• May 3 - June 1
  • Fredrik Raddum
  • Lint in the Navel of the World
  • Main gallery

Hans Alf Gallery is proud to present Fredrik Raddum's new solo exhibition, Lint in the Navel of the World, which opens May 3.


In Fredrik Raddum's new exhibition “Lint in the Navel of the World”, we once again encounter the Norwegian sculptor's playful and slightly satirical outlook on life. Raddum's artistic practice is characterized by a certain fondness for ambiguity, and his works always contain an underlying, often contradictory message. Raddum's works have a habit of satirizing the big questions in life - often taking inspiration from philosophical literature. Through humor and surprising elements, the artist manages to let the myriad of thoughts that most people are familiar with, manifest themselves in his sculptures. Each work is an expression of reflection, wonderment, and the artist's critical view on society. 

The title of the exhibition refers to man's own perception of himself. The concept of the “navel of the world” (umbilicus mundi) has roots dating back to Delphi and the Inca Empire's capital, Cusco, but in “Lint in the Navel of the World” it is used to reflect on the individual. Just as Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection, modern man tends to only notice himself in the world. Raddum explores our eternal search for the essence of life, and his works can be seen as embodiments of the challenges we face on this journey. Human beings are lost in the search for meaning, and blindly we all fumble for answers.

The sculpture “Mr. Multiple” has heads looking bewildered in all directions, and the figure appears without a center of gravity or core. The work “Loitering in the Night” also deals with this theme: with his head twisted backwards and his arms stretched out in front of him, a sleepwalking figure shuffles his way towards uncertainty. Each of us is wandering around in our own world, not quite knowing where we're going.


But Raddum's universe isn’t occupied by heavy, existential thoughts alone: the artist is also interested in the joy of the small things in life. The Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss says that each of us live in our own world, our own reality. A tree can trigger a personal and spontaneous experience that will be unique to each individual. When we talk about reality, we are not referring to a singular phenomenon; it is a metaphysical contingency that goes beyond our understanding. A tree can bring spontaneous and overwhelming joy to some, while others might not even notice its existence. Some of the works in the exhibition seek to depict this sudden happiness. In “Some Kind of Nature”, a woman has stopped by a tree to explore its interior, an image of innocent interest and childlike wonder. And in the sculpture “Apricitas”, where another woman has a brooding bird on her head, we witness the peculiar joy of just standing alone in the silence and feeling the warmth of a living animal.

“Lint in the Navel of the World” is an exhibition that requires the viewer to engage with the artist's mystical universe, and each sculpture should be studied carefully and from all possible angles. If you manage to immerse yourself in Raddum's vision, you will discover a tale of existentialism and worldviews that most people will be able to mirror themselves in.


"Lint in the Navel of the World" opens May 3 in the main gallery, and will be on view through June 1.