographs, Sunflowers, taken in 2001 for which Tandberg was exhuming singular flowers only to re-plant them again at a different place, naturally to no visible effect...

This obsessive preoccupation with an object or phenomenon marks almost all of Tandbergs works. The artist works repeatedly according to principles of serial repetition and of variation around a central idea.
’Most of what I do works like a loop, it has no beginning and no end’ the artist said in an interview with Lars Bang Larsen. And also: When I stretch out an idea in time or in quantity it becomes less indexical.’

For images or further information please contact the gallery.

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