"The observer can devote himself
completely to contemplation."

Björn Dahlem Focus imaginarius (Aus fernen Welten)
@ Kerstin Engholm Gallery, Vienna

"The vitrines remind us of the cabinets of curiosity of the late renaissance and baroque, in which rarities and curiosities from mostly faraway countries were assembled without scientific standard or considered classification system. Björn Dahlem’s artifacts make the observer wonder. They evoke amazement, a feeling that was suppressed by the ascent of rational explanatory models and soon only understood as awkward naivety.

Dahlem’s poetic constructions made out of pebbles, gold varnish, flower vases and discarded measuring instruments resume with that the historic collections of ivory carvings, artistic clocks, ostrich eggs, crystals, astrolabes and unicorns, both formally and with regards to content. However, the visual metaphors used in the vitrines do not seem to refer to a specific historical period, nor to the present or the future of themselves. Other than earlier room occupying installations, the observer can no longer enter these secluded spaces. They are like a hermetic opponent, which is visible but atmospherically separated and seems enigmatic.
The observer can devote himself completely to contemplation."