Exhibition Text

LIMBORAMA – by Tone Emblemsvåg


1 [lim-boh] noun, plural lim·bos.
1.( often initial capital letter ) Roman Catholic Theology . a region on the border of hell or heaven, serving as the abode after death of unbaptized infants (limbo of infants) and of the righteous who died before the coming of Christ (limbo of the fathers or limbo of the patriarchs)

2.A place or state of oblivion to which persons or things are regarded as being relegated when cast aside, forgotten, past, or out of date: My youthful hopes are in the limbo of lost dreams.

3. An intermediate, transitional, or midway state or place.

4. A place or state of imprisonment or confinement.

The bird cage, where your first pet lived and died, you haven’t had a bird since you were eight, yet the cage has been carried with you on every move, simply because you once loved a bird with all your heart. Your grandmother’s lace curtains, carefully hand-made, and your most prized possession at 22, they haven’t served their purpose as curtains for years. A then state-of-the-art travel television set, the very first thing you bought with your first pay check, now just looks comically large and outdated . An old mirror. A cat mask.
These items all have a story. They are currently in limbo.
As human beings we tend to project our hopes and dreams into inanimate objects, perhaps thinking that a new table will make us happy, an expensive bag will express who we truly are, or an inherited dress will bring back happy memories. But what happens when we stop projecting our dreams into these items? What do we do when their value drops on our internal stock market?
Some of these items are broken, cheap, without any emotional value, and we discard them, throw them away without afterthought. Others, like the items in this exhibit, end up in limbo. They are too beautiful, too valuable, or carry too much nostalgic importance to simply get rid of – but they don’t fit into our current lives or apartments.
This exhibit explores what happens when you stop projecting into these items, and instead project onto them. Scents and textures trigger memories, and assign new values to old items. As do sound. Using three projectors, a digital mapping system and Merete Mongstad’s sound design, artist Tone Emblemsvåg lets the items in limbo tell their story. Left in an old attic in an abandoned house their value is reassigned, and they slowly come back to life.

Tone Emblemsvåg (f. 1973) is an illustrator, set designer and VJ. She is currently moving for the first time in 13 years. While working with this exhibit, she has brought a new item from her attic every day, and added it to the installation. Visual artist Audun Notevarp has contributed to the video mapping, and SM Mongstad has designed the soundscape.

Text by Ellen Lyse Einarsen

Video Documentation by Audun Notevarp