Nobody gets out of here alive, Kaapelin Galleria, Helsinki (2013)

Nobody gets out of here alive, 7.2–2.3.2013, Kaapelin Galleria, Helsinki

From press release:

Cecilia Stenbom’s (b. 1976) solo exhibition Nobody gets out of here alive explores the idea of the impossible quest for a more ordered and less anxious existence and the perceived dangers inherent with modern life. In the works exhibited at the Cable Gallery the artist investigates the methods used by people to control their anxiety when fear and chaos are constantly projected into their everyday environment. The exhibition will be on view from February 7 to March 2, 2013.

Working across media including film and video, installation, drawing and painting Stenbom examines our anxieties and desires through the appropriation and reinterpretation of real and fictional scenarios that occur within entertainment, mass media, retail, and domestic life.

Central to the exhibition at the Cable Gallery is the film How To Choose, a short film about small and seemingly insignificant every day choices. Guided by a female narrator, the story is written as instruction rather than personal reflection. Flawed with anxieties around illness, death and other negative outcomes, her decisions are made in partly logically and partly through a set of entirely personal rules.

Once we get there it is all over is a series of monochrome drawings on paper depicting a wide range of imagery. From shop interiors to lotto numbers and resuscitation drugs these new works explore the inevitable emptiness of consumer desire.

The paintings shown at the exhibition are based on images obtained by digitally photographing a TV playing scenes from a California based reality TV show. Extracting the characters from their context allows Stenbom to construct paintings that oscillate between narrative and abstraction.

The silent video animation The Scene recalls the effect made by diffused coloured light spilling through a window and trailing around a room from a nearby emergency vehicle warning light. This familiar imagery as likely to occur outside your home as on your TV screen prompts a poignant moment of reflection that as with other works by Stenbom treads a fine line between fiction and reality.

Cecilia Stenbom is originally from Stockholm, Sweden. Completed a BA Fine Arts Degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2003 and a MFA at Glasgow School of Art in 2005. She lives and works in the North East of England. Cecilia is currently making a commission for Berwick Film and Media Festival in September 2013. She is a member of AV-arkki (Finland) and her work is represented by Workplace Gallery (UK).

HowToChoose Installation07 Installation06 Installation05 Installation04 Installation03 Installation02 Installation01

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