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Ida Ekblad

8th Floor

May 1 – 31, 2014

Mineral Immersion

Peter J. Amdam


What if the vitreous changes the equilibrium and intensifies the foundational disturbance of it all? A

certain mixture of clarity and of non-obscurity. A barrage of cleansing emanations and radiations of

pyre, of pebbles from the beach washed beyond recognition, of pulverized particles of igneous

minerals, heat, evental outpourings of frost, petrification, salt. Situated intensities swaying away

from their own object, source, or destination.


The application of pigment, color, oil, turpentine, lines, outlines, tonalities, chromatic pulsions, all by

way of real feather dusters, large brushes, and through silk stockings filled with thick slabs of oil

paint, is a process that necessitates a base horizontality. The lower surfaces, a material vortex of

de-sublimation that instantiates the vertical vitreosity of heretic enlightenment. Closer to the

terrestrial core of the world, its fossil archives, concretized, encrusted color, the mineral

transparency of crystal—crystal inhalation-exhalation—closer to the sky (the abyss beneath our feet

as we are walking on our heads.)


These are halos of refracted figures—and those would include figures and tropes of the human, of

the abject saint, and emphatically, a world kept unbeknown to the former chimera—refracted

figures of wounds kept open, lingering affects, abiding desires, reverberating longings. The painting

is lonely and leaned up against the wall; its winds carry its truths. This is Mallarmé’s shipwreck and

star, mathematically and pathetically outlining a non-site beyond the limits of the empirical. Alien

materiality as its material aggregate exists, composites—existed and composited—under a horizon

wholly different from that of our own. Human form is just a plug to make imaginable, interiorizable,

the cognitive void from which it emerges. And from under which horizon the future now

disappears. No wonder the chimeric, alien, human-like forms in Ida Ekblad’s paintings appear to be

dancing superimposed on a washed out, burnt out, mineral void of sorts. These paintings are, very

literally, “out there.” A technogenesis of the in-human, the non-human, the post-human. In a

different time than ours, and in a different context, a melancholic passage from de Man throws forth

remote missiles and envois, still ahead of us in its pathos-laden posteriority. A subsided impulse,

“an incandescent point in time” turned “into a reproducible cliché,” “fashion is like the ashes left

behind by the uniquely shaped flames of the fire, the trace alone revealing that a fire actually took


Strip this of its phenomenological and temporal scaffolding and immerse it in a broader, spatial

paradigm and there operates a halo of the line. Not a trace of the (circular) concept.


Ida Ekblad’s new paintings hypostatize the miniscule timbre, the point of a felt tip. To a large scale,

they are, in many ways, torsions turned images—torsions-turning-images Not images of thought,

but image-thoughts. Torsions of the sensible, departing from the concept, departing from the

thought, departing from the divine. The disfigured shades and lines of what could resemble graffiti’s

throw-ups, the collapsed grammar of what could have been Egyptian hieroglyphics situate both the

pain and the jouissance that these paintings vectorize. If the Greek alphabet made meaning

imaginable through code, the Egyptians made meaning visible through line. Ekblad’s paintings

oscillate in a middle ground: affective states and affective movements, which are kept both invisible

and visible.

Out there layers of composition, virtuality, and actuality.

If anything resembles anything, one can infer that these paintings, with their crystalline wash, is a

wash that more than anything is a kind of burning out, a wash that is more like a burnout. A

counter-intuition to the thickness of paint, a fluid timbre that emits porous porphyry of light,

invected inscriptions on the verso and recto of the panes of something that could be the windows

of a church or of a cathedral. Michel Henry’s chilling assertion comes to mind as it pulverizes the

very mind understood in opposition to its putative Other: “At bottom, one must cease to believe

in God in order to perceive the beauty of cathedrals.” Flexion before re-flection. Fraction before



If there are image-thoughts at work in these paintings, they are contorted cathedrals containing

truths that are not there, and which do not take place anywhere else but here. Actualizations of

the pathemes of the void. What one cannot attain nor free oneself from: pictoriality invested and

divested of the divine. The impossible.


Ida Ekblad was born in Oslo, Norway in 1980. She has had solo exhibitions at Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo

(2013); Kunstmuseum, Luzern (2013); and De Vleeshal, Middleburg, The Netherlands (2013).

Recent group exhibitions include Nouvelles Vagues, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013) and To Be with

Art Is All We Ask, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo (2012). She was also featured in ILLUMInations

at the 54th Biennale di Venezia (2011) and the 5th Prague Biennale (2011).


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