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Katja Bjørn

Hibernating Mermaid 2010

Single-channel video, 8:00 min, with sound

In folk tales the mermaid is a woman filled with undelivered longings and dreams, a character spending its life waiting and searching for rest and happiness. At the same time the mermaid is a symbol of libidos, a sailor’s longing and a luring creature causing death. Building on these mythologies, Hibernating Mermaid presents the body of a naked woman floating in dark green water, suspended between life and death, waiting.

At first sight the video work presents an aesthetical perception of a female body. Next a titillating exploration of the shape of the body and the details of the skin. At last a drawing against the forbidden darkness, the moist deep of sex and death inherent in the human. The look of the viewer moves below the surface into a dark area of consciousness and lets her voyeuristic look wander over the body and the details of the skin in a persistent exploration. This exploration is filled with both pleasure and anxiety as we do not know if the body is just floating and waiting or if it is a corpse, a dead body slowly disintegrating before our eyes. A slow movement between attraction and disgust, which gives the viewer the opportunity to view her own longings and fear of staying unfulfilled.