NXT creatives

Maia Josefine Birkeland

Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo

Camera Obscura

Curator Jennifer Allen on Maia Birkeland’s work: Maia Birkeland has a curious relationship to the immobility of places. On the one hand, she seems driven by a desire to make fixed sites move: to bring the viewer an experience of tree tops swinging in a remote forest or a lonely farm field perched on the slope of a fjord. On the other hand the artist is driven by a need to remind the viewer that these places are indeed distant: you are not there but right here in your body. ‘All Those Emotions I Carry Them with Me’ (2013) is a collection of found red clothes, carefully folded and stacked into a towering cloth column. Yet since Birkeland installed them at the end of a tight corridor, viewers are drawn into a kind of trap: a cherry-red-ruby dead end. Such deceptions may recall the synecdoche whereby one part represents the whole (to represent that vast lonely field she collected a sack of hay from it). For Birkeland, there are many parts which can never replace the whole nor fit with each othe