August 18 – September 9 2018
MELK is proud to present the second solo presentation at the gallery with Paris-based photographer Ola Rindal.
Tirelessly depicted as a behemoth of romance and European archetype, Paris holds an equally dark history, with corpses of burning cars seen as recently as the celebration of a unifying yet delusive victory in the sports field. Much as the now ancient revolution, which then marked a common approximation for modern western ideals and its nation states. Encompassing the concept of a liberal democracy as provider of freedom to the masses. Opportunity, choice.
Rindal’s Paris is not a romanticised Paris. It is a 21st century Paris, where the salad days of an idealist project of a concerted continent is facing tremor. A reminder that history passes, and its fluid form is brought in to being by populations in motion. A melting pot of post-colonial outcome and cause of concern for a conflicted middle class, who fear what they have left of some bygone dream may slip through their fingers.
In Rindal’s Paris we see fleeting images of the mundane, much like Eugène Atget’s commissioned alleyways and deadpan storefront depictions. Where Atget questioned the modernisation of Paris through depictions of buildings due for demolishment, or the development of franchise in the 19th century, so does Rindal question the illusionary realm within an urban delusion. As the artist’s ideals wane through years of attempting on being a local, so does the complexity of a unified Europe divulge before us.
In light of another alien observer, the portraits made by Brassaï, who came to define a lasting image of the French cultural elite by night, so does Rindal’s fleeting portraiture of Parisian passer-byes reflect upon contemporary human condition and interaction. Is it not a paradox, that the concept of city as a place inducing an increasing amount of us, is now the place where we wish to be left alone, insouciant in our daily encounters? Within the grit of this utopia, there lies an inherent beauty – a reminder of our hopelessness as beings, where we do our best to keep the place we share in order.
Ola Rindal is a Norwegian born photographer based in Paris. After assisting Tom Sandberg, Rindal graduated from the Photography and Film department at Gothenburg University in 1997. Rindal has published several books with publishers like Livraison, Cornerkisk Press and Libraryman, and has been showed in galleries in France, Japan, Mexico, United States, Sweden and Norway. He has also collaborated with magazines such as Purple, SSAW, Luncheon, Union, Apartemento, I-D and he has collaborated with artist like Xavier Veilhan and Pierre Huyghe.