Randi Nygård

Randi Nygård`s work is rich and complex. Storytelling, object transformation and audience participation are key elements. Displacement is the necessary first move in her artistic process and the second is to rebuild and reconstitute the image.
In a recent work, Friends and Family Back and Forth in Time (2006), storytelling is the central strategy, in imagining a community where children speak of the future and old people of the past, but each group reads out the other`s texts, thus creating a collective telling. The story telling compulsion actually began with Nordre Gate (2004) which was a response to the loss felt when a fire raged through an old part of Trondheim. To Nygård, a photographic image of the street as it had been remained mute: it didn`t really tell its story. Hence, for the exhibition she carved up the image into removable postcard size fragments and invited the public to write stories about the street on the back.
In the work shown here, How to Describe the World is Still an Open Question, a still-life is gradually transformed by drawings placed in the image, partially covering up the object group originally photographed. Each of these drawings is a representation of what is underneath, but the drawings also sprout other graphic visual traces of plants, cells, maps etc. Organically linked these are tales of forms mutating. The net effect, a dynamic camouflage, is that although we can no longer be sure about which medium or mark describes the still-life, the overall act of telling brings us closer to a multitudinous reality.
All of Nygård`s work contains the insight that it is only through the two interwoven processes of deconstruction and complex synthesis that it is possible to approach reality. Herein is an understanding that there is an ethical imperative in avant-garde practice to tell the old stories, but in a different way.

Simon Harvey 2008