the Pitcairn Museum of Contemporary Art

Nina Maria Kleivan

In my Sleep

Nina Maria Kleivan works in various media, including photography, painting, graphics, video, and installation. She examines and challenges existential themes, such as identity and belonging. Elements from vastly different contexts and spheres of meaning – realities – appear side by side. Objects are scaled up and down in size, and unexpected displacements of time and space challenge our accustomed idea of reality. One moment, she zooms in on the smallest detail, and the next moment, we are given a bird’s-eye view of the world. Part and whole are inseparably linked, and she gives the impression that the story can be told and understood in innumerable ways because meaning, history, and identity are constantly changing and can be seen from an infinite number of perspectives.

Nina Maria does not keep a diary, but she does write notes. These notes contain thoughts, things she has heard or read, things that, in one form or another, have passed through her brain and left a trace – a trace she wants to hold on to. Hence the notebooks. When starting a new project, she sometimes turns to her notes for inspiration. More often than not, she has no recollection of why she wrote them or what they meant. She wonders why these words deserved a place in the physical part of her brain, which is represented by her notebooks. Nevertheless, there they are – all these words describing lost memories.
Another aspect of her obsession with collecting lost memories is that she often purchases other people’s old photo albums. As Nina Maria puts it, “Flipping through the pages, I look at all these people, with all these stories they tried to capture with a camera, fixating memories on paper. The pictures are here – right in my hand – but the meaning is long lost through time and space.” So she creates her own memories of what happened, listens carefully to the feelings these memories evoke in her, and tries to give them physical form. Thoughts and memories are transformed into a physical representation of feelings – feelings that resonate with her and, hopefully, also with the spectator.

Nina Maria Kleivan (1960) is a Danish/Norwegian visual artist and lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is educated at The Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen, and has a Bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Copenhagen.

Recent solo Exhibitions: Frederikshavn Kunstmuseum, Frederikshavn (DK) 2022, Sophienholm Kunsthal, Lyngby 2022(DK), Tou Trykk, Stavanger (NO),2019.


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