The World in an Instant
An accelerated future is upon us, but we are not sure why we are spinning so fast. This solo presentation by artist Axel Rios gives us a glimpse of contemporary issues pertaining to human relations to animals, agriculture, and the changing perceptions on these relationship.
Rios, who is currently based on west coast of Norway, is exposed to a new reality in the pastoral landscapes of Haugalandet. The region is scarcely populated, with small town and villages located in the fjords of Norway. Farming and fishing have been very important to the people who inhabit the dramatic landscapes of western Norway, and it has been necessary to develop methods to keep up with the acceleration of society. A small farm that was sustainable some decades ago, either has to expand or disappear. What this means for the livestock and the environment is dire. In his large scale paintings, Rios does not make any direct reference to the environmental issues or the changes in agriculture, but focuses instead on representing an individual, in this case a cow or a group of birds. Rios’ highly skilled painting technique produces a realistic and natural reproduction of an animal, but he uses the paint to question the information we have about an animal and its status. Each painting has an echo painting on another canvas, where the animals seem to be stuck in some sort of transformative status. Rios is making his choices in the paintings, telling his impression of these challenging moments. What the future holds, no one knows, but it is up to us, and artists, to offer alternative ways of seeing the world, and our status as future species. Otherwise we will be extinct.
Geir Haraldseth, curator.