3/8/2019 – 31/8/2019
Kamilla Langeland (b.1989, Kongsvinger, Norway) lives and works in Oslo. She holds a BFA from The Academy of Fine Art in Oslo and graduated with an MFA from The Academy of Art and Design in Bergen in 2017. Recent solo exhibitions include The Garden We Share, NoPlace Gallery, Oslo (NO); The Thinker, Flower Pot and Mush (with Sjur Eide Aas) Entrée, Bergen (NO); Cuckoo in The Weed Warblers Nest, MELK Gallery, Oslo (NO) and Layering Structures, LYNX, Oslo (NO). Her work has also been included in the exhibitions The Future Stands Still but We Move in Infinite Space at OSL Contemporary (NO); The Board Room, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo (NO), The Young Lions, Preus Museum, Horten (NO); Innland, Contemporary Creation Centre Olivier Debré, Tours, (FRA); Dislocating Surfaces: New Scandinavian Photography, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (NO) and Fading Forms, Entrée, Bergen (NO). Together with Sjur Aas she runs Hypha, an artist-run platform in Nesodden/Oslo. The coming year they are both Artists-in-residence at Ringsveen in Lillehammer (NO).
Consciousness is said to be the experience of one’s body and the outer world, while self-awareness is acknowledging that one is aware of one’s body, thoughts, and actions. In this exhibition, I enter questions of what awareness is in itself.
Awareness can be experienced by observing the present moment, what is happening now, within the boundaries of the body. Sensations, thoughts, imagination, and memories arise and pass away in the mind, like the sensation of air passing in and out of the nostrils. When focusing on a small area of the body such as the triangle below the nose, subtler sensations can be observed, and by moving the attention from head to toe, awareness can be experienced throughout the body.
All matter consists of vibrating atoms arranged in a particular order. When touching something like a table, the atoms become energized, vibrating more intensively as we press against its surface. If pressing hard enough, or smash something with great force against it, some of the atoms will change its form, and the table will break. But the atom will not break in itself; it will only change into a new arrangement.
When a sensation arises in the mind, it is translated into thoughts, into words, into sentences, into stories we tell to ourselves about who we are. When growing up, a separate self is created in the mind, which becomes the reality of the world we perceive. Social conditions projects stories about who we are and our capabilities in life, which tend to define our options going forward. The stories become the «I» we identify with, unaware of the unconscious patterns of the mind.
In meditation, one can observe how negative emotions create more negativity if the drama of the reactive mind is played out, like a maelstrom pulling water towards itself in spirals, sucking everything that enters its energy field down into its void. In the same way, we can observe how being equanimous towards unpleasant sensations result in feelings of contentment.
Expectations of what life should be like often collide with reality as it is. Whereas no job, wealth, or accomplishments can diminish the fact that life itself sometimes is painful. We all, at some point, suffer from loss, unpredictability, sickness, and death. As suffering is unavoidable, accepting it can become liberating. But it does not mean accepting all the suffering in the world, rather accepting that when I suffer, it creates the sensation of aversion and ill will in me, but I will not try to escape or act upon it. By practicing awareness in meditation, the mind can be rewired not to identify with the separate self and break out of the chain of evolutionary reactivity.
Everything is always changing. Atoms were first thought to consist of mostly empty space but were later discovered to be full of something even though it seems to be nothing there. Electrons can appear and disappear in space without any cause or action, creating a constant change in all matter.
A sensation arises. The mind is focused and aware. The sensation is no longer translated into thoughts, into words, into sentences, into stories we tell ourselves. The sensation passes away. The mind is aware.