JURY'S CHOICE

 

Helena Blomqvist

Born in 1975, Swedish, Lives in Stockolm

 

www.helenablomqvist.com

 

 

 

Florentine

 

Florentine is a grand figure, she is the genius, she is the prima ballerina , she is the great thinker and the mythical circus artist. Florentine is a very old woman who lived her life during the twentieth

century.

 

In images that appear to be taken from the Florentines photo album, we see glimpses from her life. Florentine looks back , her mental state and solitude allow imaginary friends to enter this rich long life story. It is unclear what is real and what is hallucinations and fantasy figures. What is a memory,what is a fantasy, what is real? Are the magic moments made up in Florentine's head?

 

In the image suite " Florentine " scenes take place in a fictional neighborhood. The interiors speak of time lost. Old newspapers, peeling wallpaper and cracked walls hold the past.

 

There is a touch of melancholy inherent to Florentine. The subdued palette that brings late 19:th century Scandinavian painting to mind enhances the sense of melancholy. We are guided by a loosely knitted narrative through the memories and recollections of the former ballerina. The past appears as vivid as the present. How certain can we be that what we are looking at is the actual recollections of Florentine? Would it be truer to describe what is in front of us as the tangled up truth, as it looks through the filters of time and imagination?

 

With an infallible sense of hues and lighting, together with a meticulous craftsmanship, the scenography is made co-star next to the lead, Florentine Stein. The resplendent melancholy visible in the eyes of Florentine turns to deflection in the wider perspective of our contemporary history.

Cataclysmic occurrences are noticed among the headlines in the stacks of yellowed newspapers. With these shared experiences as backdrop, the personal history of Florentine is set in the foreground. Here we are confronted with more personal, yet common, existential matters, as ageing and loneliness.

 

The pictorial story about Florentine are imaginative, shimmering constructions, unrestricted. Yet, in the unknown there is always something more or less familiar, drawing you into the invented reality. It is difficult to know what is the most enchanting. Countless layers of ideas, allusions and atmosphere are deposited on top of each other. Where in time are we? On the edge of prehistoric time or far in the future? Sometimes past and future meld in these works. In some of them a moment expands into eternity.

 

Helena Blomqvist