Aurora Sander can help you out. The artist duo consisting of Ellinor Aurora Aasgaard and Bror Sander Berg Størseth constantly serve up fresh perspectives on the world, tongue in cheek, jaws scraping off the ground. In their particular case form does not follow function, but function at least contains the word fun. The objects produced by the duo are caught in between form and function, art and design, discourse and disgust. For instance: portable paintings whose support structure doubles as shipping crates, and a mobile sculpture serving you social lubrication. Or high heeled shoes with built in brushes for an easy clean, and seats reserved for magazine covers. Aurora Sander reacts to the intrinsic structures of the art world, of socialization, distribution, value creation, judgement, and accruement, to turn some tables, but making sure the tables look damned good on the way round. 

Aurora Sander is well versed in the tropes of the industry, and the duo produce objects that circulate as art, but might take on purpose beyond the art world, often suggesting character traits and personal characteristics. These characters might appear confused, as if they were cooked up like a dough in a bakery oven, whose purpose is to be devoured by a hungry public, and instead of being served up for consumption, is forced to serve up herself. The characters might form from conversation and appear in public objects staged in a set up, perhaps like an actor on a stage, or merchandise in a show room. The characters might be acting out through crude mechanical set ups, such as the mechanized robotic butler which has appeared in several of Aurora Sander's set ups. It is a mix between the anthropomorphic crab Sebastian from Disney's animated spectacle The Little Mermaid and the General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot from Lost in Space, a fumbling and humouristic take on the serviceminded butler, caught in his own anthropomorphic nightmare, serving drinks till his batteries run out.

The references in the work of Aurora Sander are plentiful, and the usual appropriation of low culture you traditionally would find in the art is repurposed with a refined knowledge of not just the art world, but also an interest in merchandizing and hanging out, dipping low. Their artistic strategies are closely linked to design, theater, and fashion; fields that art is struggling to keep at bay. Art historian Benjamin Buchloh describes this relationship as one where high art constantly appropriates images, strategies, and mechanisms from low culture, not in order to assimilate the two, but rather to reaffirm art's position in the hierarchy. Aurora Sander seems to confuse the hierarchy, and the identity of the duo, who might be mistaken for a singular artist, a case of mistaken identity, might range from a Disney princess to an emerging artist trying to make it in the cruel marketplace of the art world. Aurora Sander's strategy of confusion, fusion, fiction and friction, seems to be the duo's strength, making objects and creating characters that belong in the art world, but have no idea how they got there.

- Geir Haraldseth

Download text as PDF

︎ ︎