The unremarkable glistens, for a moment. Daily life transforms in magical ways, becoming at once affecting and negotiable. An invitation to picture what happens when a hand leaves the frame. Cigarette-lighting hands, pushing, gripping and holding hands, hitting or beating hands. They speak of missed opportunities, held moments, tensions and fondness. Of being together and standing apart. A human impulsiveness not only to know what it is we are looking at but to understand what it is we see. Two blue tears stand in frozen abstraction, rootless but compelling, both naïve and melancholic.

Explored with a flirtatious humour, Lagerquist’s encounters with her environment, tools and materials (video, photography, crochet, book-making) play games with our expectations and frustrate our interpretative work. Tales are spun in narratives which are structured, resisted then defied. Can the documenting of fish in a pond and the wing of an aeroplane flying at dusk be connected with certainty, in the comfort of fiction or metaphor, in a cut? Stories seem half-told; pieces of the puzzle are undisclosed, like the hidden source of soap bubbles floating down a stairwell or the full reach of a child’s vision as she takes to the sky upon a swing.

The question of how much insight is required of us and of the artist to make meaning is overtaken by a concern with matters of experienced and witnessed environment, asking ‘what spaces do you inhabit?’ Lagerquist’s surroundings become her subjects as well as her field of view; she pauses to inventory the places which hold clouds, condensation, a boat, a clothesline, before journeying on in the everyday. This is storytelling as micro-myth – familial, personal, irreversible. A measured intimacy, tender but disenchanted; a breath held in anticipation: ‘Don’t leave, stay./ Do I have to?/ Yes.’

 

Emily Munro 2007

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