Tankar om Västvärldens Vishet by Christina Leithe H. 17/12 – 18/2


Tankar om Västvärldens Vishet
(Thoughts on the Wisdom of the Western World)

The exhibition Thoughts on the Wisdom of the Western World presents a number of landscape photographs whose brightness brings to mind Southern Europe. Though the images are from various locations, they nonetheless feature a common silence, like an introspective pondering. In recent years Leithe H. has worked with landscape as a symbol of temporary psychological conditions, presenting her work in the form of archives or as expansive series of photographs. The photographs in the current exhibition stem from her latest project and focus on the themes of want and yearning, emotions that are rooted in the past and that motivate searching and forays into the unknown.

Leithe H. herself describes the project as a journey, one that started in the North and that drew her towards more southerly climes, lured by the Portuguese concept of saudade. The term refers to a profoundly nostalgic or melancholic yearning for either someone or something that is loved yet absent. Once described as the love that remains after someone has gone, saudade is the remembrance of those feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought you excitement, joy and well-being and that now trigger your senses and make you feel alive again. Saudade brings with it a wistful mix of sadness and joy: sadness about what is absent, and joy for having experienced the emotion in the first place.

In the images at hand we find thoughts of longing. The photos provoke an empathetic response in the viewer, either to the landscape or to the art itself, which in this case narrates a story where the viewer can also take part.
Christina Leithe H. (b. 1978) lives in Søgne and Oslo and graduated with an MFA from the Malmö Art Academy in Sweden in 2006. Since then she has held exhibitions both in Norway and abroad, and in 2012 she received the Nordic Dummy Award for her photo book Notes. Leithe H. works with photography and video, where she uses the documentary tradition as the starting point to create a fictional narrative. In addition to working on her own projects, Leithe H. is also editor of the art publication Spesial Nord.

Opening of the show Saturday 17 December, 14-17