3,5% Over Generations part 3
In the third part of the exhibition series 3.5% Over Generation we are showing two older POC artists: Nina Mangalanayagam and Paula Urbano.
This exhibition processes the betweenship that some of us live in. Through the works, the viewer gets an entrance into the betweenship and “the third room”. The works in the exhibition highlight the subtle and abstract that the betweenship imply’s, do we belong to nothing or everything? We are hybrids at a time when hybrids are always in question.
In Nina Mangalanayagam’s work “Balancing Act” (10 min), the viewer encounters a split screen where a pair of female feet walk on the coloured lines marked on the gym floor, the lines mark the boundaries of the basketball or badminton courts.The camera’s low angle never allows the viewer to see any other part of the artist than her feet.
Inspired by historical mapping and the origins of sports rules, Nina questions what it means to be in a betweenship, to cross physical and mental boundaries, to be in a fluid state. The music is a hybrid of national anthems from Sweden, Denmark, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom, composed by Oliver Barrett. The notes testify to Nina’s migration history, while the text reveals personal anecdotes and internal negotiations about cultural hybridity. Balancing Act is a disoriented experience that questions the rigidity and arbitrariness of systems we take for granted, the maps and boundaries, how these can be negotiated and how we can fall between.
In a tender way, the voice in the video work tells the viewer about the subtle things around us that create an betweenship, which is hard for people who has not experience betweenship to understand what it imply’s. Gradually the work increases in intensity and by doing so assert its right to exist in a world where we all too often divide people into predetermined boxes.
“In my art, I explore stories that are intricate and complex, but that have been simplified to fit into a categorical system.”
– Nina Mangalanyagam
Hybrid worlds are created in Paula Urbano’s series Reflexive Perception. Reflexive Perception is photo montage, where the photographs have been taken in different cities around the world, from Gothenburg to Miami. Paula then places the images on top of each other, but instead of covering each other, the dimensions are multiplied and thus create a hybrid world where boundaries do not exist. Images can consist of between seven to ten layers of superimposed photos. In this way, Paula creates “Cities free from borders”.
Paula Urbano is influenced by the literary and cultural theorist Homi Bhabha’s ideas about “the third room”.
The “third room” means that an identity can never be divided according to ethnicity or culture; people with origins in several cultures thus do not have several different identities – but these cultures coexist in one and the same identity that is in constant change and movement.
“My art is about things I cogitate about. It starts with a pondering, but then I give myself the task of going to the bottom with something that I want to try to understand and investigate. It usually lands in different forms of these investigations. “
26 May – 28 Aug 2022
About the artists
Nina Mangalanayagam (b. 1980, Lund)
Nina Mangalanayagam is a senior lecturer in photography and program manager for the bachelor’s program in photography at HDK-Valand. In photography and video, she explores problems that arise in relation to belonging, multiple origins and hybridity. She has lived and worked for many years in the UK where she did her internship-based PhD in photography at the University of Westminster under the title Living with Contradictions: Re-reading the representation of Hybridity in Visual Art.
Nina has participated in exhibitions internationally, including the Whitechapel art gallery and Rivington Place in London, the Museum of Contemporary art in Zagreb and the Colombo biennale in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Paula Urbano (b. 1980, Stockholm)
Paula grew up in Skärholmen, Stockholm. She is educated at Konstfack and has also studied architecture and urban planning at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Her art revolves around existential questions about the individual in relation to migration and place. Urbano makes video works, installations, sculpture and poetry.
Paula received a work scholarship from the Artists’ Committee 2021, Bror Hjort’s travel scholarship for art teacher 2021 and a travel scholarship from Iaspis for an Artist in Residence in Madrid 2021.