Fredrik Raddum: HOME SWEET HOME

28 October 2006 - 28 January 2007

Motionless flowers on strips of artificial grass. A red house, oozing cosiness, shines in the darkness. A fallen tree has struck the house - and a sudden desire to unite man and nature has taken physical shape and led to fatal results. The Norwegian artist Fredrik Raddum confronted us with the relationship between man and nature in his installation, which mimics the world of the comic with bright colours, simple shapes and a conscious artificiality of expression. The artist himself says that he got his inspiration for the installation on a camping trip: "The atmosphere was unbelievable - and uncanny."

Natural Disaster in Teletubbie Land
A natural disaster has struck this Norwegian Teletubbie Land. The accident, the fallen tree, is a marked contrast to the innocence of Raddum’s expression, and starngely isolated: the flowers are erect and untouched. The windows with their bars are not smashed. The light is still burning. In many ways, the fall of the tree seems to be unmotivated. And in its own way, without any effect because the cosiness seems undisturbed. Maybe the owner is insured so that no natural disaster can affect him fundamentally? Or maybe we have stepped into a comic where everything can be smashed and straight away be restored without a scratch.

Maybe it is precisely here in this unruffled, humorous and caricatured strip cartoon universe that eeriness lurks, as we are confronted by our own urge to be entertained by natural disasters - at a safe distance, of course.

Norwegian on the Mountain
In the 19th century, artistic depictions of the magnificent Norwegian landscape played an important role in the construction of a Norwegian national feeling. According to Raddum, many Norwegians still go round with a romantic ideal of an especially close connection to nature, which does not correspond to reality. Man’s relationship to nature is in fact a central theme in Raddum’s art, even though it can be difficult to catch sight of nature in his installation HOME SWEET HOME.

Home Sweet Home
In the film Modern Times (1936), Charlie Chaplin exclaims "Home, sweet home" on arriving at a very sketchily constructed wooden hut, where the couple risk falling through the floor the whole time and ending up in the water. This is a picture of how the strong notion of ‘home’ can overcome even the most miserable physical reality.

"The house is, to a far higher degree than the landscape, a state of mind. Even when it is represented from outside, it displays intimacy," Gaston Bachelard, literary scholar and philosopher, wrote. Our notion of the home includes more than just a physical abode. The home also involves psychological and emotional aspects and expresses intimacy and safety from the dangers outside. A refuge from the outer world.

In HOME SWEET HOME the inner cosiness, the house, meets the external danger in the shape of a fallen tree. But is it nature that threatens existence, or are the greatest dangers not in fact artificiality, self-sufficiency and our need of control?

Fredrik Raddum
Fredrik Raddum (b. 1973), educated at the Academy of Art in Oslo. He has participated in a large number of exhibitions in Norway and abroad. Most recently in Denmark in the exhibition DELIRIUM at Galleri Martin Asbæk Projects in Copenhagen. His one-man show in the x-room at Statens Museum for Kunst was Fredrik Raddum’s first at a Danish art museum.

Past exhibitions 2007

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