Lovisa Ringborg — Mirror Stage – An attempt to regain consciousness


Galleri Niklas Belenius is proud to present Lovisa Ringborg’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.

Although Ringborg has often explored narrative and drawn upon the visual language of performance this will be the first time she uses video in her work and it will be the central element in the exhibition. Featuring a film triptych shown on separate screens, the films run simultaneously, ebbing from figuration to abstraction, occasionally falling into sync. Accompanying the film are still images.

The central screening shows two girls who are almost identical in terms of visual appearance. They mirror each other’s actions and take turns in performing CPR. In the next scene the hands of one girl are slowly floating across the other girls neck and it is unclear whether her intention is to strangle or caress her. Black substance is pouring out of her mouth. Sheets are uncontrollably washing over the bodies, morphing into abstract shapes, seemingly possessing a life beyond control. In scenes where the effusive sheets inhabit the world both order and chaos seems to prevail and the captivating effect reaches out towards the tendency of human perception to discover meaning in random structures. All scenes are repeated in an endless loop – each subject forever defined against what it is not.

Ringborg’s work embraces, amongst other ideas, the contextual framework of the binary oppositions mind versus body. As a clear distinction between the two never can be made, we witness a struggle when two opposites assume a role of dominance over the other. There is no clear line of where one stops and the other take over. The dissolving ‘I’ becomes the visual and conceptual measure of reflection where there is room for both dissolution and unity.

Mirror Stage – An attempt to regain consciousness can also be seen to raise questions about subjectivity and identity in terms of relationships with others. How for example in strong friendships, the identification with the other person sometimes become so overpowering that you stop existing in the form you used to know yourself. The title of the exhibition points to the concept in Lacanian theory – the mirror stage – that is the permanent structure of subjectivity and relationship with the body image. It also reflects on the CPR praxis where the body is forced to awaken from an unconscious state. The films present a world that is found within the compounds of psychoanalysis, exorcism and hysteria and throughout the presence of these elements become entwined and floats in and out of focus.

Ringborg makes works that are rich with intrigue and detail but always manages to keep her caution and distance in the storytelling. Her photographic work often describes ambivalent conditions where the subjects portrayed are absorbed by their inner realities and the real action (or non-action) takes place within the subject itself. Ringborg always presents these alternative existences without becoming sentimental. Her images both embody a specific moment in the past as well as a timelessness that keeps her work in a constant state of becoming.

Lovisa Ringborg was born in Linköping, Sweden, in 1979 and lives and works in Stockholm.
She graduated from the University of photography in Gothenburg in 2008. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Harlem Studio Fellowship in New York City and at Kulturhuset in Stockholm. Other solo shows include: Passagen, Linköpings Konsthall, Rotwand Gallery in Zürich. Group exhibitions include: Location One, NYC, The Swedish Institute, Paris, Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, Norrköping Konstmuseum, Gallery Sun Contemporary, Seoul.

The soundtrack is composed by Jenna One. Editing with help of Viking Jonsson and Karl Fredberg.