We are altogether alone. Alone together. Last night while trying to fall asleep I heard my neighbors’ baby wailing loudly as if it were in the room with me. At 3:12am my phone notified me of a message from my mother who lives in a different time zone – I forgot to change the settings to airplane mode so the sound wrenched me out of my dreams into my own bedroom, fuzzy and grey and throbbing with my confusion. Below my window, a few drunken tourists sang and stomped down the sidewalk to the next bar. No sleep, no quiet. Ariana Grande’s Into You relentlessly repeats while I brush my teeth the next morning in a bathroom with no window curtain. We are never alone, altogether alone, alone together.
How do we find solitude? Surely there must be a kind of solitude past postcard imagery of mountains and babbling brooks in remote destinations. Is it possible to find calm seclusion in spasmodic, hyper-connected urban settings, in thinly walled apartments and office cubicles? One can feel lonely anywhere, but how can welcomed moments of silence be reached, when we ourselves are never unreachable? In Room & Bored, Emmy Skensved presents an environment that encourages rest and momentary isolation in order to explore how idleness and boredom are necessary for self-reflection and the creative process. Her whispering inner monologue wanders through domestic spaces and communication channels, conceptualizing the ideal habitat for exactly this kind of mental activity – interior introspection.
Emmy Skensved is a Canadian artist who has been based in Berlin since 2007. Her practice spans a variety of media including digital animation, audio, installation, and web design, and touches upon themes of new technology, economic and bodily consumption, subculture and social ritual. She received her BFA from OCAD University (Toronto, CA) and her MFA from the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, CA). She has received grants and awards from Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Goethe Insitute, and the Institute für Auslandsbeziehungen. Some of her recent exhibitions include Hybrid Layers at ZKM in Karlsruhe, DE (2017), GEOLOGOS I at Komplot in Brussels (2016), TeraTear at the Moscow Biennale for Young Art (2016), Swimminal Poolitics in Samos, GR (2015), Deep Skin at SNOlab in Sudbury, CA (2015) and eStamina at Import Projects in Berlin (2015). She will present her work in an upcoming duo exhibition (with Gregory Blunt) at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba in Brandon, CA.