Episode 11: Artificial Iris
Emelie Carlén, Emmeli Person
Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris [curator]
Oct 12–Nov 17, 2018

When a tree sap twists and then sets, (Fail-fast systems, Emelie Carlen, wood sap sculpture, 2018) and an ear holds three rings (Helio-systems, Emmeli Person and Emelie Carlen, photograph with plexi glass, 2018) then it’s the time (www.google-my-symptoms.info) to search for answers for the symptoms that draw you back to the sunshine (Sunsets, Emmeli Person, HD video, 2018) and the rounding pulse (SU, Emmeli Person, HD video, 2018).

Fragments of artist Emmeli Person’s work Heliosynchesiy (Hēlios=Sun Synchesiy=Confusion) are presented at Peryton and online in the form of the website www.google-my-symptoms.info. The website will only be open when the sun is missing from the town of Longyearbyen, (Svalbard archipelago, Norway). The website helps one to self-diagnose. One might say the condition is a fiction, but one might also say it is currently unknowable. Person’s procedure is to lead the audience into the trance of unknowing, where the symptoms can be seen when the sun sets.

‘At the same time’, means also ‘concurrently’, which also means ‘simultaneously’, which can also stand in for ‘contemporaneous’. Emmeli Person and Emelie Carlen are quite frequently mistaken for each other, and in this way are able to stand in for each other. They make work alongside each other sometimes and in some way, they are ‘at the same time’ to each other in some respects. In recognition of these circulating patterns, of both artistic and personal narratives, this exhibition plays out in a couple of different ways ‘simultaneously’ and the artists present themselves and the works ‘contemporaneously’. The exhibition within Peryton houses a photograph of three rings looped into an ear, with yellow glass staining the image. This image is both at Peryton and at Undantaget, on the island of Öland, Sweden, in another exhibition of Emelie and Emmeli. In this way, and in other ways, the Artificial Iris selects what is in its view. It plays with perception. It zeros in and out, and confabulates a twisting, circular reality. It’s a circulation of circulatory systems.

Back in the town in the north, Longyearbyen, where nothing ever dies, the permafrost has preserved the bodies in the graveyards and the fossilised fuels in the ground. On March 16 2019 the sun will return there. The Artificial Iris in Longyearbyen will gather at the Town Hall with the other inhabitants of the city to welcome the suns return. At the same time, the website will close. Your symptoms for Heliosynchesiy (Hēlios=Sun Synchesiy=Confusion) will then decease to be searchable. The spinning may pause.


Emmeli Person‘s research based practice is often formulated in sculpturally dense installations. Leaking into social formats, projects often act in the slippage between a phenomenological entanglement with material and the creation of scientific fictions that help narrate new or existing semiotic structures. Co-running the learning program at Index in Stockholm, and currently researching how children use the concept of reality, Emmeli is deeply engaged in how artistic practices can intervene and re-formulate how we structure learning situations.

Emelie Carlén is based in Denmark where she just graduated from The Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts, with previous education from Umeå art academy and Akademie der bildenden Künste, Wien. Carlén mainly works with an investigation of how modes of representation come to affect experience and identity. Her installations, largely consisting of sculptures and mixed media, has had its central core in examining desires and its relation to objects and experiences, cultural structures and behaviours.

Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris is an Australian born, Swedish based curator. Research interests are focused upon processes of narrativity, water as social metaphor, feminist methodologies and ecology in contemporary art. Working with practical learning platforms, artistic research, publications and exhibitions, she works internationally as a curator and lecturer. Currently, she works in Stockholm as Curator of Learning at Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, and as Curator, Education at Film i Samtidskonsten and as part-time Lecturer with DOCH, Stockholm University of the Arts. She also sits on the editorial board for the art journal Oberon.


Emelie Carlen and Emmeli Person
21 x 30cm, inkjet print, plexiglass

Emmeli Person
10.00 min, HD video

Emelie Carlen
Fail-fast systems
dimensions variable, cast wood sap, steel

Emmeli Person
19.39 min, HD video

Emmeli Person

All works 2018