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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Cecilie Dahl

Brooklyn,
USA

Cecilie Dahl was born in Oslo, Norway. She grew up in Oslo and vicinity, and Accra, Ghana. Dahl studied at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art, UK, and The Art Academy in Oslo, Norway. She had tenure at The Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, DAAD, 1989-90. Her artist book, Perspective Berlin, pubilshed with her solo show in 1991, received a price at the Frankfurter Book fair, and was purchased by MoMA New York for their artist book collection. Dahl had several solo and group shows in Berlin before moving to New York where she had tenure at the P.S.1. International Studio Program, 1993-94 and at the ISCP, (International Studio and Curatorial Program), 2003-04. Malmö Konst Museum in Sweden has been collecting her work since 1990. Their most recent acquisitions are Dahl’s last video, and three photographs from her body of work: Clothes for a Summer Hotel. The Museum has the largest collection of her work.

Other solo and group shows e.g.: Malmö Konst Museum, group show, Sweden, 1994, and Gallery F-15 1997 with among others: Tom Sachs and Kristin Oppenheim. Dahl participated in a group show at Malmö Konst Museum, Sweden, 1998 and at The Wanaas Foundation, Sweden in 1999. Solo show: Gallery F-15, Norway, Velan, Torino, Italy and at Egizio’s Project New York, 2001; Gallery MGM, Oslo 2002. Dahl’s works were exhibited together with among others: Jana Sterback and Will Cotton, in the group show Sweet Tooth at the Copia Museum, Napa, California in 2003. She had solo shows at Galerie Andy Jllien, Zürich Switzerland , 2003, in Malmö Konst Museum, Sweden, 2004, at Blomqvist, Oslo 2005, and Gallery 21, Malmö, Sweden in 2006. Dahl particiipated in the group show Norwegian Images with Gallery Brandstrup, Olso 2006 and she is currently in the group show I Love Malmö with among others Dan Wolgers and Pertra Lindholm, in Turku Art Museum, Finland. The exhibition will travel to Vaasa, Finland to Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art from June 2nd.to August 12th. 2007. The exhibition is curated by Turku Art Museum’s director Kari Immonen. Her next scheduled solo show, Cruising Paradise will open in November 2007 in Nortälje Konsthall, Sweden. Cecilie Dahl is currently working and living in New York and Oslo. For further information see resume’ and website: www.ceciliedahl.com

Feminist Artist Statement

“I recall that a great philosopher found that ‘To die is to lose interest.’ Barely tangent to the world, why am I unable to crumble into dust at once, right here, two kilometers from the Porte Maillot? But since God the Father wants nothing to do with me in his Paradise, the same as yesterday, I must go on using objects, earthly creatures. Today, however I am not inclined to make advances. Fortunately the other is here to save me. The other feels that thinking has gone on too long. I hear: It’s time to go home. It’s true dawn leads to love. Let’s go.”

Rene’ Crevel: My Body and I, 1925

Clothes for a Summer Hotel and Hard Candy, still lives and short stories explore the human condition, both psychologically and physically. Some of the oldest and most common similes and metaphors relating to the human body move along a horticultural line. The body in this context indicates the female body. The stories are works told from a feminine point of view, rather than a feminist statement. Nothing is closer to us than our bodies. This is the surface and membrane through which all our experiences is filtered. The skin, the largest body organ of all, permits tactile impulses to pass via the nerves and synapses into the brain. Our external features give an impression of permanence, but the skin is in a constant flux. The unambiguous carnal aspect touches both on the devotion and the devouring of the body. There is an aspect of gluttony, an excessive use of edible ingredients, a strong momentum of sexual excitement, but also of repulsion. Oral obsessions whether sexual or nutritional, speak of violence, despite softness and sensuality. And ultimately, they speak of death. Not necessarily in a finite sense, but as a metaphor for selflessness, a loss of control as means of reaching other layers of experience.

My interest is relations between people, how we intuitively perceive and negotiate the space between the others and ourselves, and how our experience of proximity is open to illusions. It is precisely these uncertainties in the communicative situation that my work aims at interrogating.

