Melk Gallery proudly presents mutual exclusion, an exhibition of recent photographs by Morten Andenæs. The work stems from his ongoing series Re:The Middle Class, and will be the second in a series of exhibitions showcasing young scandinavian photographers. Melk Gallery opened its doors in September of 2009, and is run by Behzad Farazollahi and Bjarne Bare.

By deliberately assuming an ambivalent stance, neither deferent nor invasive, Andenæs’ work places the viewer in a kind of gray area between rejection and affirmation. This kind of gesture, often used as an unnoticeable means for instilling compliance in a given subject, paradoxically encourages autonomy as well. As an example, an analyst might assume an ambivalent attitude in order to get a patient to take control of his own situation without recourse to what might please the other.

Ambivalence, a term here understood as illegibility, is prominent as well in the relationship between text and image. Instead of being a harmonious coupling, this relationship is fundamentally marked by discord. Despite the wealth of associations brought to light by the title of the show, a short-circuit occurs because of the apparently unnecessarily explicit image-titles. These serve as a reminder that text, as an inevitable framework for the visual experience, also tends to undermine it.