The gallery Skala 1:1 is a collaboration between the venue Atalante and GoldDigger Productions and is housed in a storefront on Övre Husargatan 1, 2nd floor. The exhibition is only possible to view from the street. The curators Cecilia Suhaid Gustafsson and Sarah Schmidt wanted to present contemporary photography that is not tied to an institution that can be displayed in the public space
Saara Ekström 8 september – 2 november 2014
In the woodlands on an island off the coast of Turku, Finland, Ekström created her first outdoor series, entitled Limbus (2010), which became the title series for a solo show at Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art in 2011.
The word Limbus has several meanings. In her case, Ekström emphases its significance as a non-place or a non-time, the vague boundary after death and before rebirth or re-blossoming ensues. The work appears to promise us something still to come, an elusive something that remained uncaptured by the picture frame. It is the unseen nature of things, an unseen presence in a location where time and place loose their meaning.
With a special permission she was allowed to arrange composites of flowers, fruit and hair in a silent corner of the nature preservation area outside of Turku, where also the earliest signs of human settlements in Finland have been discovered. Thus the location of the photographs became a significant factor – a reference to the ancient sacrificial sites that link us to nature, culture and history. Not unlike traditional nature morte, the subjects posed for death, decay and eventually decomposition. Leaving the arrangements on their own for some weeks, Ekström returned to the site to photograph her subjects at night, in the pitch dark of the woods.
To her surprise the intended images of death crawled with life, as snails, ants and other insects had overtaken the compositions. To create a certain sense of nostalgia Ekström links the photographs to early forensic documentation.
Forensic photos are enigmatic; they evoke a mixed range of ineffable emotions from curiosity to revulsion. Using only a flashlight and long exposure times to create the desired effect, the scenes seem to conceal as much as reveal. The image continues outside the frame, as the pool of light only exposes a small part of what is significant. The rest is left to imagination.
Supported by Västra Götalands Regionen Kulturnämnd