Solo Exhibition, 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).
Once We Get There It’s Already Over
Once we get there it is already over’ (2013) is a series of 9 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. No matter how great our accomplishments are, how perfect lives we carved out for ourselves, ultimately our fate will be much more up to chance than within our control. The source material was taken from interior design magazines, sneaky snapshots taken in shops, boutiques and supermarkets, own ‘lucky’ numbers, mixing the personal with the found and generic. The source material, newspaper cuttings, photographs and scanned material, was first manipulated in Photoshop then turned into bitmap images and finally transferred onto paper using only pencil to make the drawings.
The painting series Reality Checks (2012) is based on still images from a California based reality TV show. The series follows a set of affluent women in obviously set up scenarios designed to create conflict among its subjects.