--- Excerpt from from press release for Invisible forms, products and potentialities, 52 Haymarket, London 2011

Johan Eldrot is concerned with how we perceive and construct notions of truth. This is reflected in the form of speculative narratives where knowledge and information are filtered through a single prism of reference, the prism here being the near future or the potentiality of the thing to come. Future Memory (2010) considers the future as a constellation of fragmented, yet logically interrelated points of reference. Working through Nostradamus’ prophetic predictions taken from Le Propheties (1555) Eldrot’s installation considers the future as a concrete proposition. Appropriated NASA images depict the Wilkinson MicroWave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) whilst the letters GAD held upside down, stand for ‘Generalized Anxiety Disorder’ a condition that creates an anxiety of what is to come in the near future in the sufferer. Looking through the clear glass orb in the installation flips the letters GAD the correct way up, aligning the viewer to a logical upright, mirrored by the flipping of the Nostradamus portrait upside down. Eldrot is interested in the juxtaposition of pure science and posited seer prophecy and most notably how this works towards an understanding of what is to come.

Robert Spragg, curator

--- Interview by Davide Stroppa, director of Pianissimo Gallery, Milan, 2011

Davide Stroppa and Johan Eldrot

DS: Your show Astral Projection, Into the Expanse is composed as a sort of narrative, could you tell me about the origin of the case, which constitutes the framework of the show?

JE: The starting point in many of my works is coincidental findings of stories, destinies, and situations etcetera. This time, I found an old newspaper from 1993 in a cabinet while visiting a friend in Quebéc, Canada. As I browsed through the paper a small notice caught my attention. It consisted only of a tiny, blurred, image of a female and a couple of lines of text. It briefly said that this woman secretly had been living at a Canadian hospital for almost ten years. I felt this enormous attraction and curiosity to her fate and felt a need to try to examine it further.

DS: So how did you approach the drive to examine this case?

JE: Of course I started off by searching the web, but surprisingly I found very little, actually not more then I had read in that newspaper. I then contacted a number of journalists trying to find more information. It turned out that very little had been reported on this case. Finally I got some information from Ben Miller, reporter at Le Journal de Québec, and Jack Grim, reporter at Sunday
Times. The information that they could give me is included in the show. Both reporters told me that the Canadian officials had been very sparse with information regarding the case and person in question.

DS: This hospital, did you go there to see the space that this woman had occupied?

JE: No, unfortunately this part of St Joseph Provincial Hospital was demolished and rebuilt in 2002.

DS: So all the works in the show are based on the information from these two journalists?

JE: Yes and no, the published information is included straight off. However, Mr. Miller could provide me with some very interesting details passed down through word of mouth from the personnel cleaning out the hideout in 1993. This information has been accurately chosen and subjectively interpreted by myself. It turned out that she had had some very peculiar inventories inside her hidden space, things that I see as interesting carriers of meaning in order to enable individual interpretations for the viewer.

DS: As you said, this story is quite remarkable; one might read the work as a portrait of an individual troubled by mental illness.

JE: To me it is not important to categorize what is considered sane or insane. I see the work as a kind of portrait, yes, but with this portrait I also want to raise questions regarding concepts like dreams, reassurance, mental projection and imagination. Working with this woman’s fate is a way for me to clarify the subjects that I’m interested in, to make them tangible.

--- Power Ekroth 2010 (Excerpt from Precious Periphery exhibition catalogue)

"Perception of reality and doubt are topics that interest Johan Eldrot as well. How can we trust our senses? And if we see something abnormal, how do we relate to it? These are questions St Augustine asked himself, and that ever since have been absolutely central to science. In philosophy of science, Thomas Kuhn's theories, for instance, concern how science itself functions and how so-called paradigm shifts happen. Paradigms refer to current patterns and the prevailing consensus of a scientific discipline. When one paradigm is replaced with another (such as, for instance, when Charles Darwin's theory of evolution had to be accepted over "Adam and Eve", or the Copernican worldview over a flat Earth) what happens is usually that a sufficient amount of "anomalies" emerge in the existing paradigm, and the only way to explain them is to replace the entire system. But there are disciplines that fight to gain acceptance as sciences, such as astrology, and other paranormal fields, although observations exist that go against the grain of the prevailing order. Is this because the anomalies are too few, or because our thought patterns are too rigid, and we still are incapable of seeing what is actually true or real?"