Marjolijn Dijkman & Toril Johannessen

Liquid Properties

OSL contemporary is proud to announce the exhibition Liquid Properties by artists Marjolijn Dijkman & Toril Johannessen, presenting three different bodies of work from their collaborative practice; Liquid Properties, Reclaiming Vision and Aberrations

Liquid Properties is a sculptural installation that consists of hand blown glass bulbs in a variety of shapes reminiscing of lab equipment glassware, buoys, ecospheres and water lenses. The glass objects are containers for samples of brackish water taken in Bjørvika and are structured by a meandering metal framework in a laboratory like set-up. Each of the glass objects contain one or more magnifying lenses enlarging the organisms, particles and pollutants inside.

Studied up close, each bulb is an isolated ecosystem. However, the installation as a whole might bring to mind models within a taxonomic structure, or planets within a planetary system. The ecosystems found in the glass containers change over time and display a natural processes where certain organisms thrive, and others don’t.

Captured through a light microscope, the film Reclaiming Vision features a diverse cast of microorganisms sampled from the brackish waters of the inner Oslo Fjord, alongside algae, cultivated in a lab at the University of Oslo. The film reveals various processes in the water that are hidden to the naked human eye. By investigating the brackish water, its inhabitants, its properties and the traces left by human activities, the film is a reflection upon the relationship we humans have with our surroundings, especially with what we cannot see.

Springing from the assertion that the physical act of seeing evolved from the sea – eyes, in fact, evolved from marine algae – Reclaiming Vision takes the viewer on a journey through various ways of looking at, relating to and influencing nature.

Aberrations is a series of images in which marine microorganisms are arranged alongside algae monocultures and chemical substances such as microplastics, oil and pigments. Titled after a term used in biology and optics for defect or deviation from the norm, the images are composites made from raw footage of the film Reclaiming Vision. Greatly enlarged, the photographic prints show aquatic life forms invisible to the human eye, yet highly affected by human activity.

Liquid Properties and Reclaiming Vision were originally commissioned by The Munch Museum for Munchmuseet on the Move 2018.

The exhibition is accompanied by the text ‘Becoming an Aquatic Eyewitness’ by Curator and Writer at the Office for Curating in Rotterdam, Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk 

Marjolijn Dijkman (b. 1978, NL) is an artist and co-founder of Enough Room for Space. Her works can be seen as a form of science – fiction; partly based on facts and research but often brought into the realm of fiction, abstraction and speculation. Solo shows include NOME, Berlin, DE (2018), Munch Museum, Oslo, NO (2018); Fig. 2 at ICA, London, UK (2015); IKON Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2011); Berkeley Art Museum, US (2008). Group shows include Contour Biennale 9, Mechelen, BE (2019); 21st Biennale of Sydney, AU (2018); 11th Shanghai Biennale, CN (2016); 7th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, BR (2009) and the 8th Sharjah Biennial, UAE (2007).

Toril Johannessen (b.1978, Norway) is an artist living in Tromsø. Perception and representation as historical and technological constructs are recurring themes in Johannessen’s artistic practice. Combining historical records with fiction and her own investigations, and with an attention to how science coexists with other systems of knowledge and belief, her works often has elements of storytelling in visual or written form. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at Entrée and Trykkeriet, Bergen (2019); Munchmuseet on the Move (w/Marjolijn Dijkman), Oslo (2018); Hordaland Art Centre, Bergen (2017); ARoS, Aarhus (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo (2016), and group shows such as NATURvitenskap, Trondheim Art Museum (2018); the 13th Dak’Art Bienniale de Dakar (2018); STAGES, Plug In ICA, Winnipeg (2017), and What Remains - The Golden Records, Fotogalleriet, Oslo (2017).