Eggen works with symbols and signs based on communication, exploring different ways to dismantle and distort body language. The gestures she uses are both common ones, such as those used in formal gatherings or meetings – i.e. raising one’s hand when wanting time-out – and from more obscure contexts such as activist groups, biblical and occult imagery and fantasy. Dismantling and distorting these body signals reduces them to powerless gestures, though covertly offering resistance to and commenting on the situations within the motifs. Her goal is to create a new language, through the body’s way of collecting and storing information unconsciously. The unnatural is cited as the natural so as to portray life’s absurdities.
“I’m concerned with the body and its affective actions, i.e. involuntary ones, the ones we deem irrational. These actions are on a par with affect theory in that they turn us away from the rational and towards the notion that something more basic informs our actions, such as muscles, reflexes and instinct. How do we act if our senses determine our movements and utterances, e.g. in relation to our decision-making processes?”
The project fuses internal and external emotional experience into one.
Kneganger also considers signs and symbols in light of the ongoing simplification of language following the abundance of social media and new technologies. Conversely, our range of expressions of emotion and states of mind has broadened.
Ingrid Eggen (born 1979) is an Oslo-based artist working mainly with analogue colour photography. She undertakes performative explorations of intimate studies of movement, gestures and actions in the human body, its surroundings of objects and in nature.
Thematically, she has worked extensively with the human body, its functions and dysfunctions in relation to communication, representation, control and awareness. Focusing on involuntary acts, specifically those driven by affect, she examines the body’s non-verbal communication and symbolism. Eggen studied at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts and at Akademin Valand, School of Photography in Gothenburg.