Remnants of a forgotten residence, tattered yellowed sheets of paper. Cryptic ink symbols, which form a wordless language. Whispering about inner emotions, a moment frozen in time. This is Anastasia Ax’s ‘Swallowed fear’.
Everything in nature seeks balance.Human utopia, which is not in harmony with nature, becomes dust in the wind eventually. The untameable and the wild always take over.Just like Pompeii, Chernobyl or in abandoned townships/places.Swallowed Fear’ portrays the moment when human culture merges into nature. Ax has created sculptures and posters of brittle 50-years old archived papers, yellowed and faded by the ravages of time.
The paper can be viewed as a symbol of our intellectual culture, which is built on books, archives and cataloguing. But the paper also has an untameable nature. Living material made from plant fibre, programmed to decompose, be reshaped and revived.
Ax has seized on this paradox by creating ‘Swallowed Fear’ a link between culture and nature. The incarnation of natural balance.
‘Swallowed Fear’ is closely related to Ax’s previous series ‘Exile’ which was developed through a kind of brutal transformation. Ax constructed an imaginary refugee camp only to go berserk and smash it into pieces later. In the end only the ruins of dried plaster, dust and a sense of apocalypse remain. ‘Swallowed Fear’ arises from the same idea as ‘Exile’ but instead of creating a concrete physical world, this project focuses on manifesting itself in the imagination.
Anastasia Ax (born 1979) lives and works in Stockholm. As with ‘Swallowed Fear’ she works with ink and paper and often performance and sound are elements of her work. Her art explores the prevailing power structures, and examines the impact of violence on its surroundings. The twists and turns of our relationship to repression and chaos, and the wish that chaos feeds order raise questions about life and our own existence.