Navigating Polarities
Marjolijn Dijkman
December 15 - February 23, 2019

Marjolijn Dijkman’s artworks operate as speculative fictions rooted in scientific reality. Exploring perception and worldviews through the lens of diverse fields of thought, the artist asks: How can shifting between the macroscopic and the microscopic help us to imagine complex systems that are otherwise hard to grasp?

The immersive video installation Navigating Polarities (2018) spans the cosmic to the cellular, from the forcefields of the universe to the balance – or imbalance – between mind and body, humanity and ecology. Projected on a dome-shaped screen, like the concave of the globe, combinations of historical materials related to physics, navigation and astronomy summon philosophical speculations into the future directions of life in the Anthropocene.

Reclaiming Vision (2018), a film made in collaboration with Toril Johannessen, focuses on aquatic life forms that are invisible to the eye but that have been affected by human activity. The artists place microorganisms and pollutants from Norwegian fjords under the microscope in choreographed sequences, blurring the boundary between nature documentary and fiction. A series of photographic prints in heightened colors, composed from the film’s raw footage and titled Aberrations (2018) – a biological term for defect or deviation from the norm – zooms in on the timely concern of global marine pollution.

Navigating Polarities measures the blind spots of anthropocentric perspectives alongside – in underwater filmmaker Jean Painlevé’s words – “the mysteries and miracles of nature.”

Navigating Polarities was commissioned by the 21st Biennale of Sydney. The work Reclaiming Vision was commissioned by the Munchmuseet in Oslo.


Toril Johannessen (b. 1978, Norway) is an artist based in Tromsø. Ways of seeing — and not seeing — are recurring themes in Johannessen’s practice. Combining historical records with fiction and her own investigations, her works often have elements of storytelling in visual or written form. Exhibitions include solo shows at Munchmuseet, Oslo (with Marjolijn Dijkman, 2018); ARoS, Aarhus (2017); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo (2016). She has participated in the 13th Dak’Art Biennale de Dakar (2018), the 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013), and dOCUMENTA 13 (2012).


Installation shots gallery

Opening: 2018-12-14 18:00:00
Press Release
The layered generosity of Marjolijn Dijkman
Reclaiming vision: a neo-neo-zoological drama by Jon Bywater
Beyond polar thinking by Amelia Wallin