In the moment of impact, when the artist’s unique vernacular hits me, my senses are heightened. Attempting afterwards to put it all into words proves to be futile. This gives the occasion significance outside of language, at the edge of the field of vision, almost tangible.
According to Greek mythology, Zeus sent out two eagles from the western and the eastern corners of the world to meet at the focal point of the earth. In Hellenistic times this place was marked with a conical stone – omphalos – the navel of the world. This source of power can be seen as a symbolic center, an opening for potent flows of energy and the origin of everything.
The journeys of artists’ have always contributed to the opening of new realms and the creation of new contexts. In a time of strife and unrest these meetings are especially important. They form links to alternative ways of thinking and perceiving, interpreting and understanding. This is how the map of art is enlarged.
In 2005, Katrine Helmersson went to New York to meet French American artist Louise Bourgeois. The encounter in turn led her to Mali where she came to know Abdoulaye Konaté. He introduced her to the significant textile tradition of the country and she discovered the sculptural qualities of the bazin fabric. Last year they held a joint exhibition in Le Festival sur Le Fleuve Niger in Segou, Mali.
When the sensuous sculptures of Katrine Helmersson now meet the powerful textile works of Abdoulaye Konaté in the large gallery of the Norrköping Art Museum, it invents the space, gives it shape. The room is transformed into an epicenter, charging the sculptures and installations of the exhibition and expands the experience of the individual pieces.
This book is a document and a memory of a unique meeting, taking place at this very moment.
Norrköping Art Museum, April, 2015
© Copyright Katrine Helmersson – Photo:© Michael Perlmutter