There is a movement, much like a whisper from the ancient elevated classics via the masters of our time that flows through Emma Bjurströms painting. She amplifies and throws new light directly at that which previously existed in the background. By her hand it ends up in the foreground and become revitalized with great precision.
Bjurström comment her painting-style as a counter-reaction to the understanding itself, the human desire to divide and categorize. Yet the canvas reveals the motifs vigorously without hindering its enigma. That is the magic of it yet not becoming some exulted realism. One gets sucked inside the paintings and blissful are those who gets the chance to see them, but for a while.
There is an imaginary taboo, a barrier if you like surrounding the idea of updating the classic masterpieces. They often stand for themselves, and there is a collective agreement letting them stand over yonder. Much like the German painter Neo Rauchs’ figurative works that consist of abstract and surreal colours, Bjurström challenges this strain of thought and dares the forbidden. It is just like a performative dictum when the judge announces “I hereby sentence you to” or the religious master of ceremonies says “I now declare you man and wife” to succumb into her paintings. The collective view changes the thing in itself, what used to to in a certain way has changed into something new. The background turn into foreground, all that is hidden is unveiled and everything seems to be in perfect harmony. Is Bjurström the judge and our master of ceremonies? To define change, one needs a now and a then.
Deformation is change in form or size in an object when different loads/materials are added. The classics whisper from one side, and the new ones stand as a reflection in the mirror but changed. The collective has been present in the process and testifies that the change is ready, yes something has transformed. We all agree on this, so the question is where do we sign? Deformation does not necessarily have to mean something ugly or negative, but rather like in all creative processes give birth to new ideas, realizations and relationships via the old materials or ideals. In a world that according to our collective mindset is dualistic, these things have to stand in dialogue with each other. Bjurström communicates this via her painting, but also so much more.
Modern times have tried to separate reason and feeling, everything shall be in its right place and the wavelength needs two points. Bjurström uses all this but explores the new boundaries that exist, that which is borderless and elevated.
/Valter Sydén, November 2018
Recension i SvD 5.12.18 av Joanna Persman: https://www.svd.se/varje-enskilt-verk-ar-som-en-sylvass-tanke