There is a world, a world before and beyond language, an ancient, primordial world. We all sense it – some to a bigger extend than others. Hunter gatherer. There was a language of images before these letters. A painterly language that many still intuitively recognize. We don’t always know how to decipher this language verbally, but we feel it calling us from the forests, the mountains, the oceans and the caves. Hunter gatherer painter. Reaching out, tapping our senses, activating our emotions, connecting us to the beyond.
Sara-Vide Ericson evokes this pictorial language of archetypes and emotional symbols in her solo exhibition Obsolete Decoy.
We walk alongside her on the riverbank in the monumental work The Wrestler (280 x 200 cm, oil on canvas, 2018). We can sense the damp sand, the low winter sun, and the determination of the protagonist in her stride and expression. She is only wearing a purple bra and dark blue leather chaps decorated with fringes, the atmosphere is both unsettling and empowering, simultaneously in and out of control.
Duality and mystery are recurring themes in the exhibition. In the painting Fragile Power (90 x 60 cm, oil on canvas, 2018), a tattooed male carefully holds a ceramic vase to his naked chest. The vase depicts a head of seemingly ancient Eastern origin. The reading of the ceramic face is ambiguous, frozen somewhere between a smile and a scorn. A child’s hand enters the painting from below, gently touching the ceramic vessel. You recognize the feeling of porcelain against skin, the bright reflection of sunlight on the glaze that instinctively makes you narrow your eyes. You wonder who is protecting who.
This dichotomy keeps the viewer alert and on edge throughout the exhibition. The gorgeous and mesmerizing glowing birch trees in the large work Pink Silence (200 x 150 cm, oil on canvas, 2018) could have been a visual lullaby, but there is something else at stake, a feeling of real, a reminder that nature, including human, is precisely nature. Beautiful and ruthless, domesticated and wild, at our grace and our throats.
Sara-Vide Ericson’s works are objects that carry meaning from beyond the canvas. Something ancient, something wild, something you can’t quite quantify. Vessels that let us connect with primordial sentiments of joy and fear. Her skilful practice awakens our dormant survival sensory system. You feel the wind, granite, water, sand and distinct temperature in each painting. You sense time, and can smell and taste wood, moss, leather, bark and wool. You recognise the variation of skin texture, the hairy chest, the soft ass and the scared hand. You can hear the alarming silence before death in the woods and the deafening natural white noise loop of the waterfall.
The works challenge our perception, emotions and notion of existence. Bold, elaborate, enticing, demanding, engaging, beautiful and dangerous. Boatman’s songs for a time defined by dataism and faith in algorithms. An awakening call from the wild.
Sara-Vide Ericson was born in Sweden in 1983, she graduated from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm in 2009. She now resides and works in rural Hälsingland where she was also born and raised. She has recently held solo exhibitions at Bror Hjorts Hus (Uppsala, Sweden), Örebro Kunsthall (Örebro, Sweden) Galleri Magnus Karlsson (Stockholm, Sweden) and group exhibitions Swedish Art Now! at Sven-Harry’s Art Museum (Stockholm, Sweden) and Abertz Benda (New York, USA). Obsolete Decoy is Sara-Vide Ericson’s first solo exhibition with Eighteen and third solo exhibition with the V1 Gallery family. A catalogue documenting the exhibition, and the process of Obsolete Decoy, will be available from Trojan Horse Press in conjunction with the opening.