Exhibition Case: Katarina Sylvan – Two Blue Fencers

11 August-30 September, Färgfabriken

Katarina Sylvan, Two Blue Fencers, video still

Katarina Sylvan
Two Blue Fencers
11 August-30 September

Address: The Exhibition Case, Färgfabriken’s ticket shop (up the stairs and right), Lövholmsbrinken 1, 117 43 Stockholm
Opening hours: Thursday–Friday 11–16, Saturday–Sunday 11–17

Two Blue Fencers
Video Architecture
Video 00:01:00:17 min
Glass box, mdf, acrylic mirror, Raspberry Pi, 4″ screen

We are at the 2012 Olympics in London. Épée fencers Britta Heidemann and Shin A-lam step up from the shadows of the onlookers and onto the brightly lit podium. The match that follows demonstrates a complete melt-down of fencing rules, the technology of time-keeping, chance and human error, leaving Shin A-l am all alone on the podium, crying under the spotlight while waiting for the judges’ verdict. All the flaws of the machinery are put on display.

Two Blue Fencers is a motion study of this series of events. Each frame from the final—and seemingly never-ending—minute of the match was printed and traced with a knife to hollow out the two athletes’ silhouettes. These paper molds were then placed on an office scanner, one by one. Blue glitter—or small hexagonal mirrors—were poured into the molds and the sheet of paper was removed to reveal the blue figures on the scanner’s glass. Each scan constitutes one frame in this animation—24 per second and 1454 in total—mimicking the rotoscoping utilised when transferring the physiognomy of moving bodies into an animated universe.

Katarina Sylvan is a visual artist based in Stockholm and Paris. Working across sculpture, writings, images and sounds, she investigates language’s tangled relationship to the phenomena it tries to describe. She holds a BA in Fine Art from Konstfack in Stockholm (2014) and an MA in Fine Art Sculpture from the Royal College of Art in London (2019).

Special thanks to Jacob Broms Engblom, Ann Kim and Dan Graham.

The Exhibition Case is a satellite exhibition project by Flat Octopus in collaboration with Färgfabriken, where the invited artists fit their work within the dimensions of a glass case.

is an exhibition hall and contemporary art platform in Stockholm, Sweden. It has, since its founding in 1995, served as a platform for contemporary cultural expressions, with an emphasis on art, architecture and urban planning. Färgfabriken is driven by a desire to reflect upon the heterogeneous and multicultural world we live in. We want to test the limits of what an art space is, and could become.