Ingvild Hovland Kaldal

so busy being free


>> KHM Gallery Malmö



Text by Inger Wold Lund

If you look up leisure in a dictionary it will give you examples of periods when you might
encounter free and unrestricted time.

She looked forward to retirement and a life of leisure.

Most evenings he had the leisure in which to follow his interests.

In Kaldal's work this freedom takes an uncanny turn. An oyster is smoking a bone, like some would smoke a joint. Metallic sculptures are reclining on white plastic chairs, like if on vacation. The same sort of chairs is said to exist in higher numbers than there are human beings walking on Earth. Imagine if we were all to sit down at the same time, in one coordinated action of rest, this would be the chair of choice. Every single one of us could place our butts on cheap plastic. Some of the plastic turned light grey from days outside. None of the plastic disappearing in our lifetime. Or in the lifetime of anyone that will remember us.

When entering Kaldal's master exhibition, So Busy Being Free, you will find yourself walking through a short hallway where beach towels lean against the walls. The towels are dipped in concrete, before wrung and strung. They are so stiff that they could stand by themselves if you let them. Like the leftover towel in the shower of a school gym. Or the towel that ends up never leaving the beach. Never going home. At the end of this hallway you find a gate made of roughly welded steel.

From outside the gate you can look in through holes and tears in the metal. But only when you fully enter, walking around the gate rather than through it, can you completely take this dystopian landscape in closer sight.

On the inside objects figure like relics from scenes we are all familiar with. Next to the
objects you find gigantic drawings made with coal. Coal ­ the out burned remnants of
trees ­ is here used to draw up new landscapes. Similar to the sculptures, in these
drawings no trace of bright color can be found. Here there is only an infinite grayscale,
picturing human beings with sunglasses, abstractions of birds and one single monkey
staring back at you when you look at it.
In Kaldal's work, like in objects washed ashore on beaches, brightness seems like
something belonging to the past.