Hard Earned Innocence

Friday, November, 6, 2020 16:00
Sunday, November 22, 2020 15:00
Lyngby Kunstforening (Portnerboligen ved Sophienholm)
Nybrovej 401A Kongens Lyngby, 2800 Denmark

“Let everything that's been planned come true.
Let them believe. And let them have a laugh at their passions.
Because what they call passion actually is not some emotional energy,
but just the friction between their souls and the outside world.
And most important, let them believe in themselves.
Let them be helpless like children,
because weakness is a great thing,
and strength is nothing.
When a man is just born, he is weak and flexible.
When he dies, he is hard and insensitive.
When a tree is growing, it's tender and pliant.
But when it's dry and hard, it dies.
Hardness and strength are death's companions.
Pliancy and weakness
are expressions of the freshness of being.
Because what has hardened will never win.”

– Andrei Tarkovsky (The Stalker)

Innocence the Hard Way, Flashe on prepared paper 40 x 31 cm

The exhibition consists of eight paper-works that have an apparent fragility but at the same time a very tangible presence. They are delicate, textured pieces made from prepared paper, laid in color baths, rinsed off, and painted again. The contrast between the fragile nature of the works and their raw, almost brutal energy creates a mesmerizing tension. The pieces are process-based, made in an interaction between the intuitive and rigorous methods. There is a fixed and set-up color pallete from the outset. So, M.B. only works partially instinctively; the beginning of her process is wordless and unconscious, but the conscious formal considerations come into the process, and eventually, language enters. The artist insists on materiality - the tactile is the most important. The works for the exhibition Hard Earned Innocence have been created in a chemical reaction over time, and the paint's pigment settles as dust on top of the prepared paper and retains them in the present. They are suspended in time so that the materials can be allowed to maintain their rawness their life. The works are as much about the materials as they are the inevitable, indirect artist self-portrait. The most important thing about the works is the works themselves; they are physical philosophies and contain a reality that one does not have to understand through words or language. The tactile is prioritized over words; M.B. does not distrust language but insists that the material experience is an equally valid method of understanding and being in the world. The paper-work gives a bodily response; you can almost physically feel how fragile they are just by looking at them. They are not a purely optical experience; they are real things in the world, and hopefully, the viewer absorbs themself in the materials and colors and so absorbs in a physical experience. The works have titles, but the artist does not want to tell people through them what to experience or think. The works are made for people themselves, and the experience and interpretation are theirs. And many things are best or only understood through the wordless; there is a code that is visual, and that is outside language, and that is just as important as words, if not more.

Collateral Damage, Acrylic on prepared paper, 67 x 44 cm

Wrybill Marie I, watercolor on prepared paper, 90 x 69 cm

Wrybill Marie II, watercolor on prepared paper, 90 x 69 cm

About this show Artfacts: https://artfacts.net/exhibition/marie-irmgard-birkedal-hard-earned-innocence/922786

Exhibition recommendation I DO ART: https://www.idoart.dk/kalender/marie-irmgard-birkedal-hard-earned-innocense