The perception of time is a red thread connecting Hannah Nyberg’s entire artistic process. Malleable and relative, as materia itself.
Hannah Nyberg earned a master’s degree from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2022, with a focus on materiality and an interest in what lies on the border of our perception. In how materia reacts and what occurs as that reaction takes place—physically as well as psychologically. A process similar to life itself; biologically and transformative.
The works included in this exhibition are created in collaboration with materia which remains malleable throughout the process and becomes a co-creator on its own terms. While in mid-transformation during a state of action, this material becomes a sculpture, painting, print, drawing or installation.
The beeswax in Shift is introduced to water so dense that the wax becomes virtually weightless. Nyberg strives to capture a shape, a void completely free of a predetermined form. An absolute event frozen in time. As the wax interacts with the water, it engulfs everything it encounters and develops unique forms pulsating with life—each step a living process—flowing, solidifying, suffusing odor, fading. The wax is melted down time after time, the process repeating itself until the wax finds its true shape. Final shapes that then balance and rest on iron rods that mitigate the effects of gravity. Nyberg wants her audience to become a part of these unfamiliar bodies, to unite with them. Which is why she has invited so many.
When casting wax in bronze, the original disappears and a new process begins. The mass shrinks ever so slightly during this process and oxidation begins the moment air makes contact. The color of the bronze is continually influenced by contact with outside elements until that process is actively stopped by sealing with wax. These are predictions that can never be fully predicted. A transformation from an airy and malleable material to a solid substance approximately nine times heavier in weight. A physical manifestation of what happens when we try to hold on to something forever.
Act 46 to 47
A crack running through the wall of the waiting room reaches the clock in its middle. The clock’s hand is stuck between 46 and 47 seconds, constantly repeating itself. Going up, falling down. It has broken loose of its function, telling just a fraction of it all. Time runs differently when it’s stuck in the now. Time spent waiting is the slowest kind of time. Especially when you don’t know what you are waiting for, or for how long. There is a cupboard filled with crackers and a note on its glass door that reads, “you are not supposed to eat.” A man with the wrong kind of clothes comes in. He says he’s going to dress up according to the state. He doesn’t blink and seems to be walking without moving his legs. He says, the best kind of bridges are the hanging ones, the best kinds of doors are those made of stone. It’s all on the map if you want to find them. A woman with red hair and a religion says there’s still a while to wait, but I don’t think we’re waiting for the same things. The woman beside me is friends with all the robots below ground. Her best friend is number 101, she calls him Lightning. He is always spinning around in the corridors, stuck in an existential crisis. Time is relative, which is true for both measurable and perceived time, even if the two mean different things. From what I know, in physics time only moves in one direction. But our minds and bodies can replay time as if it were the present moment. Time in two directions at once, like a clock with a new function.