Dissonant expeditions / Torben Sangild
Birgitte Lund’s canvasses are places where things meet. Acrylic painted areas, pieces of paper, liquid rubber and other fluids – an imprint of organic structure. Tight geometry and organic drips. They meet on the canvas and attempt to unite in a composition; an abstract collage.
The works are often constructed around areas that divide the canvas into horizontal bands, as in the series Psychedelic Landscapes. Some are immediately beautiful colour compositions in the tradition of Mark Rothko. But strict beauty must be challenged - and it is - with things that don’t fit in - things that are possibly even irritating, ugly and nasty. That’s the way it is with visual dissonance.
The dissonances are not however allowed to just stand there and irritate. They are made to communicate with each other and with the background, by adding new layers and bridges so that balance is restored, but the dissonance remains. Like oysters, who get an irritant inside and then begin to cover them with mother of pearl, but stop before a smooth bead is formed allowing an unresolved balance to remain.
The visual dissonances however are not always softened this way. In one of the ”Sub-landscapes” there is an irritating white paper square down in the right hand corner. It brutally covers a blue-grey-black smudge that harmonizes with the centre of the picture. But that’s how it is. We’re not going to have it so easy. As a rule, the dissonances are not this harsh. They function as tension fields in the picture that makes it’s beauty long-lasting. You can keep looking at these pictures without becoming finished with them.
And when you look at them, involuntarily you start to see figures. That’s how we are, it’s not a weakness in us humans, it’s what our senses are for: to recognize the world around us. So when we see shapes that we don’t immediately understand, we start to create things. We see faces, animals and things in the blots, blemishes and clouds. In two of the Psychedelic Landscapes there are white rubber painted figures that look like parts of human skeletons. Another ’landscape’ with a yellow box in the centre actually looks like a mountain-landscape. And there is also an almost calligraphic black blob, that looks like something from the Far East. And thus the brain runs loose, and it’s allowed to because it’s stimulating to just keep the associations open.
However the pictures function first and foremost musically, not figaritively; with visual sounds, harmonies and dissonances; with rhythm and syncopation. The sensuous forms play with each other in ensembles which creates harmony in diversity and makes connections between peace and ferocity, colours and grey-tones. They form a deep beauty and become open landscapes that invite long, sensuous expeditions.