Johanna Odersky

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Spin at Sans titre (2016), Paris

at Sans titre (2016), Paris 4 September - 16 October 2021 « No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. » − Heraclitus « Repetition is not generality. …Reflections, echoes, doubles and souls do not belong to the domain of resemblance or equivalence; and it is no more possible to exchange one’s soul than it is to substitute real twins for one another. If exchange is the criterion of generality, theft and gift are those of repetition. There is, therefore, an economic difference between the two. » − Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition Difference is forged, not given. Representation is no abstraction, no function mapping an already defined set of points to another; it’s a fabric of irreducibly multiple enactments of memory, foldings and unfoldings upon yet another umwelt, which must be played on their own terms, always resistant to the tactics of the last narrative, relentlessly working around distinctions rendered superficial, relics of a static regime of codes fixed in place as tautological permutations of a fully matured grammar. Life travels with the waves, intensities in themselves defining forces, ripples, currents, rhythms that inexorably comprise the raw vectors for their own notion of space, motion defined not by any coordinate system of “possibility” but as an annealing of prior materials, temperature turned up dangerously high, in order to create velocities, inextricable dyads of direction and magnitude, in lieu of points or distances: arrows predicated on nothing more and nothing less than markings drawn directly on a physical diagram, each a geometry knowing no equivalent to its passage of time. Turbulence becomes superfluity, a magma of functionalities spilling into wrinkles and crevices on the page, instantiating nascent clevages of subject and object as they collapse into channels of equivalence that cool down a congenitally unstable matter at hand into a laminar flow of relationships and compositional rules. Transmutation: from the ferality of ontology to the mathematics of sociality. Every story is rooted in such a conflict, its specific formalisms a lattice crystalizing around a focal point barely able to hold itself together, actors in search of a director bricolaging whatever catalysts they can from the incorrigibly physical substrate of the text in order to channel raw affective magnitudes into a passage from one state of affairs to another, into the ideation of a coextensive sense of direction. Wherever there’s conflict, there’s a synthetic a-priori ready to germinate from the ensuing story to be played out, an eleutheric leap to overcome dread through dogged tinkering, tidal gesticulations relentlessly separating and resynthesizing a substance that can only be peripherally glimpsed as the axis of this indefinite cycle. The relentless labor of the particular, eschewing all promises of certainty or comfort, craftsmanship simpliciter: the means of any and all differentiation. Using your hands to comprehend what’s right in front of you, to take constraints at face value and tacitly acknowledge that the only way out is through, to slog across that same river again and again: there is nothing “beyond” or “behind” the toil and joy of this eternal return. But when we respect this ostensible banality, when we keep moving along the surface of our world instead of lying down in resignation, our movements naturally compose into an idea of where we stand in relation to the stars in the sky as inhabitants of a larger universe, and in doing so bear witness to the way in which our never ending circles never entirely bring us back to where we started. – Alex Boland

Where Water Touches All Around at Les Urbaines, Lausanne

Where Water Touches All Around
Public art project for Les Urbaines, Lausanne July 2- 4, 2021 For three days, Where Water Touches All Around is anchored in the depths of Lake Geneva and visible to all on the shore. A floating piece of space, constructed as a spheric grid with neither beginning nor end, the unusually cluttered form could be read as both a structure and an event, both a place and as a situation. The repetitive task of the sculpture's construction, the seemingly endless links between its interconnected parts, resonates within its surrounding landscape. The lake's waves, their reliability, the fact that there have been many before and there will be many after. “Its own consistency is confirmed by the persistence of things and places in a world that has long carried, and continues to carry, our traces and memories. “ (Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands) Where Water Touches All Around is a memorial piece. The structure encloses a web of personal associations and memories that reveal themselves in a public sphere. It deals with the ties that memory forms between bodies, minds and places and how knowledge and relationships inscribe themselves into the landscape and the body via memory.

