I think all paintings are somewhat selfportraits.
“There’s so much within one’s own, you’ve not yet put into words, what you’re aware of is a small tip of everything that’s in it”
Silently, the brain spins dexter on the wall in Ulla Wiggens studio in Lidingö. Operated by a motor of a microwave, sort of like a clock that brings time into the artwork. The rotating appliance is a cultivation of the depictions of electronic devices that has been a central part of her imagery as of the 60’s.
As a 20yearold, Wiggen began to depict the insides of machines. After over 20 or so electronically influenced works, she turns her eye outwards, and towards people. “Ulla Wiggen makes me think of the child who breaks the clock to see what time looks like inside” Carin Nilsson, in her review of the show “COOL”. The body is a point of orientation from which the world asserts itself: from where I stand looking back at the account of her artistry and especially in her scarce production, forth treads an artist who works slowly, with the smallest of brushes, meticulously.
In the studio, midday. Leaning against the wall, three irises in different sizes; and along the same wall hangs two joined incisions of the cerebellum, one of the layers looks like the colour of sweetbread, the other grey more of a shadow. “But it’s not like a specific brain or iris – Ulla insists, I think of how it looks like being a human”. The human in Ulla’s pictures is a specifically selected and depicted excision or detail, a component of a body. The brain constitutes the ruling part of the central nervous system, two halves with distinct characteristics, between them sits a connection which makes them a functioning unit. The body’s anatomy and technology correlate and have several equivalents: just like a camera adjusts conditions of light the iris adjusts the pupil depending on the surrounding intensity of light. It is through the iris we behold the world, but where is this we that looks through and imbibes it? Where are we in the space of our inner selves?
Ulla Wiggen’s works makes visible the dark network within, the empty angles and the way in our innermost. The body we live in becomes an atlas over the quiet place that moves beyond speech and word.
Just like the whorling of the brain, Ulla Wiggen’s pictures are comparable to a mind map, and there’s nothing that brings us closer to the question of where we are looking through an iris. Everybody get to watch and experience on one’s own.