in residency in august 2008.
by Gitte Villesen
Artist Statement: Gitte Villesen
Quote from Science Fiction writer Ursula Le Guin’s book “The Left Hand of Darkness” page one:
“The story is not all mine, nor told by me alone. Indeed I am not sure whose story it is; you can judge better…”
and later on the same page:
” I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my home-world that Truth is a matter of the imagination. The soundest fact may fail or prevail in the style of its telling…”
Several of my projects deal with people who passionately live a life on the edge of what is considered normal. Between their reflections on their life situation, and my own thoughts, I try to touch what the norm is and how it becomes constructed.
Another topic almost always present in my work is the essential qualities of meeting with another person, the intimacy and experience of ”presence” that accompany sucha meeting. What does it mean to be seen and make oneself seen? What is it you are offered when another person invites you into their life and shares their presence with you.
What are the responsibilities and what power does it give me to be the one who represents and tells someone’s story? What does it mean to have a voice and to use it? (As in the work “I Capture You. You Capture Me.”)
When some works deals with people who either are on the edge of what is considered normal or maybe on the edge of having a voice in society, other works take up the same issues, but from the perspective of those who actively create norms (as architect Margarete Schlütte Lihotzky in “Kitchen etc.”), or, determine standards within the context of an institution or a discipline; for example, Authentic. Objective. Subjective.” Or which rules does one follow?” dealt with how, in an institutional context, standards for evaluating historical evidence are determined.
Mostly my work consist of a combination of one or more elements; video, text, still images, photographs, posters, folders, photocopies, a vitrine (display case), and/or other objects. The videos are often video installations with from one to three projections.
At the moment I am working on a catalogue, which has the working title ”Personal passion and the construction of norms and values”. If it has to be short, this sums up my project quite well.