Critics’ Picks

Anna-Karin Rasmusson, Omsorgen (The Care, detail), 2020, digital video, mixed media.

Anna-Karin Rasmusson, Omsorgen (The Care, detail), 2020, digital video, mixed media.

Stockholm

Anna-Karin Rasmusson

Cecilia Hillström Gallery
Hudiksvallsgatan 8
Open by appointment only

Entering an installation by Anna-Karin Rasmusson is like attending a healing ceremony for a broken present tense. Here, large pieces of cardboard offhandedly duck-taped onto floors and walls become a soft architecture for proto-domestic leisure. Drowned in red paint, or rather, in projections where paint flows, the packaging remains dry. From one projection to another flounder characters, often performed by Rasmussen herself, dressed in loose fitting full-body suits made of an off-white textile, which, much like the installation, is on the verge of disintegration. But it holds, despite the struggling character’s insistent adjustments to its surrounds. The thin line between empathy and domination melts into a blurred relation of being and owning––confusing the contours of both character and space.

In all of Rasmusson’s works, the architecture is made of cardboard and the oversize character’s casing is stitched together at the seams. The atmosphere is always red, bloodlike, consisting of projective veins of paint put forth by a spasmodic cinematic pulse. In a way, her video installations function like composts—tactile, humid reservoirs of repetitive, mundane duties carried out, with much physical effort, by their inhabitants. Eventually, the reproductive struggle comes full circle when the wallowing character encounters itself as the negation of this viscous reality: a black, ambulating hole that laughs both gently and violently, like a mean child ready to swallow everything. Having carried its shadow up and down stairways of cartoon and duck tape, it is now the protagonist’s own body that is taped onto the floor, or onto its negative: the other body, the rest. As the installation's title “Omsorgen” (The Care) suggests, reproduction is not a concern of the monad, but of the parts of the whole that enable the individual to occasionally materialize.