Signe Johannessen, works from the project “The Beast and the Eye of the Cyclone”
Signe Johannessen’s (1978) work examines existential questions about life and technology, power and ethics, narrowing down these subjects to ordinary everyday events.
Through taking a closer look at marine bodies and the industry around them, Johannessen want to approach our view of our own sovereignty. By bringing together scientific, literary and personal references, the production discusses the ocean, power structures and humankind’s incessant need to act violently against nature. Current society is framed by social, ecological and economic crises, and we need more than ever to formulate alternatives. Johannessen invites us to observe powerstructures in society and in our everyday life through the eyes of under water creatures in this reality, and others.
‘Hold me closer’ is a symbolical depiction of a whale, or maybe a creature from another time or place. Johannessen reveals her experience while researching her family’s history – by examining its’ connection with whaling, artist has explored differences and powerstructures between the feminine and the masculine.
`Hic sunt dracones` – in the video (translation – “Here are dragons”) one can see a sculpture that resembles a whale bone moving freely in the water with the help of a female free-diver. Hic sunt dracones also takes the viewer back in time through a unique archive materials from whalingboats in the 1940s .
`The beast & the eye of the cyclone` – the book is an invitation into the working method and the exploration that the artist has been through when digging into the history of the relationship between marine mammals and humans. It is both a personal diary and an artist book.