Artist Christine Ödlund visits the library

The artist Christine Ödlund came to The Ritman Library with Marco Pasi last week, and we had the wonderful opportunity of meeting with her and talking about her interests related to the materials in the library’s collection. Christine is a cutting edge multi-media artist whose works have been shown in various museums from Sweden to Japan, and Amsterdam was lucky to host her as part of the ‘freq_out 9‘ performance at the Stedelijk for the opening of the Sonic Acts 2013 Dark Universe festival.

Esther Ritman showing some treasures to Christine Ödlund and Marco Pasi.

Christine’s works have been influenced by various authors housed in the library’s collection, from her ‘Thought-Forms‘ exhibits which take their name from the book by Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater of the same title, to her ‘Phenomena‘, which drew from Besant’s concepts of how musical can be realized through colored forms and movement, and her audio work ‘Astral Bells‘ which attempted to actualize in audible sound the ‘astral bells’ that played a part in Madame Blavatsky’s creative inspiration. In addition to her theosophical and anthroposophical interests, Christine also attempts to integrate scientific perspectives into her work in a marriage of disciplines that shows its true value in her exciting take on where art can grow. One such example is her ‘Stress Call of the Stinging Nettle,’ which combines the physical insights of chemistry and biology with multi-media art to open up the botanical world of the nettle to our eyes and ears.

Much of her work centers around the idea of unseen dimensions and hidden senses, and in exploring these conceptual spaces she frequently attempts to simulate the cognitive state of synaesthesia, where the sensory input of one sense is perceived through another (for instance, seeing a sound, or hearing an image). Her performance as a part of ‘freq_out 9’ was certainly an exploration of unseen dimensions, as the sound crafted by the twelve artists rung through the Stedelijk with a siren’s call that could be heard from the floor below and throughout the other exhibits in the museum. It was a pleasure to spend time with such an innovative artist and inspiring woman, and we wish her all the best!

More samples of Christine’s works are available on her website, at

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