In Farewell Eden Christian-Pontus Andersson creates a parallel world that trancends the human quest for perfection and fortune; a mental refuge, a beautiful fictional reality with the grandeur of the modern far beyond the one we know. There is a desire to avoid an inevitable decay, it is a disposable reality in which the artist puts himself and those he holds most deeply to his heart - a mother, father, former boyfriends - in an attempt to confidently promise a more peaceful existence.
If previous works revolved around the young, male, body's potential for perfection, in which depersonalized sculptures stood as a symbol of the universal quest for idealism, the new works evolve within a more personal realm. Christian-Pontus Andersson burrows deeper into his own skin, by giving the sculptures a specific personal characteristic by donning the skin of a beloved person, the sculptures cease to be merely symbols of the human and the roles we play, and instead - through the truly personal - capture something deeply universal.
"Cities are devastated and give way to forests and mountains. A string quartet and you and me in the grass, harmony and unison. This is where we go when we are tired and no longer seem to be good enough."
Farewell Eden acts as a personal extension of the myth of the Garden of Eden and the notion of eternal life, where the artwork attempts to address man's inescapable transience. It is a peaceful world that we gain access to, a perfect and fabulous place where trusting animals embrace or carry the sculptures like good samaritans. It is an animated world, a paradise where verdure shine of magic and grief becomes a dazzling white plumage, with this magnificence the grief becomes easier to bare. At the same time - as so often in Christian-Pontus Andersson's work- perfection becomes fractured, exposing something deeply paradoxical. On the one hand this parallel reality aims to serve as a peaceful secure place, beyond the polemics between perfectionistic ideals and inevitable physical decay, on the other hand, it is a desire for pure perfection, and as such can only exist through a continual rigorous working regime.
"In Eden, we are as one. Together we are building and working hard to ensure our paradise is as beautiful, perfect and magnificent as possible. We build walls that block out the real. "
The longer we stay secure, the clearer the distance to the reality and the clearer it seems that an unpleasant alternative reality is taking shape around us. We are reminded that everything we encounter is a fictitious alias - the sculptures are doll-like, the animals are lifeless fragments of lives that are no longer; the cold harsh surface of the metal instruments is in stark contrast and makes itself felt. Suddenly the weight being carried on the shoulders is embraced. Suddenly safety appears as an illusion. Suddenly, we see what it really is.
A beautiful realm of death.
/ Sara Skoglund