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Vanishing Twin (Tetragametic Chimerism) | Fotogalleriet, Oslo, Norway | 23rd January - 2nd March 2019

Materials: 23 framed photographs, 4 monitor works and a projection with stereo sound

In this still emergent technological age the fragmentation of social structures has been pervasive–the systems of power have shifted.The resulting decentralization and more profound obfuscation of power has however provoked closed bubbles of communication networks, allowing belief in conveniently constructed truths to fester. There seems to be a permanent state of bored emergency in this maelstrom of constructed, faked, ill informed, subjective thought.

Yet in all this mess of human/technological interaction there is a possibility of some things that are productive. There is nothing innately good or bad in a medium itself only in its use or interpretation. The rise of "identity politics' in recent times has not necessarily been all bad - it has opened up real challenges to the limitations of our own unaddressed prejudices, our unobserved repressed fears and desires - as others hold up a mirror that shows us versions of self that had gone unnoticed.

For this work I met a number of people who wanted to tell their story and naturally each of their stories reflect their cultural and social context. They all had something in common and that was that they all had eyes of different colours–arising potentially from the genetic material of an unborn twin absorbed in the mother's womb. This haunting hybridity is at the root of my fascination for heterochromia. The question arises "are we ever a singular self," if we are not then are we ultimately the product of all those that have ever lived? This has many consequences for our relationship between the one (self) and the many (human kind).  The dream then is that we all have the right to everything - it is collectively ours. Impossible?

To return to this work: the work takes the frame of an iphone but is a large projection on a wall when exhibited (a reaction to the notions of a new cinema - on a device). The phone was also  the means by which I came to be connected to these people from around the world with heterochromia. My editing method was to use the swipe/dissolves, phone sounds and turning in orientation that appears on the phone as this phone influenced cinema, but also to consider the speed and constant movement of attention that technology evokes (moving across platforms).

At the root of the work is the agency of the camera to open a space for biographies (treating biography as a slice of the overall human story). The lens indubitably changes the nature if what is said, more is at stake, the theatre of the camera is open. For some reason secrets emerge. This is at odds to the notion of the fiction of photography - perhaps that fiction is generated in post production and not the act of filming? The truth is essentially at capture.

In the huge swamp of general political/social ideas about the world and its current state each one of us has to navigate this excess of divergent information with our fleshy ageing bodies and our own specific and local perceptions. How do we conceive of a "race" or of  a "country"? These are categories that can not account for consciousness. Consciousness itself is what underpins any semantic thought.

 

Gallery Statement

Developing from their 2017 residency collaboration with British artist Lindsay Seers, Fotogalleriet and PRAKSIS are excited to announce the first solo exhibition in Norway by this widely acclaimed practitioner.
 

Throughout her career, Lindsay Seers has expressed a problematic relation to photography in terms of what it does through its imperial gaze onto the body of the other, in particular towards women. This prompted her to rethink the relationship between the subject and the object in photography; a process she developed by, for instance, turning herself into a camera, by pursuing a more performative approaches into the event of picture-taking, as well as by addressing how colonisation of peoples’ minds happens by means of scientific and technological exploitation.

For Fotogalleriet’s exhibition, Seers centres on a randomly appearing trait, the medical condition “heterochromia iridum” (a difference in eye colouration), where she brings together a range of people with diverse backgrounds from around the world, to ask what would a better understanding of these histories mean for the ways in which we define ourselves and how we would relate to each other if we were looking beyond scientific tropes? How does individual experience relate to that of the many? And who decides which voice is loudest and what should we hear?

People with two differently coloured eyes have been drawn together by Modern science to create categories no different from those applied through race, gender and sexuality. Meeting individuals from around the world, Seers creates a counter-community whose narration demounts dominant and hegemonic tropes in an emancipatory act to rebalance power relations otherwise negated.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Lindsay Seers holds a long-standing relationship with Norway by having returned to these lands, whose jurisdiction as a nation-state reaches the Arctic, at several points in time during her career. While reviewing the 2011 international Biennale LIAF, in the Lofoten archipelago for Aftenposten, art critic Kjetil Røed described Seers’ piece as “By far the best work of the exhibition.” Seers lives on the Isle of Sheppy and works in London. She has exhibited at some of the most prestigious international venues for the presentation of contemporary art practices including Tate, London; MONA, Tasmania; Hayward Gallery, London; SMK (National Gallery of Denmark), Copenhagen; the Venice Biennale 2015; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm; KIASMA, Helsinki; Turner Contemporary; Tate Triennial; Gallery TPW, Toronto; the Sami Centre for Contemporary Art, Kárášjohka, among many others. Grants and awards include the Sharjah Art Foundation Production Award; Le Jeu de Paume production award for the Toulouse Festival; the Paul Hamlyn Award; and the Derek Jarman Award. Her work is held in private and public collections, and Tate recently acquired one of her large scale installations titled Extramission 6.

ABOUT FOTOGALLERIET AND PRAKSIS COLLABORATION
In 2017 Fotogalleriet and PRAKSIS invited artist Lindsay Seers to lead the four-week residency programme titled «A Global State Of Pareidolia», during which she worked alongside fellow Norwegian and international practioners (more information about the residency is available at www.praksisoslo.org). While in Oslo, Seers engaged in cross-disciplinary dialogue with local scientists, researchers and others, and filmed part of the work which will be on view at Fotogalleriet. This Oslo presentation brings together other research the artist carried out over the past decade.