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Flyktpunkt review Leena Kuumola

A Fugitive Moment

Hans Rosenström


Installation, Gallery Sinne

There are limitless ways of relating to art. The conceptual approach involves an open mind and sensing meanings where they reveal themselves. The fleeting perceptions of everyday life also carry great weight. This seems altogether obvious for Hans Rosenström, who creates art out of what many would never notice. What his art expresses is based not on materia but on its absence. Instead of emphasizing the surface, Hans Rosenström concentrates on what’s underneath. He seems to take pains to awaken on the part of the viewer notions of possible developments.

By creating illusions of an apparent reality, Hans Rosenström makes us sharpen our senses. Actually, he gets us to see reality in a new light. In an earlier work , a dense presence arises out of sound and light, supported by elements from everyday life. In this way he creates realistic, true to life situations that are steered by the immaterial.

Rosenström current exhibition is similar. We are presented with what seems to be vacant space. An empty gallery that appears to be prepared with carefully directed lighting. The lighting’s clear if mild shimmer makes the viewer feel welcome. The only thing on the wall is a mirror. If you allow yourself time, something surprising may happen that can only be experienced for a fugitive moment. Afterwards one is not entirely sure what it was that took place.

Parallels to performance

Paradoxically enough, the experience is extremely physical. It makes the viewer aware of him or herself and the surroundings in a way that seldom occurs in an exhibition. The focus is moved from reason to the more intuitive and emotional. In this there are certain parallels with performance, particularly regarding the combination of the transient and immediate with a strongly physical presence. The difference is that in Hans Rosenström’s exhibition, it is the viewer him/herself who constitutes the presence and performance, and a performance that only affects the viewer him or herself. The perception or sensation changes character depending on the viewer’s own sensitivity.

Memory can also function in a similar way. In Remembrance of Things Past Marcel Proust emphasizes the importance of the involuntary memory, which can be suddenly set off by unexpected physical sensation. Here too it is  subjective experiences emanating from a surprising confrontation with the outside world that result in an intensive inner consciousness.

In a world full of spectacle, focusing on externalities, it comes as a relief to encounter the kind of quiet reflection that Rosenström devotes himself to.

Leena Kuumola

Published in Hufvudstadsbladet 18.12.2010