Deeper (2022)

In Dýpra | Deeper, Brák explores the commonalities of horticulture and modern sexual aesthetics, humanity and nature, pain and pleasure, in an attempt to approach nature in a way that challenges conventional ideas and its relationship with human culture. The exhibition draws on the artist’s research into how the body interacts with plants and vegetation. Brák plays with common concepts within everyday gardening practice: harnessing nature and controlling growth inside. The exhibition also expands its reaches into the garden: a territory which is both natural and man-made. Inside, hanging on the walls, are gardening tools, or are they toys? It is hard to distinguish, but perhaps the two are not mutually exclusive. Out in the garden someone has been diligent in the flowerbed, which looks like it might bear an odd fruit.

In the artist’s research earth is given the role of the submissive, in a game where the gardener caresses it and carefully pushes its boundaries. The game’s arena is determined by the submissive but the rules are set by the master. Passionately, the artist tries to penetrate deeper, deeper into the earth. Respect, intimacy and responsibility are an essential part of this power play which requires care for the subject. The game creates a blushing tension when both players' boundaries are stretched to their limits.

The philosophies behind the fetishistic and sexual cultures Brák refers to in her works are built on strong and meaningful aesthetic values that she lets spread into the well known imagery of gardening, activating it and invoking said tension. This carnal investigation begets results that challenge conventional ideas of relationships, humanity and nature, resulting in the blurring of lines between the boundaries of the body and its environment. Dýpra | Deeper exhibits many clues as to what these results might be, allowing the viewer to fill in the gaps.

Text by Odda Júlía Snorradóttir