Your Groundwater – Ane Graff

Ane Graff has come to SKMU with an ambitious exhibition, one that takes her artistic practice a significant step further. A new direction can be traced in this darker series of works dealing with the theme of radical loss. Her customary themes—structures in nature explored in minute detail, processes of decomposition and the unrelenting disintegration and final disappearance of something through a process of decay—gained a personal dimension in 2012 due to a death in the family.

Your Groundwater is thus a new direction but also a completely logical continuation of her artistic practice to date: as before, it involves a patient process of dissolving content and emptying out meaning. Graff scrutinizes how a material or organism is constructed, then how it undergoes a transition process that results in a state of decay and dissolution. But now she draws physical humanity into the cycle of such material, adding an emotional dimension.

In the exhibition title, ”Your Groundwater”, Graff combines the personal pronouns you/your with a natural material. This she has also done in ”You Are My Marble”, a recent, smaller show of related works at Vigeland Museum in Oslo. By addressing a material as if it were another (specific) individual, she once again destabilizes the distinction between human and non-human phenomena.

Groundwater, for Graff, is a metaphor for slow destruction. When water droplets burst their way through stone, the moisture can quietly change and destroy its surface and structure. There is something radically uncontrollable about solid matter that becomes – or leaks – fluid. The liquid state can be threatening, for when the contours of something become fluid, what is there to keep this something in place and contained? Without external boundaries, what is it that defines you—Graff’s you—as an individual? What holds you together?*

*Excerpted from the catalogue essay Your Groundwater/ ANE GRAFF by Johanne Nordby Wernø.


Ane Graff was born in Bodø, Norway, in 1974; she currently lives and works between Oslo and Amsterdam. She completed her artistic training at The National Academy of Fine Arts in Bergen, Norway, in 2004. Recent exhibitions include: Graff/Løw/Sandbeck at the Vigeland Museum (2012), Oslo, Nor,,the Arts Festival of North Norway 2011, Harstad, NOR, and “ Screaming from the Mountain”, Sørlandets Kunstmuseum (2011), Kr.Sand, NOR, “Patches of Standing Water”, Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, CH (2010).  

Folder A5 Ane Graff SKMU 2013