Waver: Ivana Franke

5 - 22 February 2009

Ivana Frankes first exhibition in Sweden, Waver, takes place at Gallery Niklas Belenius. Two pieces are shown: one site-specific that takes over the largest room in the gallery and a light sculpture in the smaller room.


Without darkness, no light


There’s something black with Ivana Franke, something profoundly dark and unpleasant. This blackness is not Ivana in person, but it lives within her and forces itself to come out in her works. I might be wrong, but I don’t think so. Her light-installations are amazing but not only in a physical way – they move me mentally, or on many mental levels. When I visit her works uncertainty strikes me. I’m in the middle of an architecture that makes me leave the phenomena called “light” and return to the feeling of the fear of darkness of my childhood. Not knowing where to put my feet; not daring to open the closet door; not being able to handle a darkness without one single sprinkle of light. The horror that this blackness represents within a child in a closed room is the insecurity of the unknown vibrating, and it make the heart pound faster and faster. To insert the arm in a dark hole in a murky cellar. The superiority of the unknown.


Without light there’s no painting. Without darkness there’s no light. I suppose that the art that Ivana Franke presents doesn’t come from a genuine interest in the characteristics of light, but from a series of experiences of darkness – the dark. Only an artist that has the experience of the dark and has, in some way, managed to accept an existential black abyss knows what light means. It is this uncertainty that I sense in Franke’s works – an intensive combination of fear and bliss.


Ivana Franke is born 1973. She has been showing at Venice Biennale 52nd, P.S.1, Manifesta 7, Museum of Contemporary Art and Reykjavik Experiment Marathon. Franke lives and work in Zagreb.


Text by: Carl Michael von Hausswolff, January 2009