ELI EINES | HITHERTO 18th November–17th December

In Eli Eines’ art, lived experiences are a central element. In the exhibition “Hitinntil” she explores the phenomenon of faith through film and installation.

The film “A Confessiont” started as a search for the reactions at the closure of churches and Christian congregation spaces. She wanted to explore whether the threat of closure and the reactions from the congregationers could tell her something about the religiosity in people’s lives and how it manifests itself today. As a proposal was put forward to close East Aker Church in Groruddalen , it piqued her interest. But what started as a search for the reactions of the congregationers instead became a film where she turns her focus inwards and weaves together her own experiences and memories with the history of Christianity in Groruddalen[1]. In Telemark too congregation spaces are being closed. The audience will be able to reencounter sconces and posts from the pulpit of the closed Vrådal Prayer House in the exhibition, and the film can be viewed sitting on pews from Langseth Parish (Eidsvoll).

While the back of churches often contains a children’s play corner, the artist has placed three embroideries in the back of the TKS vault. With the aid of the embroideries, Eines tries to concretize existential issues. For two of the embroideries, Eines has used architectural drawings from churches as a pattern. One of the drawings depicts a mortuary, the other a staircase. The spiral staircase can evoke associations to a heavenly ladder or a DNA structure. On the third textile she has embroidered the Standard Model. The Standard Model is a theory that explains what the world consists of and what holds it together. Through embroidering, Eines attempts to get close to and touch the reality behind what she transfers to the textile.

The other room in Eines’ exhibition is an interactive installation inspired by a newspaper debate about the glowing cross on the façade of the newly built Skauen Church in Skien (2021). The church is located in a residential area, where a neighbour experienced it as disturbing. The following year, the Norwegian Humanist Association in Hamar called for the removal of crosses from chapels and cemeteries. At the same time as Eines was reading these newspaper articles, she was approached with a request from a relative to crochet a cross for a confirmand’s bible. As a teenager Eines earned small sums of money crocheting such bookmarks for acquaintances. Today, she has an ambivalent relationship to these crocheted bookmarks because she perceives them as kitsch. For the exhibition she has crocheted a large cross that the audience is invited to pull apart or reconstruct. What choice is it actually she is putting in front of us?

Four of five Sundays in the exhibition period the artist and Telemark Kunstsenter invites the public to conversations about faith and art. These are invited for the conversations:

Sunday 26.11 at 13.30 Åste Dokka
Sunday 03.12 at 12.30 Geir Jørgen Bekkevold
Sunday 10.12 at 13.00 Kjetil Røed
Sunday 17.12 at 13.00 Notto Thelle

The film “A Confession” is supported by The Norwegian Visual Artists Fund, The Arts Council Norway (The Audio and Visual Fund) and The Fritt Ord Foundation.

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[1] a bustling cityscape of industry and working-class suburbs