Of Nordic Archives
May 19 - June 30, 2016
Opening: Thursday, May 19th, 6-8PM
RYAN LEE gallery
515 West 26th Street
RYAN LEE is pleased to announce Anne-Karin Furunes: Of Nordic Archives, a solo exhibition of her most recent body of work that brings together portraits of men, women, and children from Finland, Norway, and Sápmi, who suffered sterilization and documentation at the hands of their government between 1900 and 1939. In conjunction will be a site-specific painting in RLWindow. This is her first solo show in the US in more than five years.
In the "Of Faces" series, Furunes explores the modernist social theory of eugenics during the early 20th century, when the movement spread worldwide. Culling through thousands of photographs from an archive held in Sweden's Carolina Rediviva at Uppsala University, the country's oldest university library, Furunes departs from this collection of photographs to consider untold histories through portraiture. Her choosing of the most striking photographs speaks to a humanness that establishes a connection even across time. As Furunes tackles the ethical complications of modernist theories that aimed to improve the genetic quality of the human population through racial and social sterilization, she wishes to dismantle the automation of the archives by highlighting the portraits of individuals into the gallery space. Her interest in these stories stems from a consideration of those who were silenced, ignored, or otherwise neglected in the retelling of history. This subtle shift from data, a record of documentation of mental or racial deficiencies, to an august and sobering portrait suggests that Furunes' process of aestheticization is part of a humanistic tradition.
Read the complete press release here: http://ryanleegallery.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Furunes_press16.pdf.