Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Holding On To Memories

“Often I leave the last decision of the day to the next morning, 
then there is a welcome for you 
- something to do, and you are already inside again.
Mie Olise

For the Danish artist Mie Olise, who is equally at home working with painting and installation, her studio, whilst being a workshop, is also her sanctuary. As she told artfridge’s Anna-Lena Werner “I prefer to work in the studio by myself and I like to walk around the work in silence.

Be it a painting or the models for her next installation, both are built in her studio although Olise uses different processes for each. As she told Anabelle de Gersigny “In the studio, I am a painter, and work the paintings up over time. There is the conceptual idea behind the work, but as a painting develops it becomes alive and in that way, has its own life and decisions. It takes over for a long while, until I step back and take distance and start to analyze and control the process again – I continue balancing those two processes, until I think the work is finished.

Whereas “Building large scale constructions only happens in the very last minute of installation, on-site, in the exhibition space and you never really know the end of the story until you stand there underneath the structure. I build small models of the space and based on my analyses of the specific space, I discuss the architectural problems or features in these models. In the end, it becomes clear that there is one idea/model that is better than the others, and problem-solving starts: materials, “how-to” and assistants/experts come into the project and we build it bit by bit.

With a MFA from the Central. St. Martins School of Art, London and a MA in Architecture, Aarhus School of Architecture, Olise combines these disparate but related disciplines to produce works that are “very much about construction and deconstruction.”

As she has said “I navigated my way through architecture school, experimenting with space, construction and hybrids on the edge of architecture, and I never saw myself in an architectural office afterwards. I was just hooked on studying the subject, and kind of just continued that in my artwork…And all along, since the age of 15, I have been painting. So it all relates I guess…It was around the time when I did my MFA in London, that I became especially interested in bringing the paintings and the constructions together, both as concepts and structures.”

Using her childhood as a lot of the background for her art, Olise constructed a set of rules to harness and preserve the memories. About which she says “One was that I would only work with these vessels and constructions, no human beings, no backgrounds. I like the scale to be 1:1, so the spectator or myself will be a part of the work. You – the viewer - would be the human figure. For many years I have been interested in how a construction or a place can inhabit stories and memories; and become the anchor for these things. There is always a specific reason why I am drawn to a place. Be it something real or a fiction. On some level, I believe my interest is rooted in a specific desire to grab hold of things as they slip away.”

Olise’s current exhibition Allusions on Place is on show at Houston’s Barbara Davis Gallery until the 12 of June.

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