Rod Barton is delighted to present Dubious Desire for Cleanliness, the first solo exhibition in the UK by
Berlin based artist Camilla Steinum (born1986. Oslo, Norway). Featuring a selection of Steinum's
latest floor-based sculptural works, Dubious Desire for Cleanliness challenges the viewer to address
ideas around what it is to call something an art object and what exactly can be considered the
material content of art.
Through careful consideration of materials Steinum emphasises the qualities and character of objects
and materials. Predominantly working with textiles, felt, ready-made objects and metal frameworks,
these materials when carefully arranged and manipulated create juxtapositions that highlight their
inherent differences, or as the artist puts it their 'material contrast' – dirty to clean, organic to
manmade or small to large.
Many of the objects used by Steinum are existing items that form part of our daily routine – a shower curtain, a handrail or a cup. These non-descript items are pulled away from their traditional uses as
separator or container and reimagined into sculptural assemblages. This shift from structured to fluid is
a key theme in much of Steinum's work and can be seen as a direct response to her work with
Steinum sees her textile work in two distinct strands – felting and work created through weaving on a
loom. The inherent differences in production with the structure and order of the loom on the one
hand and more organic nature of felt, lie at the heart of much of Steinum's theoretical grounding.
Citing Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus (1980) moving away from the loom and its
production through grid, it's connections to mass-production, capitalism and the industrial. Instead felt
relates far more to the hand made through the use of wool and, un-mechanised mode of production.
Working with felt, will never produce a clear linear narrative, but rather will grow organically – this
contrast of organic vs structured is vital in the production of Steinum's work.
Recent solo presentations: Symbols of Existential Dirt, One Night Only (ONO), Oslo 2014; Fagelig
refills (collaboration with Knut Ivar Aaser), Pleasant Project Space, Copenhagen 2012; SO DRY YOU
COULDN`T SPIT (with Aurora Passero), Akershuskuntnersenter, Lillestrøm 2012; Crushed and renewed,
Gallery Seilduken, Oslo 2011; Life is cold. Burn some bridges and warm up the remains, Snake Mountain
Gallery, Oslo 2011; Sink! Wash! Vaska! (collaboration with Knut Ivar Aaser) Kurant, Tromsø 2010.