“Just as in love this illusion exists, this illusion of being able never to forget, so I was under the illusion that I would never forget. Just as in love.”

Marguerite Duras: Hiroshima Mon Amour, 1960

<p>32.7 Like Pink Snowflakes</p>

32.7 Like Pink Snowflakes

32.7 Like Pink Snowflakes
Installation, Malmö Konst Museum, Sweden, 2004
Video: Clothes for a Summer Hotel
Sculpture: Sweet Little Nothnings
12 000 Marengues, thread, metal rod

32.7 Like Pink Snowflakes

32.7 Like Pink Snowflakes
Installation, Malmö Konst Museum, Sweden, 2004
Video: Clothes for a Summer Hotel
Sculpture: Sweet Little Nothnings
12 000 Marengues, thread, metal rod

1995 – Ten years ago – I

1995 – Ten years ago – I Young girl on balcony playing with a necklace The photograph is part of the body of work Clothes for a Summer Hotel 2005-2006.

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty
C-Print, edition of 3+2AP
2005

Photograph is part of the body of work:
Clothes for a Summer Hotel 2004-2006

Detail of face, closed eye, covered in thick liquid

Snow – White

Snow – White
C-Print, edition of 3+2AP
2005
Photograph is part of the body of work:
Clothes for a Summer Hotel 2004-2006

Detail of face, nose, mouth, covered in thick liquid, dripping.

Clothes for a Summer Hotel

The performance “Clothes for a Summer Hotel” features a berry dress on a woman’s body,(the dress made out of blackberries, raspberries or cloudberries, depending on geographic location, season, site and context), a vernissage crowd, the woman working the room, holding a glass of wine, lime green stiletto heels. The dress partly disintegrates in the course of the performance, trails of berry juice running down the woman’s body, the threads holding the dress together transforming into a pattern of veins on her skin. The juice dripping on to the floor, drawing a path of colored lines and puddles, tracking her movements, blending her physical motion with that of the others, recording a diagram, mapping the interaction between the woman and the crowd…..

Voluptuously dressed, protected, exposing a seductive trait, an attractive inviting woman,
then within minutes undressed, naked, the absurd clothing made out of edibles, a dress of berries melting - a moment covering the skin, hiding the body, then exposing it through a transformation, a visual superficiality, a vulnerable bareness, a shift, an illusion of exposing the inside on the outside, the scent of berries drenching the room as the woman makes her exit…....

A renegotiation of a communicative situation raising a number of issues:

- What is it to be dressed and how does our clothing facilitate certain communicative roles?
- How are sensuous attraction, eroticism and sexuality
replaced by unpleasant connotations to improper dress code, bodily fluids, and even to a forensic aesthetic?
- What connotations surface when one realizes that the dress is made out of berries, something edible?
- When and where during the course of the performance does the pleasant experience, both from the point of view of the performer and the audience, approach an unpleasant sensation-distressing, simultaneous possibly exciting, turn into apprehension and a somewhat disturbing incident?
- Where and how do issues of illusion and reality surface in this process?
- What role does the fragrance of the berries play as the
dress falls apart and the scent intensifies?
- How does physical and psychological proximity work as the performance proceeds?
- How does the trail from the dripping dress relate to and
communicate with the trails from other people stepping in the juices?
- How does the work invoke and further explore issues raised by several of Marina Abramovic/Ulays works, by Jana Sterbak´s ” Vanitas: Flesh Dress for Albino Anorectic” and how does it relate to the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock?

In French with English Subtitles

In French with English Subtitles
Digital C-Print, Edition of 3+2AP 2005
The photograph is part of the body of work:
Clothes for a Summer Hotel 2004-2006.
Womans ankles, lime green stilettos, bottom edge of rasberrie dress, berries disintegrating, falling on the floor

My Dress stained and I was relieved

My Dress stained and I was relieved
Digital C-Print, edition of 3+2AP 2005.
Photograph part of the body of work:
Clothes for a Summer Hotel

Bare arm, stained body, pieces of berry dress fallen apart, juice running, wall with checker patterned wallpaper

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