Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Peter Callesen - work description

Very eloquent critique of Peter Callesen's work


By Pontus Kyander

* * *

All narratives unfold in a space. Normally, both the unfolding aspect and the spatial are to be taken metaphorically: the space indicated is a mental one, one that has to be imagined, and the unfolding is a way of describing how the writer arranges the storyline to evolve in all those twists and turns we know from literature. The story has to be interpreted and re-narrated by the reader, in his mind. Sometimes, and sometimes not, the miracle of reading brings us to unforgettable moments, full of images brought out from our own mind and memories.

The space in visual narratives is mental as well as physical. Again, there is a story to be reconstructed, but the images are there instead of letters. It is an easy way to evade the cumbersome act of description (an image is not a description, it is a reality in itself), but places the viewer in the position to have to re-enact the narrative. Visual narratives are somewhat more open-ended than the stories told in books, in particular if we talk of singular images and singular objects.

Peter Callesen’s paper works are literally results of folding – and cutting. On top of a story that include various symbols that we recognise from fairy tales and other archetypical storytelling, and thus integrating all those narratives that we know from reading books and watching films about castles and princesses and monsters and darkness and a lot of other things, he also brings in the story of the work itself. This is not just a castle, it is a castle that tells you how it was made. All laid bare, the start, the process, and the final result. In that sense, the work is narrative, but also performative. Object and action at the same time. The act of viewing is a re-enactment, and an act of unfolding the folded, uncutting the cut.

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