Trine Lise Nedreaas creates intriguingly beautiful filmic works that delve into the mysteries of everyday life. The process of creating aides the artist in her constant search for an answer to the question: What is the meaning and origin of it all? Nedreaas finds the characters who populate her documentary-like portraits by placing advertisements in local newspapers and distributing flyers. She also sometimes searches for specific people she has learned about who interest her. Warm, yet slightly humorous and disquieting, her works portray these individuals engaging in acts or interests that are outside the mainstream and are particularly their own—examples include sword-swallowers, contortionists, evangelists, and even a ballroom dancer going through the steps of his craft with an imaginary partner.
Nedreaas uses elements of the bizarre to explore the human condition and the helplessness we can feel when attempting to accommodate and navigate the complexities of contemporary society. Societal forces have the ability to influence, or even manipulate, our everyday actions; Nedreaas aims to capture these moments of change. The artist has commented that she is interested in the various outlets people have for creating meaning in their lives, as well as their “reason for being and the drive to carry on and get out of bed every morning. I admire the enthusiasts, the people who try again and again, often banging their head against the wall.”
Yana and Noname, originally part of a three-channel video installation entitled Smoke and Mirrors, focuses on a silent interaction between a ventriloquist and her dummy. The film opens on a dimly lit room whose only light source is a single bulb hanging above a suitcase. A woman appears, opens the case to reveal a clownish ventriloquist doll, and gingerly tends to it. The interface between the two characters comes off as both childlike and sinister. Throughout the duration of the work, a subtle narrative builds that sparks viewers to question their place within the space. Are we the audience, or are we interrupting a private moment?
Label from Trine Lise Nedreaas: Yana and Noname, June 21–September 29, 2013