The seduction of Emeli Theander’s work lies in the peculiar way she combines the poetry of dreams and the marvel of children’s tales. It is figurative, in the sense that it is a setting for mysterious totemic figures at the cusp of fantasy and myth. In a cold, aquatic light, creatures- half-human, half-animal – from the Norse legends, strike a pose, watching us. Their pink flesh contrasts violently with the extraordinary shadowy masks they wear as disguises, a baroque mishmash of all kinds of animals, birds, rabbits, fish or wolves, between dreamlike superimposition and carnival madness.
In her paintings and drawings she weaves a tight net of, as she puts it, “sweet and scary moments”, of obsessions, of recurring motifs which suggest that her work lends itself to be read like a story: the eye, the mirror, the circle, the mask, doubles, twins, animal hybrids.
The eye and the mirror serve as metaphors for the work of art (an invitation to look) and for narcissistic desire (to see oneself and to be seen in order to exist). In Theander´s work we see the image of the self at the edges of psychic dislocation. A strange theatre showing a playful state of human fragility.”
(Excerpts from the exhibition text of Limbo Losers by Eric Vinassac)