Ingvild Hovland Kaldal

When you see me again it won´t be me

Gothenburgs international Art Biennal 2009
Installation in the Hall of Mammals-
The Natural History Museum in Gothenburg.

Interview with Niger Rothfels
Reflections on the vitrines
a Jornal of ideas, contexts, and methodes. Volume4. No1


In Greek mythology the color of a red rose represented both growth and decay. It symbolized both the start of life and the nature of death. Rose red has historically been used to highlight objects of great importance, and in the theater, drapes of the same color function as a marker for the beginning and the end of a performance. The theatrical curtain also maintains a fictional space for the audience, framing the story in a finite, separate reality.
In the museum, staged death – similar in bathos to the Greek tragedy – gives the viewer a satisfaction, in that they can see the linear quality of time in nature. They are comforted by the clarity of life's trajectory (cause and effect) presented before them, while also being swept up by the grand finale of that narrative in the space of a theater of preservation.

The Gothenburg Natural History Museum's taxidermy elephant =, majestically displayed in the Hall of Mammals, is captured in a moment when he is about to lift his feet and walk away from his stage. In this installation, the introduction of a closed ring of red curtains suspends the elephant and his audience in a present where no openings or spectacular endings will occur.