A red-brick, crocheted school building measuring 315 x 150 cm constitutes the centrepiece of this exhibition, where Eli Eines through textile works, a photo, and asphalt explores the encounter between ideology, childhood, and architecture that happens when we enter the schoolyard as children. For every pupil ten years in school is a major part of childhood. The school walls are saturated with stories and memories. Former pupils carry memories tied to just these walls. Hundreds have staged their childhood and youth here. All these stories are interwoven and connected, and they create the school the way the loops enter through each other and together become the crocheted school building. The stories are the school.
The building is the B wing of Tveita school, the school where Eli Eines herself grew up. That just this school in a Groruddalen suburb is posited as an example of something universal is a highly deliberate choice. When suburban schools are mentioned, the topic is often something peculiar. They are problematised, they are rarely just schools. But to the artist and others who attended it, this is merely outsiders opinionizing on their lives. The school is part of their identity, as your school is part of your identity.
Together with the B wing an embroidered site plan of the school greenery is shown. Here the entire school building layout is drawn up. The site plan represents the perspective of the politicians, the urban planners, and the architect: A created reality, seen from above. The crocheted B wing approaches the perspective of the child. That is how the pupil encounters the school, as a given reality, face to face.
Through the intimate and time-consuming work with the textiles, the artist has attempted to imbue the buildings with emotion. One could say that the ideas of those who once planned the school have been touched.
It is about reclaiming one’s story. To own the story of oneself.
In a photograph a girl is bending forward and drinking from one of the school drinking fountains. On the floor in the exhibition room there is an asphalt circle. The asphalt circle and the photograph with the drinking fountain represent the materiality of the school yard. Together they can possess strong symbolic association and give room for wonder at the value of a child’s experience.
(Press release BOA)