Roles in Archive: Artist
b. 1980 Oslo, Norway
Ida Ekblad is concerned with the workings of contemporary image culture: the way in which images, through circulation, juxtaposition, and contextualization, lose, gain, and shift meaning. For example, in her works from her series On Otherness (2008), she has overlaid cloyingly optimistic graffiti (“Tolerance,” “No Prejudice,” and “Rainbow Children”) onto colonial-era ethnographic photographs, allowing for an ironic tension between image and text, popular cultural rhetoric and journalistic reality. Similarly, in her piece Untitled (M) she attempts the tellingly impossible task of rendering the instantly recognizable unrecognizable: what seems for a moment to be a crudely rendered bird soaring against tempestuous skies is, on closer inspection the imprint of a stolen McDonald’s sign. The joke is on us: we look for the sublime, and we get the contemporary ersatz equivalent: the multinational brand.