Nina Canell’s sculptures frequently relate to traces, transfers and transformations. As in the transfer from immateriality to matter, from one materiality to another, or the traces of a past event. These transfers and transformations appear in such disparate things as the imprint of human thought in a used chewing-gum or the absence of sound when a bell rings in a vacuum. The process is part of the result, like the material conducting the electricity.
Impulse Slight 1,000,000 Volts was created especially for the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm and is located on the ground floor of the Annexe, below the long stairs leading to the deepest place in the library open to visitors, but the building delves 40 more metres down into the ground. The library has its roots in its archives and its 350 year-old heritage.
The imprint of electricity can be compared to a train of thought, where associations give rise to new associations and a world of ideas materialises. Each little branching-out could represent the beginning of a thought, but like the printed matter in the archives, it is incorporated in a totality – individual thoughts become part of a collective history.
The work initiates an allegorical relationship to the National Library’s practice of collecting and archiving, where the temporal perspective can be seen as a constant stumbling-block. The vast span of time encompassed by the library can be seen in relation to the short moment of electric discharge.