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The 2014 Lumps pictorial series by Morten Torgersrud is based in Finnmark, an area the artist knows very well.

  • Close-up of a large gray lump of clay on a white table. Photograph.
    © Morten Torgersrud, Lumps, 2014. Preus museum Collection.

This series consists of depictions of lumps of clay photographed against a neutral background. The lumps of clay have been dug out of the landscape and photographed in a temporary outdoor studio setting. These photos are part of a larger project that Torgersrud has been working on in the Barents region. This is an area where economic, natural resources and environmental issues extend across national boundaries. 

Despite its strategic location, many people have little knowledge of this part of Norway.
 Finnmark is often perceived as being a kind of final outpost before the Barents Sea begins, and this perception extends way back into the past. Torgersrud has previously photographed construction sites and architecture, and then also gradually started taking close-ups of building materials, rocks and cables from the same landscape.

The clay used for Lumps also comes from the same place, but it was dug out from the "underside" of the landscape. This series of clay lumps is displayed as abstract sculptures. Throughout history clay has been associated with man’s desire to create and this material has been used for making both utility and art objects. 

But if we look at the series in the light of Torgersrud's other work we realise that the lumps of clay are also depictions of specific places. However, it is difficult to link these photos to a specific location. The photos therefore offer resistance to how we normally relate to a landscape where we attempt to seek recognition and place identity. Since the viewer is deprived of the opportunity to recognise motifs and a location, the images generally relate to the actual depiction of them and how the photograph contributes towards the fragmentation of reality.

This text has been taken from an essay written for the exhibition catalogue by Christine Hansen, the co-curator of the exhibition.

Museum24:Portal - 2024.05.06
Grunnstilsett-versjon: 2