Maren Karlson
Happy Dark

May 19 – June 18, 2017

"Light is the left hand of darkness, and darkness the right hand of
light. Two are one, life and death, lying together like lovers (...),
like hands joined together, like the end and the way.” (Ursula K. Le

“The path is not long, but the way is deep. You must not only walk
there, you must be prepared to leap.” (Hildegard von Bingen)

"Only the mercy of god could yank me out of that terrible indifferent
joy in which I was bathing, complete. For I was exulting. I was coming
to know the violence of the happy dark - I was happy as a demon, hell
is my maximum." (Clarice Lispector)


Crawling underground... crawling underground… too well I know I'm like
the snake who eats the dust!

I am in the dark; I feel at home in the deep void, a dim grotto,
filled with lucid waters, smooth and still, flat, unbroken by waves,
uncanny. I am in the deepest, darkest heart of a gigantic mound of
rooms and paths, and its radiant, moist interior speaks to me. It asks
me to come close, to let myself be embraced by its gloomy warmth. I
speak its language better than any mortal man's language, like an old,
dusty rose laying in the mud speaks to me more than one thousand
jewels. Like long-lost sisters, we gently touch each others spheres.
Within me, an unfathomable alchemy begins –

Everything I have ever known is now surrounding me; I have come to the
velvet pond of renewal, the iron woman is finally melting. Giving up
the search for permanent truth – my spirit will be eternal, there is
no ending to my solitary journey, no arrival; eternal deconstruction
followed by eternal reconstruction. No being has ever seen the true
face of life until she has lifted the veil of oblivion to see her self
rise: forever vulnerable, yet powerful and frightening.


Maren Karlson is a drawer and painter living and working in Berlin, Germany.

Press for exhibition: ArtForum