Christian Larsen, Stockholm

Christian Larsen
Hudviksvallsgatan 8, Stockholm
21/02/2014 – 30/03/2014

In the series I Know Not These My Hands, Argentina’s self-image is marked by centuries of unhealed wounds; the brutal colonization that wiped out the native population in the 1800’s, and the merciless military coup in the 1970’s that traumatized generations of parents and children. Today, Argentina is a nation in perpetual search of identity. Sometimes Cooper & Gorfer’s references are apparent, as in Sewing Girls to Trees, where the children in the images disappear into the environment, or wander away from their mothers, as in Lucy Above Mother. These are metaphors for the stolen children of the murdered Argentineans, those who were kidnapped and grew up on the “other side” of the political frontier. In other works, the references are more general. In Mending Vanessa, the many threads seen in the woman’s costume are there to mend what is torn.
In The Weather Diaries, nature—harsh and grandiose, reigns supreme. It dominates people’s lives and chisels out small communities that must stick together to survive. The unifying theme running through the cultures of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands is the urge to retain their specific national identity, for better or worse. In Ena with Eyes Shut, the Greenlandic national costume is sewn entirely of glass beads and is tremendously heavy. The costume’s weight is paradoxical; it stands for both, the pride and the restrictions that surround tradition and the fear of its loss.