Berenice Hernández | Assembled Absence
We are pleased to present Berenice Hernández’s first solo exhibition at the gallery titled "Assembled Absence". The title refers to Hernández’s meticulous process as well as to the fragmented nature of her work.
Berenice Hernández works with ceramic sculptures and installations that might come across as miniature temporary dwellings. Fittingly, the act of constructing and deconstructing is fundamental to her artistic process. It often begins with hundreds of delicate layers of clay that she methodically turns into large blocks. She then cuts the blocks into smaller pieces and puts them together with glaze, sometimes incorporating chamotte, glass, and various non-ceramic materials such as thread and corn flour.
"Assembled Absence" features a series of ceramic sculptures that are resting on delicate, hand-crafted wooden structures reminiscent of building scaffolds. The artist refers to these works as models of "imaginary architecture" and "ghost architecture", as they depict places and buildings that exist solely in the mind, like the long-gone house in an old postcard, or a blueprint of a structure that was never built.
Fragility is a key characteristic of her sculptures. The cracks, voids and missing elements are as significant as what is whole and present, leaving the viewer with an uncertainty of whether the sculptures are on the verge of collapse or in the process of being built. Also included in the exhibition are wall pieces made of scraps and fragments of past sculptures, adding a sense of history and the passage of time. At its core, "Assembled Absence" aims to question the solidity of the structures we live within as it probes the formless borders between chaos and control.
Berenice Hernández was born in Mexico City in 1982. She lives and works in Leksand. She started her ceramic training in Mexico City, went on to study ceramics at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO), and holds an MFA from Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm (2020–2022). Hernández is currently undertaking a residency at the Royal College of Art in London. Her work has been exhibited in Mexico, Sweden, and Norway. Recent solo and group exhibitions include "Measures of the void" at Norsk Billedhoggerforening, Oslo (2021), "Alla de otroligt många tillstånd" at Kaolin, Stockholm (2021), "Observations on the means to carry on" at Galleri Format, Oslo (2019), and the 8th Biennale of Ceramics at the Franz Mayer Museum, Mexico City (2017). In 2022, she was awarded a grant from Den Nordiska Första S:t Johannislogens Jubelfond for her graduation project at Konstfack – "Phantom Limbs/Ghost Architecture" – which explored and contextualized issues of exile and displacement. In 2020, she received the FKDS (Fondet for kunst- och designstudenter) Grant, awarded by KHiO. She has also been awarded grants from Estrid Ericsons Stiftelse and Hertha Bengtssons Stipendiefond. Hernández is represented in the collections of KODE Art Museum in Bergen, Norway.