Anne Karin Furunes
ANNE KARIN FURUNES was born in Ørland Norway in 1961. She studied at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts in Oslo, and is a professor and vice-dean at the Trondheim Art Academy in Norway. Furunes has lived in Norway and Denmark. She has participated in an array of group exhibition and has solo show at The Museum of Art, Trondheim; Galleria Traghetto Venezia; and Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney. She has participated in several group exhibitions, including those at The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo; and Barbican Art Centre, London. Furunesʼ work is in the collection of many institutions, including: The National Museum of China, Beijing; The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo; and The TromsØ Museum of Contemporary Art, Norway; The Museum of Art and Design, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finland; and The Museum of Art, Trondheim, Norway. Her famous works are created on surfaces of aluminum or white or black acrylic paint on stretched canvas. She invented a technique to portray landscapes or portraits by perforating the surface with thousands of tiny holes of varied sizes.
Her series draws inspiration from issues of political importance. She chooses to photograph the faces of people who are being neglected by their communities. She reveals the faces of people who have been surpassed by the public gaze. For example, she took a series of portraits to humanize children who were being targeted by the Swedish government because of their culture. Furunes expained that, “To see youngsters as a target, represents broken stories, taking away their future and potential. I am concentrating on pictures of young people whom I find very vulnerable in our societies… When you look at these pictures, what strikes one is the serious maturity that they express. Today it seems that not even adults possess this kind of reflective awareness of the precariousness of life. We are all trying to forget it. When viewing the archive images, the seriousness and the searching looks make a great impact on me. There seems to be a consciousness of uncertain times or the future in their eyes. These young people did not know what was awaiting them, but neither do today’s youth. There are bad and threatening signs in the air, but nobody really knows or seems to understand where we are heading. In a way, it is easy to identify with their feelings, even though we live in totally different times with other kinds of threats.”
Furunesʼ works are concerned with memory, history, and the nature of photographic reality. The faces draw the viewers in, as they are evidence of personality and emotion. They create an indelible connection with the viewer. The portraits often stare the camera head-on leading the viewer to feel examined. The confrontational stare challenges the viewers to match the gaze. It entices the viewers to linger and to develop an emotional connection to the forgotten faces.
Anne-Karin Furunes : portrait i, 2011, cut-paper, ed20, 37.5 x 25.1