Voyeuse with Sans titre (2016), Paris

an offsite exhibition with Sans titre (2016), Paris April 2 – 24, 2021 EN The title of the exhibition, chosen by Johanna Odersky, makes direct reference to its particular context. «Voyeuse» can be seen only from the road, at all hour of the day and night. It exposes itself to the regard of spectators that haven’t necessarily solicited it, in the manner of a voyeur who spies upon intimate moments which aren’t necessarily offered to him. The domestic sphere, which Odersky associates with that of the shop window, is traditionally considered the privileged place of these moments of intimacy. It’s characterised by its ambiguity, at once a site of oppression and constraint, but also of emancipation for the “voyeusEs”. Johanna Odersky conceives her artistic practice and her music and sound experiments as being intimately linked and complementary. Realised specifically for this shopwindow at 10 rue Bonaparte in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, this new body of work continues the artist’s approach of measuring time by the layering of motifs and the creation of a pictorial melody. Johanna Odersky takes an interest in the movements that characterise our relation to time, to certain phenomena like the rhythm of day and night, the change of seasons, or the waxing and waning of the moon. These cyclical actions define the composition of her drawings and paintings, typified by circular forms. The cycles can change or merge according to certain events, and the artist explores these new modes of synchronisation and harmony. Odersky makes an analogy between these sensorial acts and architectural references linked to Art Nouveau and Symbolism. The arabesque motif that she develops can be compared to a partition: with her particular attention to the spatial structure, she abstracts certain dynamics, certain relations, certain harmonies rather than representing something visible to the human eye. The artist also employs a diamond motif. It refers to the realm of heraldry, where its use permitted to characterise a woman as single or widowed, whose destiny was not, or no longer, linked to that of a man. These diamonds are composed of intertwined rulers, measuring devices par excellence. They appear as two shields, protecting a free form in the center of the composition, which seems to turn endlessly. FR Le titre de l’exposition, choisi par Johanna Odersky, fait directement référence au contexte particulier de cette exposition. «Voyeuse» ne peut être vue que depuis la rue, à toute heure du jour et de la nuit. Elle s’exhibe au regard de spectateurs qui ne l’ont pas nécessairement sollicité, au même titre qu’un voyeur épie des moments d’intimité qui ne lui sont pas nécessairement offerts. L’espace domestique, qu’Odersky associe à celui de la vitrine, est traditionnellement considéré comme l’endroit privilégié de ces moments d’intimité. Il se caractérise par son ambivalence, à la fois lieu d’oppression et de contrainte, mais également d’émancipation pour les voyeusEs. Johanna Odersky conçoit sa pratique artistique et ses expérimentations sonores et musicales comme étant intimement liées et complémentaires. Réalisé spécifiquement pour cette vitrine au 10 rue Bonaparte dans le 6ème arrondissement de Paris, ce nouveau corpus d’œuvres poursuit la démarche de l’artiste sur la mesure du temps par la superposition de motifs et la création d’une mélodie picturale. Johanna Odersky s’intéresse aux mouvements qui caractérisent notre rapport au temps, à certains phénomènes comme le rythme du jour et de la nuit, les changements de saison ou encore la croissance et le déclin de la lune. Ces actions cycliques définissent la composition de ses dessins et peintures, aux contours circulaires. Les cycles peuvent s’altérer ou fusionner selon certains évènements et l’artiste explore ces nouveaux modes de synchronisation et d’harmonie. Odersky fait l’analogie entre ces actes sensoriels et des références architecturales liées aux périodes de l’Art Nouveau et du Symbolisme. Le motif de l’arabesque qu’elle développe peut être comparé à une partition : avec son attention particulière à la structure spatiale, elle abstrait des dynamiques, des relations, des harmonies plutôt que de représenter quelque chose qui est visible à l’œil humain. Le motif du losange est aussi utilisé par l’artiste. Il fait référence à l’univers héraldique, où son utilisation permettait de caractériser une femme encore célibataire ou veuve, dont le destin n’était pas ou plus lié à celui d’un homme. Ces losanges sont composés de règles entremêlées, objets de mesure par excellence. Ils apparaissent comme deux boucliers, protégeant une forme libre, au centre de la composition, qui semble tourner sans cesse. – Marie Madec and Eloi Boucher

Time Keepers at Intersticio, London

Time Keepers
at Intersticio, London 5th of September – 17th of October 2020 A Song for Iku: Thoughts whirl out of control—perfectly shaped circles carved off-center make me wonder what holds me in place. I try to imagine the cosmos entirely; fail and remember your body is my body. Longitudinal grids spiral into each other. Are they silent sound waves turning and turning? Will they crash and splinter or merge smoothly like clouds? Concentric circles curl into landscapes out of the frame while I feel a slight thump on my chest. I know that "change requires forgetting" 1 and the feeling of loss I always bring along makes itself comfortable on the floor. A spot is left blank and I feel the silence. Cut sound “constitutes a kind of promise.”2 I want a map that tells me what and how I felt when and why. Time Keepers offers insight into the process of representing memory. Similar to how a partiture abstracts sound through signs, the exhibited artworks condense duration into color. The affective registers attached to specific memories are transmuted into haptic scores that invite a transformative awareness of time. Everything changes, nothing stays put and this is called hope. Your eyes widen and the map of our memories "is not a stable representation of a more or less unchanging landscape."3 The ground was always porous. I look again and try to locate the knot growing at my navel. It slowly grows at an angle hiding under folds of skin while “‘naked flesh is bound.”4 The temporal dimension of affect is the substance of Time Keepers. These cartographies of inner experience co-exist—as in memory—through their unmeasurable mutuality and mutability, which reminds me how the color wheel feels vast like water: cyclical and repetitive yet timeless. You are on the move again. The wind ruffling your feathers fills the room. Are you feeling free today? Is time clipping your wings afresh? I pour an ocean onto the map with one immortal hand behind my back while the other writes songs you forgot. A ring inside a ring welds the thought crust of our memories together. Alone in the unriddled sea, we forget our secrets and seduce our sorrows. –José B. Segebre 1 Catriona Mortimer-Sandlands, “Landscape, Memory, and Forgetting: Thinking Through (My Mother’s) Body and Place,” in Material Feminisms ed. Stacy Alaimo and Susan Hekman (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008), 282.
2 Carlos Basuado, “Score,” in In Terms of Performance. ed. Shannon Jackson and Paula Marincol (Berkeley: Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley, 2016), Accesed August 23, 2020:
3 Jonathan Flatley, A ffective Mapping (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008), 7.
4 Elizabeth Freeman, T ime Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010), 7.