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Karin Hanssen


In 1994, na het zien van de film 'The Thrill of it All'(Doris Day), begon Karin Hanssen haar schilderkunst toe te spitsen op het thema van het sociale determinisme. Ze introduceerde  hierbij de flashback in haar schilderijen en tekeningen: het foto- en filmmateriaal (genre cinéma de papa, naoorlogse screwball komedies) dat ze gebruikt, verwijst naar een naoorlogse periode van het modernisme, waar de opwaardering van vrije tijd, privé-eigendom en hoop aan de orde was. Verder bevat haar werk verwijzingen naar de kunstgeschiedenis in het algemeen en meer specifiek naar de genreschilderkunst.


'The situations depicted in the drawings and certain details they contain remind us of the 1950's, the decade that discovered leisure and experienced the advent of consumerism.
(...) Leisure as emblematic of a time and a reality which has come to condition and to permeate the production and consumption of culture presently is the common theme.
Containment of space, compositional concentration and the immobilization of action all contribute to her drawings' quasi emblematic status. Exactly what they are emblems of is indeterminate but this much is certain: they transcend the unique instance and give the specific scene a more general implication. Detainment of the observer's gaze, which depends in turn on the insubstantial consistency and incomplete legibility of the image, plays a role in the drawings' capacitation of remembrance. Also, as occurs in certain drawings (as for instance in Picnic and People on a Yacht), individual figures and forms meld into larger formal aggregates or abstract gestalts. These irregular agglomerated shapes, like Leonardo's clouds, invite reverie and imaginative speculation.'
(Modern Living - 'Angle of Inclination' - Gregory Salzman, 2004)


'This period of Modernism with its concomitant hope, consumerism and acquisition of property - now experienced as a kind of Social Determinism- is something that Hanssen's observation connected with features of the Baroque, the Dutch Golden Age in which conspicuous consumption, morality and social responsibility are all entwined.'

Scene 1
Scene 2
Time of your life
The Thrill of it All
Two women on a beach

Flanders Arts Institute

Expertise centre for performing arts, music and visual arts.