Brahm’s lullaby entwined with the sound of a fly infestation is the welcoming sound at Julie Nord‘s ‘Just Like Home’ exhibition at the GL. Strand in Copenhagen. Your senses equip themselves with an instant feeling of unease which heightens your attention and draws you into your surroundings – instinctively you know it’s going to be a distorted experience!
Copenhagen born artist Julie Nord, has traveled extensively over the years to various countries including India, Tibet and Africa which has clearly influenced her work giving it a distinct vibrance, and her home town experience reflects a more calming aspect, which is a languid undertone in this exhibition. Her works are a juxtaposition of children’s illustrations, various styles and patterns tainted with a dash of horror and unease which serves to unnerve the mind of the viewer. Julie’s images unleash different parts of the psyche good and bad, innocence and malevolence, confusion and simplicity, touching on various periods which make her work timeless.
Her latest body of work is a thought provoking insight into modern family. It shows a selection of various relatives with a modern day twist applied to old style portraits. Her bizarrely charming portraits initially show a child like innocence but on further observation show obscurity dressed in childlike and gothic undertones.
The ‘core family’ has today many modern variables; with the choice of motifs and installations Nord comments on the family as a construction or a pattern, in which we are born into, and are expected to adjust to, and for better or worse we find our own identities in. The layout of the pieces in the gallery itself also resembles a ‘home’ in that regard.
The concept in itself challenges how do we define family today. Are there such examples of a traditional family or is the word traditional today seen as quaint and obscure as are Julie’s portraits.
Detailed patterned clothing contrasts against blank spaces, showing the person is representative of a superfluous identity. Within this context Nord likes to make the surroundings create the person’s character, which is supportive of her idea that family patterns reinforce and construct the individual within the family context.
Signatures of her work such as blurred faces, blank spaces and anthropomorphized animals invite confusion, humor and bewilderment. Her thought process for creation is feed by the interest in the need to understand things, but pushes the boundaries of this thought process by creating a state of confusion which is represented by each piece leaving a story too unfold, unexecuted space allows the thought process to reside uncomfortably within the unknown. The overall objective is to push the boundaries of the viewer to the point that there is no objective – only puzzling obscurity and the limits unimaginable as to the individual interpretation of her works. The interpretation is as idiosyncratic as being a member of a family.
Fever: Documentary film where Julie Nord struggles with drawings for the exhibition Xenoglossy.
‘Just Like Home’ is on show until the 31st of August – on the 3rd Floor of the GL Strand Exhibition Copenhagen
Just Like Home Installation: GL Strand Copenhagen,Denmark.