Gudrun Hasle: Overruling Pain
You must be beautiful, smart, and considerate. You should be independent. You should be happy. You should be perfect. These are high expectations and can be difficult to meet. Not being able to live up to all of them may foster frustration and a sensation of failure.
The Danish artist Gudrun Hasle adresses such frustrations in the exhibition OVERRULING PAIN. The point of departure is her own experiences and the phenomenon of cutting, a specific mode of self-harm. Through very intimate objects and embroidered anecdotes Hasle researches mechanisms of the individual’s adaptation to society. Exploring the borderlands of dominant culture and modern existence she exposes certain ways by which identity can or cannot be defined.
OVERRULING PAIN is about life and death, blood and lust. The private life-struggle represented by various anecdotes and found objects is translated into a struggle for blood in the guise of popular culture’s recurring fascination with vampires. In a series of linocuts Hasle delves into the complex nature of vampires as both bloodsucking monsters and life-craving remnants of human beings deprived of that very life.
The brutality of self-inflicted pain and vampire tales meet in the creation of art works in OVERRULING PAIN. Linocuts and needlepoints alike are born out of violent acts of cutting and perforation, thus imitating the acts of self-harm. From piercing skin to piercing linoleum Gudrun Hasle works through trauma and alienation.
Photo: Gudrun Hasle ’12 Vampyres’ 2012, linocut. One from a series of 12 prints, each 25 x 19 cm.
The exhibition is supported by the Danish Arts Council