(speech given for the opening of the exhibition PURPLE)
In the paintings of the spanish painter El Greco each figure is the carrier of a strong color, in the form of a robe, a dress, a cape. The color indicates the role of the figure in the larger composition. In this psychological color-sceme, the color purple stands for spirituality, metaphysics. A figure wearing a purple robe thus has a connection upwards, a vertical connection. Trancendence.
Last year in the Art Department we made a project with the artist Ferdinand Krag regarding time. Cosmology. Students were asked to each draw an individual time-map, charting their lives. It was quite interesting how similar most of these maps were, and how prominent Facebook was in these maps. An exception was the time/life-map of Mekdes Sheebeta – who is the organisational core of the exhibition we are opening here tonight. Her map contained information about forces and events much larger than the individual life-time of Mekdes herself. As Ferdinand remarked – Mekdes map presented a completely different conceptualisation of time. A spiritual cosmology, very different from the rational, capitalistic cosmology driving contemporary western societies.
In these societies, in our neo-liberal, hyper-capitalist societies. Driven as they are by the three looming F’s – Finance, Fitness and Facebook. It is of the outmost importance that we are informed by messengers from other spiritual cosmologies. Messengers from other universes. Messengers with other kinds of knowledge. Knowledge of something deeper. Knowledge of something higher.
With us here tonight, we have a group of exactly such messengers. A group of artists who bring to us, messages from another universe. Purple.
(Before I let you slip away, we have a small task to do. The paintings surrounding us in the room. The paintings hanging here around us in the dark. These paintings by Fili. These paintings have travelled a very long way to be shown to us here tonight. The light is all too weak for these paintings, but they deserve that we have a closer look. They deserve to be treated with respect. They deserve to been seen. So if you will all follow me, I will light up each painting with this torch-light and we will have a close look at each painting together. If you will follow me…thank you!)
PURPLE – an exhibition of international and local artists
3.-5.9.2014 BIKS, Kong Oscarsgate 15, Bergen, Norway.
Participating: Ingebling, Badabeam Badaboom, Simon Opitz, Jan-Egil Finne, Victor Guzman, Mekdes Sheebeta, Johannes Per Stockhausen Hektoen, Ingeborg Wie Henriksen as well as the ethiopian artist Fili Filseta Pasche
Mekdes Sheebeta: PURPLE