Toril Johannessen opens the spring season in NO.5. In her fascination with nature and the history of science she creates her visual works by way of methodical testing and an analytical attitude to the empirical and theoretical. The aesthetic grows up in a personal interpretation of the documentary where she also draws on metaphorical and mytholo¬gizing elements that are latent in the source material.
The exhibition in NO.5 consists of two works. One is a sculpture, which is absolutely the largest object one can possibly get into the gallery space in one piece, and thus circumscribes the volume and architectural framework of the exhibition. Unlike a ship in a bottle it is not hidden tricks that make the arrangement possible, but primarily a mapping of the physical conditions.
The second work is concerned with hypothetical points of contact between the German scientist Johan Zöllner (1834-1882) and the Canadian/US visual artist Agnes Martin (1912-2004). Inspired by the latter’s geometrical motifs, Johannessen plays on Zöllner’s discovery that parallel lines appear to be tilted when they are intersected by shorter lines at a particular angle (“Zöllner’s illusion”). A further meaning of the work can be read out of the fact that both Zöllner and Martin, through their methodical, scientific investigations, have explored various spiritual dimensions
Toril Johannessen (b. 1978) lives and works in Bergen. She graduated from the College of Art in Bergen, Academy Department, in 2008. Her solo exhibitions include Variable Stars & In Search of Iceland Spar, Oslo Kunstforening, and The Generic Stone, Hordaland Art Centre (HKS), Bergen. Group exhibitions in recent years include Susan Collis, Ane Mette Hol and Toril Johannessen, Lautom Contemporary, Oslo; Session 6 – Lecture, AmNudenDa, London; and Norwegian Summer Show, Galerie Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam.