When Identity Remains Abstract
At first sight, Ane Mette Hols exhibitions appear as precisely curated assemblages of inconspicuous ready-made objects. These "worthless" and anonymous things from the art world, such as rolls of packing paper, cartons, sketchbooks, notepads, or wrapping paper, appear to be given an "auratic" enhancement solely through Ane Mette Hol's curatorial intervention in the white cube of the gallery totally in the sense of Marcel Duchamp. However, each work by Ane Mette Hol is in fact a simulation of a ready-made. For each object, film, or installation is a very time-consuming, handmade drawing. In this play with the simulation of reality, a tension emerges between individual authorship and anonymous copy, which the poet Kenneth Goldsmith called "non-creativity as creative praxis". Ane Mette Hol's drawings are not "expressive" in the sense that one would recognize her "handwriting", and yet her gaze and personality are "inscribed" in the works through the time-consuming production processes. The alleged neutrality of the works is literally "individualized" by Ane Mette Hol's physical work process and attributes new levels of reading and seeing to the "false ready-mades".
The object "Untitled (Drawing for Floor #11)" looks like a roll of packing paper, but it is actually a meticulously drawn, 10-m-long drawing paper that seems to copy the model in a deceptively real way. The installation "Untitled (Drawings for One, Two, Five and Different Objects)" consisting of four pieces of paper positioned on a table imitate pieces of delicate silk paper covered with creases and defects, thus looking used. As a drawing and object by Ane Mette Hol they tell of a fictive act lying in the past, while simultaneously appearing as abstract painting. The drawn object "Untitled (Signature Work #2)" is the drawing of an empty package of paper on which Ane Mett Hol's name is "signed" seemingly in passing, so that it can be "attributed" to her. With a wink, the work refers to the artist and to drawings made in the past. The two-part drawing "Untitled (Signature Work)" reverses the question of authorship. One sees the fine drawing of a negligently torn, squared sketchpad in which Ane Mette Hol's name is spelled "Ana" as an apparent slip. "Untitled (Icon)" is the drawing of a package with 500 hand-cut pieces of paper. The depicted "paper" becomes the proverbial "icon" of artistic creativity whose realization still lies in the future. The narrative play with the "voids" before or after individual acts that create reality can be found time and again in Ane Mette Hol's pieces. In the 30-minute audio installation "The Concept of Clouds (That Will Never Exist)", this apparent emptiness is condensed to an invisible acoustic richness. The starting point is the audio recording of a single drop of water falling onto a surface. This sound is digitally multiplied and played during the course of the 30 minutes from alternating speakers. This gives the impression of an "organic wandering" of the sound that "runs through" the emptiness of the white gallery room like an invisible digital drawing. The 16mm film "When Identity Remains Abstract" lending the show its title takes the play with the aura of the "artistic signature" in the medium of filmic reproduction to the extremes. The motifs serving as the starting point are copies of Ane Mette Hol's fingerprints, which she then scratched directly into the film emulsion in a meticulous and precise manner. These "drawings" were the negative of the copied reality that then becomes a doubled, positive copy of Ane Mette Hol's identity in the film.