Since the inception of CFHILL’s work together with Christine Ödlund, she has continued to deepen her journey into hyperrealism and fantasy, further visualizing the language used by plants through her signature plant pigments.
This time, we witness her practice on a monumental scale as she unveils her greatest ever piece, which curiously also allows the viewer to dive even deeper into the swamp. Fully immersed into this environment, we may see every grain, every fiber of her investigations, that which is never fully broken down but preserved or transformed into new life. This is an archaeological view of her subjects.
Perhaps the many ways in which we read her works serves as a metaphor for Ödlund’s artistic practice – the curiosity and mysticism is made possible through her ability to view and review her subject in endless new perspectives, using the tesseract as her viewing lense, as if endlessly searching for answers. What is man’s place in nature? Can humans and nature coexist? What does it mean to die? Ultimately, Ödlund›s mythological swamp gives us the opportunity to curiously examine this natural habitat while at the same time ponder questions about nature’s regulations, current debates about the environment, and human existence.
The exhibition Four Dimensions of a Swamp reads as a scientific study, but this time we also enter her world using more than just our gaze: Ödlund’s artistic practice in music comes to the fore in this exhibition with her musical debut: the release of a record on 16 November at CFHILL. The portal work of this exhibition, bearing the same name
as the exhibition, is Four Dimensions of a Swamp, and measures 379 x 508 cm. It is custom made to cover the entire stage in the main exhibition hall at CFHILL and is the artist’s largest painting to date.
The mystical and intricate new works of this exhibition are joined by the descriptive narratives of five works, the Psychadelic Botanist series, first shown at the Bozar in Brussels, curated by Daniel Birnbaum, and here on view for the first time in Sweden.
The spectrum of Ödlunds work continues to gain international appeal: her work will be on view at the 18th Biennale in Istanbul, curated by Iwona Blazwick, and at the Triennale in Bruges, curated by Michel Dewilde. She is widely seen as the contemporary visionary on par with names like Hilma af Klint, August Strindberg, Carl Fredrik Hill and Ernst Josephsson.
Immerse yourself in this monumental space and explore layers upon layers of abstraction versus concreteness, popular culture versus biology, mathematics and music. Let us enter the swamp together.
The stale scent of something living, a pale, greenish-grey mist hovering over the ground, nature’s seamless transition between a world of water and the exoskeletal bugs in the air. Flies, larvae, gerridae in their flotation shoes, spawn, amphibians.
Is humanity’s place on Earth, or is it here we part ways? Is this the beginning or the end? That depends on whether we factor ourselves into the equation. The swamp can’t answer this question for us, as she is unable to distinguish life from death. Inside her, all that exists is the transition itself, as nothing can die without transitioning into life, whether cell by cell or through photosynthesis.
Paulina Sokolow, Art historian and writer