30 March — 27 May 2022

Carla Åhlander & Camilla Løw

Belmacz, London

You who have dreams born in the bone,
Who are not alone going alone,
Who cannot see where the light lies
For the flame within your eyes,
From the ends of your seas’ four ways,
Riddle me these mysteries.

 

Harriet Monroe, Quiet Music

 

Quiet pulses at once refract and conjoin the works of Carla Åhlander and Camilla Løw. Through quiet, Carla’s photographic series suspend their chosen subjects. Through quiet, the barely bare geometric forms of Camilla’s sculptural pieces take on a social-spatial energy. Presented together, for the first time, Carla Åhlander & Camilla Løw provides an occasion to comprehend the elegance of the inaudible.

 

Carla Åhlander’s (b.1966, Lund, Sweden) soft grain photographs narrate moments that echo through life, provoking in turn an inquisitive mode of  looking. In this exhibition, the tranquillity of empty rooms is illuminated in such a way as to transform our engagement with these humble spaces; to make us think of places not yet. Camilla Løw’s (b.1976, Oslo, Norway) careful compositions redefine space through their physical presence. Working with mute tones, monochrome and mirror and more, here, Camilla’s work animates the gallery’s space, our encounters with and in it, by weaving silhouettes and contours into structural rhythms.

 

Far from a meek whisper, this exhibition unites two practices that ask us to comprehend the very hum of life. And through this low frequency, how our quiet encounters with and in the world can sing anew.

Parallel World (Klavier)

Carla Åhlander

Parallel World (Klavier), 2022

pigment print on Hahnemühle photo rag
120 x 86 cm

Installation View

Time Stopper (For Rammellzee)

Camilla Løw

Time Stopper (For Rammellzee), 2022

mirror, perspex, spray paint, rope, metal hook, string
50 x 12 x 180 cm (variable height)

Installation View

Installation View

New Patterns

Camilla Løw

New Patterns, 2022

perspex, string
240 x 210 cm

Parallel World

Carla Åhlander

Parallel World, 2022

pigment prints on Hahnemühle photo rag
20 x 30 cm, 2 +1 AP

Installation View

Time Stopper (For Rammellzee)

Camilla Løw

Time Stopper (For Rammellzee), 2022

mirror, perspex, spray paint, rope, metal hook, string
50 x 12 x 180 cm (variable height)

Time Stopper (For Rammellzee)

Camilla Løw

Time Stopper (For Rammellzee), 2022

mirror, perspex, spray paint, rope, metal hook, string
50 x 12 x 180 cm (variable height)

New Patterns (detail)

Camilla Løw

New Patterns (detail), 2022

perspex, string
240 x 210 cm

Installation View

On the Verge of Normality

The invisible systems we live in. The orders and the structures that society is built of — that we all belong to — and which we often take for granted. These have always been a fascination of mine. What are the purposes of differing spaces? And what effect do these purposes of spaces have on us? 

 

In previous series, I have dealt with classrooms (In the Realm of the Possible, 2003), I have explored conference rooms in municipal administrations in Berlin (Potential Areas for Projection, 2010). And for these new projects (On the Verge of Normality, 2022 and Parallel World, 2022), I have researched the purposes of communal ward spaces within psychiatric hospitals — both active and historic hospitals.

 

From my research, felt and academic, the communal ward spaces and rooms within psychiatric hospitals are often set up to feel like a ‘home’ — a ‘normal home’; and aim to mimic the staging of a ‘normal life’. Lounging in these spaces, patients can, and are purportedly able to, re-acclimatise to the normal flows of life outside the hospital, following a period of treatment. 

 

Investigating the background purposes of these spaces, On the Verge of Normality and Parallel World, pay attention to the structural details of these rooms and how they can make visible differing states of life. In active hospitals, like those projected in On the Verge of Normality, these spaces convey a kind of normality; a state of normal affairs adapted from an idea of what it means to be a functional human being in a society. In the photographic prints that create the series Parallel World, these spaces for normality have been debased of their function, becoming places verging on a kind of harrow real; an erry mirror to the normality projected. 

 

With their soft chairs and strong tables, their flecking paint and sparse objects, my interest across these two series lies in the tones that distinguishes these ‘rooms for living’ from living rooms. Sitting with the small details of each site, On the Verge of Normality and Parallel World questions the consistency of normality and how this is conveyed.

 

The series of photographic images included in the exhibition, Carla Åhlander & Camilla Løw (Belmacz 2022), come from my time researching in the communal ward spaces in three English psychiatric hospitals: one in South London, another in Norwich, and one in Kent. A special thanks needs to be given to the London-based charity Hospital Rooms for their support facilitating my access to these hospitals, as well as to those whom I encountered at each. 

 

 

Carla Åhlander, 2022

Parallel World

Carla Åhlander

Parallel World, 2022

pigment print on Hahnemühle photo rag
20 x 30 cm, 2 +1 AP

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