For her solo exhibition at South London Gallery Anne Katrine Dolven presents four film and video works which share a concern with portraiture, painterly composition and the passage of time. Each work focuses on individuals or couples in intense states of absorption. The carefully composed, painterly images are shot in real time and left unedited. Unfolding slowly, recorded scenes provide viewers with clues about the wider scenario, but reveal nothing conclusive. Sound is significant throughout, the combination and placing of works making us question the impact of sound, or its absence, on our interpretation of events.
Born in Oslo, Norway, Anne Katrine Dolven trained as a painter. Her Portrait with Cigarette, 2000, which is shown on a flat, wall-mounted screen, and the video installation Puberty, 2000, both make direct reference to paintings by Edvard Munch which Dolven took as a starting point from which to explore contemporary notions of identity, pleasure and desire. At first glance these works look like static images, one of a woman holding a cigarette, the other of a naked young woman sitting on a bed listening to music through headphones. Closer observation reveals that the cigarette is burning, and the woman on the bed is tapping out the rhythm of the music she is listening to. In this way Dolven subtly reveals her chosen means of measuring the passage of real time and the duration of her films – the time it takes for a cigarette to burn through or for a track on a CD to be played from beginning to end.
Dolven’s more recent works, It Could Happen to You, 2001, and Headlights, 2001, which was made specially for the exhibition, further develop her interest in portraiture and painterly composition. But here Dolven introduces greater ambiguity on one hand, greater intrigue on the other. She presents double portraits of a man and woman together, be it lying next to each other on a bed or in the headlights of a car, without giving any clues as to the true nature of their relationships, their histories or the narratives surrounding the specific moments which she has chosen to film.
Anne Katrine Dolven lives in London and Lofoten, Norway. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art, Kunsthalle Nurnberg, Kunsthalle Bern, and Sadlers Wells, London. Anne Katrine Dolven is represented by Anthony Wilkinson Gallery, London and carlier|gebauer, Berlin.