A few years ago we kept a pet mantis named Etera. She was a tiny demon of considerable beauty. Her body was a flowery pink with white dots and chlorophyll-green hind legs. Unlike an ant or other common insects, she was keenly aware of our existence — turning her head 180 degrees and looking at us straight in the eye. After she molted, the old exoskeleton hung like a ghostly jewel amongst the twigs. Emerging from this process she was weak but hungry. We fed her mosquitoes caught in our apartment. Releasing them into her subtropical glass cube felt like a ritual sacrifice. After catching them with her pink mandibles she would first bite their heads off and then eat the rest of the body. After feeding she would dance joyously. It was a mythic drama in miniature.
Cecilia Hillström Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Hypnotikon with David Ohlsson and Dit-Cilinn, their second show at the gallery, consisting of a site-specific installation and sculpture.
In Hypnotikon the duo continues to explore the concepts of mythology and ecology through a poetic elaborate installation where the opposition of nature and culture is reframed. The exhibition title borrows its name from the medicinal plant Henbane in the Solanaceae family, also called Hypnotikon, which is said to have been used in both witch rituals and by the Delphi Oracle to bring forth a higher state of mind.
With a unique attention to detail and a skilful combination of materials, the exhibition involves crafted, cultured and mass-produced items put together and presented in a symbiosis. Working with themes as human existence and spirituality, their work is a negotiation between present day urban life and a desire for something transcendent.