American artist Rachel Rose (b. 1986) has emerged as one of the most prominent artists of her generation. Her work examines the interconnection between landscape, storytelling and belief systems. Through paintings, photographs, drawings and, most centrally, her films, Rose explores how landscapes have been transformed, violated, and built bringing to light questions about the roots of modernity and it’s effects on the social, physical and spiritual body. Through this, her work contends with the vulnerability inherent in the existentially precarious reality of living through environmental collapse. As such, Rose explores how people’s perceptual experiences have also been shaped by the economic and technological structures that have developed through the shifting landscape.
A trained painter, Rose is now best known for her extensive video works, which are characterised by an aesthetic formal rigour, drawing on and contributing to a long cinematic tradition. Whether she is examining cryogenics, the American Revolutionary War or an astronaut’s spacewalk, her films are poignant portraits of near and distant pasts, creating vital connections between the historical and the present.
Rose’s works always begin with her own experience. She takes a simple feeling and connects it to subjects she mines through extensive research to tell a new kind of story. The final work is immersive – sensually activated through her sound editing, visual sequencing and physical spatialisation.
Good Morning Midnight brings together works that while different in subject matter, are connected in that all focus on the changing role of the sun and moon in the rituals of the day. In these works, Rose explores how the constant re-imagining of these symbols in the sky are material effects of the ever shifting social and physical landscape. In the video work Enclosure, installed here with two accompanying sculptures and a photograph, Rose presents a fictional story based on the historical phenomenon of ‘enclosure’, as practiced in England between 1500 and 1700, when free, unregulated access to the cultivation of the landscape passed into the hands of a few, central landowners.
The second part of the exhibition focuses on a new work, The Last Day, shown here with a series of recent drawings. The film is composed of over 900 photographs that Rose took every day throughout the year in her children’s bedroom. Rose arranged her children’s toys in miniature landscapes, to capture Earth’s development. The juxtaposition of photographs show a range of extant toys found in their room – using these to tell an apocryphal tale of the eternal story. As a backdrop to this, the drawings in the room next door illustrate the mundane activities that make up a typical day for a child: having breakfast, going to the park, drinking a bottle of milk, taking a bath, etc.
The exhibition is the first solo show by the artist in Scandinavia.
Rachel Rose (b. 1986) is a graduate from Yale University, New Haven and from Columbia University in New York City, where she also lives and works today. Recent institutional solo shows include Good Night Moon, SITE, Santa Fe (2023); Enclosure, LUMA Arles (2019); Rachel Rose, Kunsthaus Bregenz (2017); and in 2015 Palisades at Serpentine Galleries in London and Everything and More at Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City.