Skip to main content

Katja Bjørn


In the Flesh 2019

Single-channel video installation on curved screen, 15:16 min, with sound
Sound by Nicolas Vetterli

Where does nature end and humanity begin? In the Flesh explores the divide between the human body and its worlds and makes a formal principle out of the gulf between them. In a closed-off, black room a film is projected onto a semi-circular panoramic screen. The viewer is embraced by and faced with an image of two bodies or limbs slowly moving into, under and over each other, creating an artificial horizon in the negative space between them; a line that continuously shifts, rolls, and folds in on itself, shifting imperceptibly between form and image, body and landscape. In the pixelated shadow play between the body outlines landscapes appear – lunar, alien, coastal, ocean-like – constantly shifting in and out of focus, in and out of each other, dynamically rolling back and forth. The relationship between body and world emerges as a negotiation between the tangible skin, the actual surface visible on screen and the expanding terrains appearing from these interactions – a negotiation between cosmic expansiveness and corporeal containment. In the terrain we can be large or small, we can get lost, lose ourselves, and return home; we can conquer it or disappear in it, destroy or embrace it. Our body is one of many horizons we perch on, it is always the first and the one we are given. Describing the relationship between bodily flesh and the flesh of the world as osmotic we mutually penetrate and define each other. Our body is a terrain that can be mapped, but also our benchmark for all other mappings made: we experience space because we are spatial ourselves; we experience materials because we have bodily matter. In the meeting of membranes, the work presents a reflection on the dualistic body being both porousness and permeable, and calls to the negative space in between – the horizon – beckoning for answers to the question we repeatedly ask: How big are you in the great world? How small are you in the tiny? Where are you in the terrain? How do I measure your terrain? Who made you, to whom do you owe your form? Who determines your boundaries? Where do you end, and when do I begin?

Installation view from the exhibition Ovum at Charlotte Fogh Gallery, Aarhus.