Jamila Drott

The way down is also a way up

The way down is also a way up. Jamila Drott & Jim Brunnestom. Vita Rosen 2012


Jamila Drott & Jim Brunnestom 2012


THE WAY DOWN IS ALSO A WAY UP revolves around the notion of space and its constant negotiations as part of an ongoing experiment to examine its borders, meanings and potential. Through our work we try to re-think not only the physical conditions of the public, but also our conception of space, and how we can transgress the limits to our imaginings of it. The work process is a creative laboratory where we conduct experiments in physical and mental environments, trying to re-evaluate and re-invent space and the meaning of life within it. Infinite possibilities in space will slip through the cracks of our consciousness, if we only let them!
Imagine that the understanding of meaning lies beyond the parameter of personal opinion. If opinion and meaning were incomparable constants, how would you approach and appreciate any piece of work? We suggest a possible harmony of opposites; the negative and the positive are both and simultaneously true and viable perspectives. The light and the dark co-exist and are inseparable. The way down is also a way up.


How can one object be in two locations at the same time? If we use the notion of inversion it could be said that the lack of an object in one place - the non-presence of the object - underlines its presence in the same space, but in another time. How does the absent object alter the space of its former presence? Does the place where an object was formerly located impact its existence in the present? Could the absence of an object be of meaning to its simultaneous presence in another place? What if an object is more useful in its absence then it was in its former presence. Would the absent object then (by its removal), be loaded with the magic/meaning of the enhanced utility of its previous location? 

How can we capture and represent the essence of an object or a phenomenon without presenting the object in its original form? How can we communicate firsthand experience to someone who was not there? 
A method of answering these questions is by abstraction, which operates through basic formula to convey a bigger picture. The challenge of abstraction is to find a small piece of reality that is strong and significant enough to bear up all the other pieces of information that are left out. By means of abstraction and multiplication we can use fragments of reality to tell a story. By sampling moments from the past we try to save their magic and transmit it into the future.
The texture of a physical surface is an absolute and tangible piece of reality. Surfaces are possible to sample, reflect, multiply and re-distribute. How can we by means of abstraction and multiplication use a fragment (an imprint) of reality to tell a story?


As an immortal phenomenon, painting has been declared dead on numerous historical occasions, only to reoccur in reinvented variations time after time again. Persistently it re-arises from its grave, dusts off its shirt and gets on with work.
A sign of paintings continuous universal vitality could be its frequent occurrence in public space. Painting is simply something that some of us do. Others engage in the never-ending activity of removing the paint - or - in attempts on restoration, covering it with new layers, while - at the same time - contributing to the ongoing collective process of defining space. 
Nobody seems to entirely wish to leave painting behind. Could it be because of a vague suspicion that the process of painting encapsulates future ideas and knowledge that is yet to be acquired, and that proceeding to paint is the only way to be rewarded with the secrets of this specific type of eternal life? Regardless of our motives, we continue to paint. In doing so, we acknowledge the activity of painting as an important communicative ritual; expressing our investigations and negotiations of space. 
Could the grammar- the simple dynamics- of this activity be as important as the conventional telling of a tale? Transparency in the process reveals the grammar of the painting; its materiality, time, attention and energy. Manifested in a painting - or in the place where it used to be - lies the structure of these activities; their economy and logic, their temporalities of creation and elimination. In the sediments, between the layers of paint and in the lost layers, is where the story unfolds.