Kristine Alksne intuitively draws the world into her work, selecting from from personal encounters with people, place, moments and objects. Filtering as she goes, the Latvian-born artist says that she acts as a “receiver”, clearing her mind of all information and simply absorbing. “I just put all the things together and it comes out,” she explains.
Making trips to the locality of her exhibitions and embarking on intimate journeys, Alksne eventually settles upon the components she wishes to expose: from lack of greenery in urban spaces, to a small shop in Palermo that sells enormous watermelons and highly patterned wallpaper, these details are distilled and reconfigured for the gallery. Influenced by maps, landscapes and the view from aeroplane windows, Alksane’s zoomed-out perspectives offer a fresh take on the details that are often overlooked by those of us too blinded by mundanity to look hard enough.
The desire to seek critical and physical distance led her to “downshift” from her increasingly hectic life in Milan to Berlin over a year ago in a quest for space and freedom. Refusing the temptation to overcomplicate or become mired in theory, Alksne strives for a humanised connection and clarity in her quiet, reflective work, and in doing so distances the viewer from today’s increasingly hypermediated environment, even if only for a fleeting moment.
Text by Susanna Davies-Crook