Oehman McCardle, Helena.

*1970 in Umeå, SE
lebt und arbeitet in Glasgow, UK
Studium am Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, SE, und/and Glasgow School of Art, UK

und Örebro Art College, SE und the Arctic Art School, SE


Ausstellungen [Auswahl]:

2010 Gruppenausstellung „..också vidare“, Örebro Konsthall, Örebro,SE
2010 Gruppenausstellung Salon Video Art Prize, Matt Roberts Arts, London, UK
2009 Einzelausstellung „My Grandma Didn't Believe in Tap Dancing“
4x4 Studio Show, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, UK
2008 Einzelausstellung „15.33“, Gallery ak28, Stockholm, SE
2004 Einzelausstellung „A Corridor and 2 Lit Rooms“, Galleri Mejan, Stockholm, SE

I remember

Date: 2009
Length: 09:04 min.
Format:  4:3
Specification: Black and White, Sound


Sprache scheint wohl das ungeeignetste Medium zu sein, um unsere Vergangenheit wiederzugeben. Die Linearität und die kausale Logik der Erzählstruktur passen nur selten zu dem Chaos unserer Erinnerungen. Öhman McCardle erkundet die Möglichkeiten des Mediums Video, um sogenannte „memoryscapes“ zu kreieren, die unsere Art der Wahrnehmung, Konstruktion und Aufbewahrung erlebter Momente in unseren Köpfen besser darzustellen vermögen.
Obwohl die Künstlerin in ihrer Arbeit „I remember“ den Versuch unternimmt, über eine verdrängte Episode ihrer persönlichen Geschichte zu sprechen, deutet die Aneignung fremden Videomaterials die Existenz eines archetypischen Musters an, das uns alle verbindet. Hinter der Einzigartigkeit unserer Erfahrungen liegt eine universelle Sehnsucht nach Liebe und Akzeptanz, ebenso wie die Angst vor und das Verlangen nach Flucht – eine Dichotomie, die eine ständige Spannung zwischen der Notwendigkeit der Erinnerung und des Vergessens erzeugt. 
Die traumartigen Sequenzen von McCardles Arbeit mit ihren surreal gestalteten Übergängen werden unterbrochen durch Textzeilen, die nicht die Bilder erläutern, sondern zwischen ihnen unvermittelt auf schwarzem Hintergrund erscheinen. Auf diese Weise erhält Sprache die Funktion einer parallelen Realität, die vor Augen führt, wie unzureichend Worte zum Ausdruck bringen, was wir fühlen und woran wir uns erinnern.



► 1. Your video has been chosen among over 1700 festival entries to participate in Videonale 13. How central the video medium to your overall artistic production? Is it complimentary to other media you use or do you work exclusively with video?


I work predominantly with video, sound and audio-visual installation, using both original and appropriated material in my work. Video became my preferred medium in the last year of my education at the Master of Fine Arts programme at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, and has since then, for almost seven years now, been my medium of choice. Although sound plays a very important part in my work, it has so far never been separated from the visual - the two media interact with one another to emphasize and discover new structures in the work.


► 2. Is there a particular theme, concept or problem your art addresses the most?


My work revolves around and deals with questions about our perception and experience of reality and the power of memory. Ideas for new work are drawn from personal experiences, an encounter with a place or a person, through visual and theoretical research or a simple moment in time. Subject matter varies but there are themes and formal film-making concerns that can be identified throughout my work: questions on the nature of memory and how it affects our view on reality, the individual acts of remembering and how we relate our memories to and synchronize them with social settings and histories, and the camera's role as a transformer of the real.


► 3. What artists do you relate to or find significant for your own art-making?


To mention a few that I find significant and inspiring would be the Swedish video and filmmaker Gunvor Nelson, whose very personal work, created in San Francisco and her native Sweden, deals with intimate subjects such as childhood, aging, displacement, memory, women's roles and death. She has an eye for capturing ephemeral, dreamlike images, married to an imaginative use of language and soundscape, organized through painstaking editing. During my years in Glasgow I came across another experimental film-maker, the Scottish artist Margaret Tate, who created an extensive production of films during her life, illuminating simple, intimate subject matter with an emphasis on the personal and the everyday. Another fascinating film artist is Guy Sherwin, who makes truly beautiful, subtle and complex films that arise from simple ideas.


► 4. Do you think video medium can address social or political issues better than other art media?


This is of course a subjective opinion - there are so many artists from so many different societies, working in a broad spectrum of different media, who have sought to criticize or influence values of a social or political kind, and they would argue differently - but perhaps, because of the relation to film, television and also photography, video as a medium is particularly useful for communicating social and political issues. Not in the sense that video would be better suited as a reproducer of reality, the camera is not a neutral observer, but because we are so familiar with receiving information through moving images.


► 5. Art can be seen as a mirror that registers and reflects life or as a tool that transforms it. Which of the two positions is close to your own art-making philosophy?


As soon as you capture a moment in real time with a camera, the real moment is gone and what you have is a translation, a memory even, a representation of the past. I find this visual translation and transformation of reality, which the camera is able to achieve, fascinating. Furthermore, with editing, the images pass through another transformation, whether it is by reordering time or by manipulation, so I would say, in my case, a tool that transforms reality.


► 6. How do you understand success in an art-making career?


One can argue that the path to success is already gained by the mere fact that you have acknowledged yourself as being an artist with the ability to create. Having your work validated and recognized - whether by presenting a solo show, taking part in group exhibitions where your work is mirrored against other artists' or having your work reviewed - are important stages on the path towards success. Not only because of the recognition your work receives but also because you learn more about your own practice and yourself as an artist.


► 7. What is the most difficult and the most rewarding thing about making art / being an artist?


Art-making itself is not difficult, only rewarding - though it is frustrating and hard sometimes not having enough time, a continuous, uninterrupted period to work with your projects. As many artists find, if you are not in a position where you can live on your art, time is, generally speaking, divided between having another job to support yourself and in between working with your art projects. Finishing a project that you have been working with for some time and getting the opportunity to show this work is the most rewarding thing.

► 8. What are your upcoming projects?


As we speak I am traveling around the world together with my husband, and we're currently in South East Asia. Personal circumstances forced us to make big changes in our lives and we decided to grasp, what became an opportunity and go traveling. I am planning to film as much as possible, to explore different cultures and environments and keeping myself open to the unexpected along the way. I see myself as being in a very fortunate situation at the moment. During this year I am also going to work with a project, funded by The Swedish Arts Grants Committee in Stockholm, which is based on the ideas behind the road movie film genre.

► 9. What do you do when you don't make art?


It is always present. 


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