Connectivity is both the title and driving concept of a new exhibition by Johan Wahlstrom. It explores and elevates consciousness by rendering various abstract forms our society takes, and their impact on future generations. Wahlstrom proposes that we can break through our current blockages, activate our social imaginations, and make the world we live in a better place—because we are all connected.
His blue, red and pearl paintings are dynamic, and therefore alive in a peculiar manner. In a way, they have no essence, no real basis upon which they could be interpreted; it’s what they are not that makes them interesting. Their appearance and functionality change with the observer and other physical factors (e.g., light), profoundly impacting their very own semantics.
The interesting thing is that in each of them, he plays with many layers, and our role as spectator is to uncover the different planes of existence and different scales that can be unlocked through the manipulation and playful acceptance of that role.
In a way, Wahlstrom’s paintings are the exact opposite of mirrors, since they don’t reflect or represent anything substantial. They interact by the derealization of the optimal or the normal point of view through which we normally see or assess the situation—the meaning on display has been replaced by the depth of the perceptual thresholds, and the mysteries that reside in each descent or ascent from the perceptual space of the human.
These paintings are like the deep sea, where at a certain point—at a certain depth or threshold—it’s impossible to tell which way is up and down, or what we will find in one or the other direction. To use another example, they recall the construction of a space station, where there’s no ground that works as a basis for the construction but, conversely, it’s the object itself that determines the space, or the coordinates, that manifest in its context, that are generated from the empty spaces into actual ones. Wahlstrom’s paintings are therefore radical constructions that use the tools of nature to enchant our sensory perception, and they are liberating for precisely that reason.
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