The Brvtalist is proud to present a new series of works by Copenhagen-based multi-discinplanary artist øjeRum (Danish compound meaning "eye room"). øjeRum practices in the fields of collage, recorded music and writing. However, it was his latest collages that caught our eye. "The Forest is Sleeping Within The Trees" is a set of four pieces that powerfully convey moods and emotions. As in many of his works, these collages represent the idea of looking inward to achieve tranquility. øjeRum constantly strives to reach a certain feeling of simply being present in the world – fully exposed to impressions, memories and feelings. The figures in his collages often seem to be lost in thought, as if they were contemplating their very existence. That is why they often have downcast eyes.
I spoke with øjeRum about his works and asked him to contribute a few words on his concept, process and materials. Here is what he had to say:
The way I see it, existence is steeped in a fundamental feeling of foreignness; of not belonging. This is the feeling I'm trying to express. By it's very nature such a feeling contains something inexplicable, something unknown and irreconciable. I'm not satisfied with my work if an assembly of clippings create a symbolism that is too apparent. I want to create a sense of opaque introspection, where it is never quite clear what it all means.
All my collages are handmade and I only use original images from old books and magazines. I have this really cool large size book about trees. All the trees in the series 'The Forest Is Sleeping Within The Trees' are clippings from that book. I never plan out to make a collage a certain way though. I always start off by playing around with clippings and if things go well, a new figure begins to emerge. I like the finished collage to have a simple and coherent expression, so it's all about finding a few pieces of paper that complement each other in form and content. This often happens by chance.
I'm mostly inspired by moods and emotions in music and literature. In the latter case the books of Franz Kafka is a source of endless inspiration. The philosopher Emmanuel Levinas has a concept called 'il y a' – the 'there is' – which he uses to express a sort of pure being. His descriptions of the 'il y a' comes very close to the feeling I'm striving for.
We love øjeRum's emphasis on elemental items. Things like rocks, trees and simple organisms are important because they are simply existing. This feeling of a tranquil existence comes across nicely in these works. They are quiet, meditative, yet very powerful. His ability to obscure human forms and shapes in nature is also uncanny. The works present a very organic entity and it becomes not about trees or forests, but more about the seemingly ambivalent nature of being as such.
Thank you to øjeRum for contributing the images and a few words about his project. Please visit www.oejerum.dk for more information.
*Click to enlarge.
From left: She is the Forest, The Forest is Sleeping Within the Trees, Weakness