Before it All Falls
Running recurringly in Mette Björnberg’s sculptural body of work, spanning over close to twenty years is the quality of presenting more than initially meets the eye. With a keen command of materiality and colours, her works are attributed a near physical presence, pulling the viewer in for a closer glance, compelling you to almost touch and feel the works. As happy-go-lucky as they first appear, Mette Björnberg’s sculptures are deceivingly joyful, representing often an autobiographical extension of the artist herself; deriving from an inner emotional life, expressing mental and emotional conditions of mind. Short, yet evocative titles serve to hint at a larger and more nuanced scene begging to be unfolded, possibly altering and rebutting an initial perception of the presented work.
At Galleri Thomas Wallner, Mette Björnberg presents two eponymously titled sculptures, “Before it All Falls I&II”. Within the intimate confines of the room, the two towering sculptures intentionally and unapologetically command their space. Bearing the titles in mind, the pair presents together an allegory of the never-ending juggle and balancing game that is life itself. For all the effort that goes into keeping everything on track, discomposure perhaps never lies too far away. On a slightly more literal note, the title nods as well to the underlying technical arrangements and execution of defying the impossibility of allowing the sculptures to rest firmly on the ground.
The founding steel rods which are entirely concealed have been embellished with figurative components, some of which are familiar from past works and have become characteristic for Mette Björnberg’s sculptures, and extend a play on shapes to the works on view. Symbolically they resonate with various aspects of the course of life. As such, floral components tell of growth, books of insight and knowledge and the mirror of the self. A braid of hair mounted at the very top of one the two sculptures, indicative of youth and beauty, cleverly offers an explanation on which fall, or rather, end is ultimately in contention here.
Ashik and Koshik Zaman (C-print)
Mette Björnberg graduated from Malmö Art Academy in 1996, and lives and works in Södra Mellby. Mette Björnberg is represented by Galleri Magnus Karlsson in Stockholm as of many years and last presented a solo exhibition, “Breathing Space” with the gallery in 2013. Mette Björnberg has previously shown with Galleri Thomas Wallner on a number of occasions, most recently in the group exhibition “Polyfoni 2” earlier in 2014.
Photo Johan Månsson