Bakom is the Norwegian word for the English preposition “Behind”. BAKOM is also the title of one of Kirstis works.
Prepositions are very visible in the work of Kirsti. Prepositions which all points at something visible or invisible- an object, but with equal importance. In a way she gives the negativee space its own form.
The written work OVERUNDER demonstrates this statement. The work is a textbased piece using both sides of a paper. On both sides the two worse Over and Under are written so that they form a square. the words are written without space between them. The words becomes a sculptural form. When the word Under is written one one side, the word Over are placed at the exact same position on the opposite side of the paper and viseverca.
The piece “Bakom” which I introduced before, is also a textbased work on a common piece of paper. But in this case there are only written something on the one side, and the other side seems blank at first glance. The text is placed in the left corner- and is reversed. This means that you`ll have to hold the paper aginst a source of light to read the text, from the opposite side as it is printed.
She is questioning which side there is the back and front – this also on a lager scale. What happens when we define something as “the back or the behind” -is that it becomes one dimensional- and other layers may be overseen. The text is written by Kirsti herself, and it is in a poetic language. The contents of the text relate to the paper, the format and the placement. it draws the picture of someone squatting down behind a bush behind a curtain on the ground, hiding in the shadows looking out- through the paper material.
In some way the text becomes a subject – it is personified.
Another example is her work “eit lite hol i veggen” (a little hole in the wall) It is a very small text- both in form and size.
Transelated into English:
“I wrote my self into a little hole in the wall,
it is smaller than a twighole.
from here I can look out at the ocean,
through a little chink. It is so narrow in here
that there is no room
for anything else.”
To this poem I will attach a quote of the Italian artist Luicio Fontana who was a part of the italian art movement “Spaialism” – Which, from my point of view, is not very far apart from the art of Kirsti.
“I am not interested in the kind of space you are talking about. Mine is a different dimension. The whole is this dimension.” (Interview, 1968)
In a literature context the written works of kirsti probably would be categorized as concrete poetry. They are words on a flat paper- but sculptural. Even though a paper only has two dimensions, the text demands yet another dimension through form and through content. (And here I must ad that the word concrete comes from the latin “concretum” which means “the fused” or/and “the perceptible” Which are two term that seems useful or right in the description of the art of Kirstis)
In one work Kirsti literally makes a text sculpture. It contains of words, a story, written on a fabric on a stool or pedestal. again the content of the text relate to the form.
The fabric leads me to point out the importance of materials – and forms of the texts -such as the “Soft Rug” work.
A piece shows a wooden frame with horizontal threads tied on, to the side there
is hanging a paper with wordlines cut out. This is a direct comparison or dialogue. They are very similar but if the cut-out words are some kind of negative form, the threads may be read as positive forms. Somehow my dramatic mind personifies the wooden frame with the threads – and I feel like it has forced the paper to become a sculpture. As if it has hung the paper on the wood and then been cutting out the words with violence.
It might be this thing with prepositions- “this repeated pointing at something” that somehow personifies the pieces. And the language- the universe of Kirstis. As if Kirsti makes subjects out of objects – and objects out of space. Also the visual absence of humans in her art seems to have the opposite effect- that it actually syress the presence of the subject.
Another work of Kirstis consist of two separate parts. But neither of these consist directly of text or fabric. The one part is a piece of paper in a large scale that is hanging freely in the room. There is a drawing, a grid on both sides of it- but in a displaced pattern. The light from a window shows both sides – from the side we are viewing it. On the floor lies another grid drawn on paper crumpled up. also here both sides reveal themselves- but caused by tha fabric. which is chinese folding paper- and not the light.
The artwork of Kirsti appears minimalistic, clean, founded on abscense and deselection. The abscense, the holes, the spaces, negative as positive seems as important as the objects. so to speak is the shadow an object cast or the light which penetrates a piece also of great importance.
Kirsti is questioning: “What is nothing”
And this can be transferred to art- and how these phenomenons are of highest importance in general in the arts- as institution. What is art without space- light and the unsaid.
Or life for that matter.