Anna-Karin Rasmusson: APPROACHING
Photo of Attempt at Empathy, 2018, by Anna-Karin Rasmusson, at SSE. (Photo: Mikael Olsson)
"To approach, and to stay.
To try to be there for an other person, to understand, to support.
To never be able to. To always be on the outside.
And the risk of infection."
These are the words accompanying one of the videos (Attempt at Empathy, 2018) that the Stockholm based artist Anna- Rasmusson (born 1983) are exhibiting at SSE right now. Rasmusson works with staging complex and complex emotional states close to our subconscious and often hard to render in words. Performances, videos, collages and painting are her media for treating situations social science insist on working and articulating in language.
Can she help us overcome the linguistic turn and its obvious limitations?
Beyond the current pandemic and its de-socializing effects Rasmusson´s three works also bear relevance to phenomena tackled in work, on markets and the organizational reality of capitalism: responsibility, order and care.
It´s hard to believe but all three video works in this exhibition were made before the Covid-19 pandemic. The themes of the videos are extremely timely; during the past year we all had to expand our empathy, deal with frustration regarding facts and regulations and at the same time carry fear of sickness and death.
And we have all washed our hands like never before…
The four characters is the videos we are exhibiting at SSE all deal with matters most of us can easily identify with in today´s state of mind. In I Rummage Your Kitchen on the big screen in the atrium the character is searching something: but what? Maybe they are looking for a solution? The truth? Evidence? A right answer?
We can see frustration, clumsiness and resignation but also determination and curiosity. What is going on in the kitchen?
Maybe it is easy to identify with the character if you are a student or a researcher? The searching process has similarities with the learning process. Search – and you might find. Somewhere there is an answer - or at least a pattern or a sensation that can lead you towards it.
In Attempt at Empathy, 2018, 2:20 (in the corridor to your right after entering the building from Sveavägen) we see one character who is really sick, tormented in bed covered with blisters or warts, and another person trying to be there for them. Trying to be calm and loving, to give comfort, to lie side by side, maybe also making an effort to to take on some of the suffering. Are we really able to understand another´s emotions and pain?
In the third video OCD/Pandemic, 2020, 0:30 (in the entrance hall) we see a person thoroughly washing their hands over and over again.
Anna-Karin Rasmusson is represented by Cecilia Hillström Gallery.
I Rummage Your Kitchen by Anna-Karin Rasmusson on the big screen in the SSE atrium. (Photo: Mikael Olsson)