ARTIST STATEMENT - JENNIFER SPÅNGERUD

 


Ever since I saw my first vampire- and werewolf-movie at my friends house (illicit, as a child), I have been struck by the feeling of obsession and uncontrollable desire these two human hybrids possess. I can only recall a few setups, but this intense feeling of thirst has been clinging as something mysteriously familiar and tangent to my artistic practice.

 

2010 was the first time I saw Shewolf, the examination project by Sara-Vide Ericson. Shewolf is a series of paintings of occasional relations. The relations are unbalanced and the woman clings on the partner, attention seeking without response. The faces is inarticulated and the movements short and precise, intimate. The paintings are accompanied by a large number of drawings/sketches of werewolves. What struck me was the intensive obsessiveness, again, in which the work was founded, and by the contradictory but still natural connection between sexual confusion and control.

Obsession and excess of appetite are key entrances into my work. An intensive play of the internal contradictions and the feeling of being trapped and depending on the environment, while one is longing for more. In the book The Wounded Diva: On the Aesthetics of the Psyche, Karin Johannisson is writing on the Swedish mental hospitals in the early 1900s. She argues medical journals to function as moral training programs for non-controllable (women). Obsession and dash of wild temper is something naturally human, but when given the epithet hysteric it is considered sick, rabid. 

My work resides in a silent confrontation, with connections to exhibitionism/voyeurism - whom is watching whom, and why? The figurative expression of severed or covered heads, loosened hair and cut open stomachs are expressions of anonymousness but also relates to Julia Kristeva’s concept of the Abject. Something that is lingering in between different definitions, and is therefore evoking feelings of fatuousness and unpleasancy. It is correlating with the sexual desire and the concept of moral decay as something luring filled by emptiness. 

Materialwise I use fur and human hair, fake hair and fake fur. A row of materials lively and quite alike, but containing widely different associations like the ones of immediate disgust, soft feeling of being secure or snotty indulgence. It is also a lively kind of material in contrast to the concrete and plaster in my work, which instead is associated with immobility and stagnation.

© 2019 jennifer.spangerud[at]hotmail.com

Last updated: July 2020