AASA ERSMARK

Snow, 0:45 min, sound, 16:9, HD, 2015

"Aspiring for a simplified, objectified and beautified visual form for something that by definition is complex, multifaceted and most often problematic can be seen as a central characteristic of Åsa Ersmark’s practice. Drawing oftentimes from dreams and mysticism while using well-established symbols, Ersmark makes the viewer see familiar matters in new light.

In Snow the artist creates an abstraction of a dreamlike physical and sensual act. We hear and see sugary snow falling and popping on female genitals. The setting is soft and simplified, the curious act de- personalized and beautified. The smooth setting, the snowy dust of the snow falling softly on the skin appears as sensual and erotic, however maintaining a distance to the sweet messiness of an actual sexual act or the brutal rawness of a representation of a sexual act in pornography.

Subtly combining references from pornography and dream worlds, Ersmark creates a visual depiction of an experience that appears as an abstraction of female sexual pleasure and joy. Working with this intriguing duality, the artist operates within an area that in fact has a relatively short history of visual representation – female desire, lust, pleasure and climax.

In the new video work, the artist has been interested in exploring the idea of auditory-tactile synaesthesia and experiencing ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response). Both concepts refer to an embodied, physical experience caused by something we hear or see. Indeed, Ersmark plays with the undeniable capability sounds and images have to resonate in and on our bodies, causing reactions from getting sexually aroused to falling into deep relaxation. The highly fascinating fact that our bodies react so strongly to something we experience through other senses – that we indeed are able to feel without touching – link our longing to both see and feel together in an uncanny manner."

Elina Suoyrjö

The writer is an independent curator based in London.

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