“You will be assimilated”

A review of “adaptation now” Linda Soh Trengereid Galley Fisk

In several Star Trek episodes and movies Captain Jean luc Picard and the crew of U.S.S Enterprise is faced of against the BORG, an alien cybernetic race witch main purpose is to assimilate and incorporate everything in their way as a part of the Borg collective.

This might seem like a far fetched reference, but I see many parallels to  the paintings Linda is presenting at fisk , young korean girls that have been assimilated to Norwegian culture, dressed in traditional Bunad for the conformation of there Christian beliefs.
And to top that of they have been equipped with moose horns.
Although the assimilation to Norwegian culture hopefully have been less violent then the methods of the Borg Im sure that its not entirely painless.
Placing moose horns on Korean girls in Bunad gives us a comical approach and insight to a very personal experience of being adopted.
Growing up in a small town in sweden with a friend that was adopted, I often encountered the, and was partly on the receiving end of small town racism.
 My friend  and his sister both adopted from south america handled there adoptions  very differently, 
He showed no interest what so ever to find out where he came from or who his biological parents where, while his sister struggled a lot with issues of identity and belonging.
Some of these issues can possibly be read not in the very well executed portraits them self but in the borders around the paintings, where typical Korean and Norwegian patterns are either perfectly inter weaved or crash, not violently  (at least not in my eyes), but I wonder how someone more familiar with either of the traditions would read it.
I also wonder if these patterns tell a more personal story about the girls in the portraits and how they have experienced the assimilation.
 She also lets the cultures clash in a more subtile way by placing a white silhouette cut out of a young moose in front of a black Seoul city scape painted directly on the wall, turning things around, but also seems to be saying ” yes its a crash but look how beautiful it works together”. And that Is actually something I would like to say about the whole exhibition.The paintings are technically very well executed and the “flower lights” hanging from the ceiling ties the room together making it in to a spatial installation more than an exhibition of paintings.




One Response to ““You will be assimilated””

  1. ajsteggell Says:

    Thanks Mattias for your critique. Comments anyone?

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