Elin Melberg

Born: 1976
Nationality: Norwegian
Based in: Norway
Media: Painting, Public Space, Sculpture / Installation
Content: Conceptual

Currently, I am working around being at a point of intersection. How much can a human take? How much can a life withstand? The brain can cause a person to lose his language from one second to the next. A person can be full of life, but fall dead the same day. Where is the line between being in control and losing control? How much can the materials take before they burst or fray?

i have always enjoyed working with contrasts, and have therefore been emphasizing on both big, maximalist installations and more downplayed works. I have enjoyed this way of working and have a growing need for this variation. I find great joy in the different materials I work with and am very curious by nature. This is reflected in the way I simultaneously work with several techniques and mediums, but with recurring themes as a common denominator. 

«Created entirely in the six months following the death of her father, the works in the installation carve out a serene space for remembrance against the onslaught of the everyday. Utilizing a wide array of materials such as white cement, antique windows, wooden doors, latex, textiles, and foam, Melberg grapples with her personal experience as well as touching on universal human issues of vulnerability, loss of control, and the fragility of both life and memory. Deeply sensual, Float portrays the infinitely beautiful and incomprehensible human experience. But it’s not just about memories. There’s a palpable tension inherent in the works, as materials are pushed to the extreme. Sharp fragments of glass sit in velvet folds. Delicate mirrored shards are inserted into concrete. Chiffon frays. Glass cracks. All gesture towards the precarious nature of life. Melberg expertly manipulates material to call forth memory while simultaneously questioning the line between control and chaos.

On one wall hangs a large canvas draped with men’s dress shirts, once full of life, now hanging loose and ghostly; a tactile reminder of absence. A nonsensical, hand-embroidered text articulates, in an unintelligible language, the sudden loss of communication and self-awareness. A sculptural well filled with rich, black oil, creates a fluid, darkly-reflective surface. Moldings of doors, broken windows, spectre-like architectural details seem to grow out of or be subsumed by organic forms of foam and concrete, creating a true construction of interiority.

Different from her previous work, but no less experiential, Float is no longer about hiding, but rather suggests a desire for presence. Rough, raw, and transitional, the works here evoke a liminal space, an aftermath, and a gathering of the self. Rather than a memento mori - the looming threat of an end and the futility of resistance - this new work seems to pause, and remember life, before looking onwards.»

Heather Jones on Melbergs recent exhibition Float at Galleri Opdahl (May 9th - 25th 2014.)

The detailed and lengthy creative process is something I constantly need to immerse myself in, and this trend is academically valuable to my artistic practice and artistic result. Here, I get to explore my thematic analysis through painstaking and meditatively glue or distort one small bit of material at a time. I work a lot with contrasts on several levels in this context, whether the contrast between the material's original meaning put into a new context, or contrasting in the form of shiny flat versus shade etc. The perception of what is what in the material can be distorted and this is an aspect I find interesting .

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Liminality (2014) / Elove (2013-14) / Float/Balck fluid (2014) details on image

34 shirts (2014) / Float/Black fluid (2014) details on image

Liminality (2014) details on image

Float/Cream satin (2013-14) details on image

Stretcher frame 1,2 & 3 (No Content) (2013-14) details on image

I remember your eyes were on me (2013-14) / Tunnel (2014) details on image

Red (2014) / Frame 4 (2014) details on image

I wish I wish I wish in vain (2011) details on image

What's mine is your to borrow #3 (sculpture number three in a triology) details on image

Still black (2014-15) / Black I (2014) details on image