We Contain Multitudes
Emil Stefanov, 2018
Text from the exhibtion Abstract Frontline of Identity: To Tole

We contain multitudes…”

- Walt Whitman

The intricate matter of identity posits many a question in the late dawn of this century. Countless movements have emerged on a global scale, attempting to establish themselves and their identities and orientations as legitimate and worthy. Some by geography & nation, others by libidinal orientations; all attempting to give some solid reasoning to “the fact of being who or what a person (or thing) is”.

Lars Nordby repeatedly tackles the issue of identity, utilizing conceptual means through the visual form. In his latest contemplation over the abstract boundaries of where the factual – by definition – frontline of identity begins and where, and if, it ends, the viewer is invited to observe a stage, not unlike in a theater, which is absolved of ending or beginning. The stage props are intended pest control materials, inviting their targeted groups, i.e. fruit flies & rats, to meet their end, but in themselves devoid of them. Thus making for a state of endless perpetuity of both beginning and end.

This frozen moment in time asks the viewer to see beyond what there is to be seen. The echo of controlled environment, similar to that of the automated house in Bradbury’s short story “There Will Come Soft Rains”, requires of the audience to consider the absence of at least two main roles in this play, caught in some form of a struggle for dominance and/or survival.

This suggestive approach requires of its audience a deconstructive manner of thinking, which enables a dialogue way grander than the solitary frame.

_ _