Facing the works of Åsil Bøthun (b. 1971) we may get the feeling of a slight absurd situation when she combines elements from both nature and culture. The furniture is deprived of their true function; they are no longer a utility for us, but a mere prop for other objects, seemingly removed from their more natural surroundings. All the objects are known to us, but the assembly of them is not. A feeling of something heimlich/unheimlich is created, that is, the known and the unknown.
Bøthun’s latest sculptures show iconic Scandinavian furniture combined with everyday items and elements from nature. Using recycled waste material like cardboard collected from waste collectors and packaging from consumer goods, she makes copies of recognizable objects. In some of the works, the maple subtly has been attempted to return to its origins by creating illusions of bark and wood.
Raw material from waste is used also in the plaster works. Gypsum boards originally used as building materials have been recycled and transformed into imitations of slate stones. Between these transformed gypsum boards we find traces of textiles and food that form reliefs in the surface. As in the other work, the underlying material is camouflaged, in favor of surfaces that illuminate fossils.
The exhibition also shows earlier works, which elaborate on an overall theme in Bøthun’s oeuvre. Through her use of interior objects, textiles and other objects related to our daily life, she studies social affiliation and habits. Starting from her own surroundings, she visualizes and materializes her legacy, linked to our close history and cultural, social and aesthetic preferences of the middle class.