B. Ingrid Olson implements elements of photography, sculpture, and performance in an ongoing exploration of the boundaries between body and space. Within the confines of her studio, she records her body as it moves — shifting in relationship to its surroundings. The results of this process are multidimensional objects and images that re-imagine the capacities of the body and the structuring of space.
In her photographic works, fragmented views of Olson’s body oscillate between a pictured subject and a subjective perspective, creating tensions between interior, direct experience and exterior, mirrored existence, and giving the artist full control over what the viewer is allowed to see — or not. Olson draws the viewer in, but only to a point. Images of splayed legs, torsos, bent knees, partial postures, and gestures are cropped by point of view, camera, and the physical framing of the printed photographs. The images are further complicated by flash, shadows, blurring, mirror reflections, and disjointed borders. The layered visual interruptions and camouflaged elements thwart attempts to find coherence in a single visual plane or continuous meaning, disorienting the viewer’s perception of both.
Fracture and camouflage are also at play in Olson’s relief sculptures. Rigid, rectilinear edges give way to soft, curved concavities at the center. Each segment suggests a specific somatic referent, but the machine-carved forms refuse to accommodate an organic reality. The minimal, sexless forms — evoking face, midriff, small of the back, thighs, shins, or toes — are hung at specific heights along the wall, matching to corresponding parts of a standing, erect body. At the same time, the combination of curvatures and protrusions over each sculpture's surface reacts to situational light and shadow, creating a shifting image of an absent body. The reliefs’structure and relationship to the surrounding architecture, in effect, heightens and questions the viewer’s sense of their own anatomy and physical presence in the world.