Winged

Artist: gunilla poignant Tags: Permanent art

Curator

Cecilia Hjelm/Statens konstråd

As we ascend the stairs in the new forensic centre in Örebro, we see Gunilla Poignant’s coloured metal strips outside the tall glass wall, hovering, as if lifted by a sudden gust of wind in the shaft between the black concrete facade of the court and the white facade of the administrative building. Nine massive, winding ribbons, apparently weightless, rising towards the light that is sifted through their decorative perforations. An impression of magnificent balance. Of paradoxical freedom.Gunilla Poignant’s Winged is a work that, with seeming simplicity, generates a complex energy in the narrow, open shaft between the volumes of the Rättscentrum buildings. Sculpturally affecting, yet airy as a drawing, it scrawls its pastel calligraphy against the sky in a terse improvisation. Like metallic, weatherproof graffiti.But the motion is hard to determine. Poignant’s work is profoundly ambiguous: a sense of freedom arises as a result of weights that have been brought into equilibrium; this balance, in turn, is always a fettering of forces. In this respect, Winged is a sculpture that changes depending on the vantage point, and to most viewers the work will not be seen from the stairs – accessible only to staff – but from the public waiting hall outside the courtrooms on the second floor.This is a crucial shift in perspective. From there, with the top ribbons at eyelevel and the others apparently trailing down the shaft, the material qualities of the sculpture are in the foreground. The light reflected in the spray-painted aluminium surface; the matte, subdued colours. The snow, which drapes its adhesive cotton buds over the perforated patterns in the winter. Details that give weight to the work, and make the hovering balance of the ribbons give the impression of billowing viscosity rather than weightless freedom.What are we looking at? The blindfold of Justice, flowing in the waters of law like a loosened garment? Or perhaps the winding, tentative processes of the legal system, captured in their striving for balance and reconciliation? To think we know is to stop seeing.

Dan Jönsson

Work In Progress

ÖREBRO 2012. Model of Gunilla Poignant’s Winged.