Short presentations by the artists
My early works were characterised by some kind of Arte Povera thinking, in which I combined the ugly and the beautiful. High-tech materials were contrasted with simple pieces of wood. My early minimalist works were about testing, and having fun. The form gave rise to new ideas, and each individual work was given time to develop. In my present situation, I rarely have time to return to formal experiments. In a strict conceptual manner, I have worked serially with sculpture, installation and painting, which has not required experimentation in the studio. So, what I would like to do is revisit a trial-and-error method. I want to free up some time for testing and experimenting in the studio.
During the last year I have worked with tools commonly used in the production of art – the folding rule, the saw, the measuring tape and the pencil – which I have used as readymades in different geometric formations. I have organised demonstrations where I and the participants produced copies of Olle Baertling’s paintings, which we carried like banners while marching through the city escorted by the police. My most recent demonstration was
part of the exhibition playing the city at the Schirn Kunsthalle, where we marched, for an hour, to the Euro sign monument in front of the European Central Bank. Since 2000 I have developed my project
Signs of Abstraction
where I wear a striped shirt every day. The shirt is chosen by a curator, who organises a two-week exhibition. The curator picks shirts from my archive of over 1000 striped shirts, decides a title for the exhibition and writes a text. I produce a poster for each exhibition in collaboration with the design group research and development. The curator can be anyone – someone in the art world or my daughter’s daycare teacher.
Conny Karlsson Lundgren
Employing film, text, image and document, Conny Karlsson Lundgren sheds light on the boundaries between language and social, political and private identities. In various staged situations and narratives, he interlinks seemingly disparate phenomena. Using references from popular culture and material of a more private character, he explores how position and significance alter when they are situated in a more explicitly political context. Karlsson Lundgren’s work probes issues of social contracts and functions, privileges, gender and identity as construction by the means of a research-based approach combined with subjective history-writing and frequent collaborations with people who have an activist approach to identity. The dislocations that arise harbour an intention to identify new perspectives and meanings.
Karlsson Lundgren (b. 1974, Västervik) is based in Berlin and Stockholm and received his MFA in Fine Art from Valand Academy, Gothenburg. His recent exhibitions in Sweden include: Bildmuseet, Umeå; Kalmar konstmuseum; CFF–Centrum för Film och Fotografi, Stockholm; and Galleri 54 in Gothenburg. Internationally he has participated in exhibitions at Nikolaj Kunsthal and Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, Copenhagen; Tallinn Art Hall; September Gallery Berlin; and he contributed to the 5th Berlin Biennale in collaboration with
The Production Unit
. In 2013 he will produce a work for the Gothenburg Museum of Art with the point of departure in the museum collections, and he will hold a solo exhibition at Kalmar konstmuseum.
Max Ockborn (b. 1983, Stockholm) lives and works in Stockholm and Malmö. Max received his Master and Bachelor degrees from Malmö Art Academy (2012 & 2010), with an exchange at Maumaus Escola des Artes Visuais, Lisbon (2011). He works mainly with sculpture and text.
Excerpt from the text
Med förhoppning om stöd från rummen vi använder
(Hoping for support from the rooms we use):
“The speculations in the presented context are centred on these areas: spatial images and what they may contain; how to deal with experienced difficulties and how they can improve; how our consciousness can function in various contexts; different ways of regarding phenomena and objects; sculpture and installation in relation to exhibitions; the role of the viewer, and thoughts about our conception of time. Through these areas the context moves into other fields, such as: anxiety about the death of people and the experience of someone’s demise; missing our dead; the search for death in order to better understand it; different suggestions for how to achieve something together; interior images and memories; thoughts about how to value the worth of exhibits through communication about that which is exhibited; various ways in which spatial images can function and how they may be experienced; methods for exploration of spatial images, and the description of art’s scope of activities.”
Silje Figenschou Thoresen
In my work I improvise and use the process to try to discover that which I perceive as the material’s freedom and own will. My points of departure are things I have found, chosen, collected and been given. Through my work I want to learn something about the actual material. This is connected to an idea of how we relate to the things that surround us.
In the Sámi and Nordic tradition of using what is locally available, I have found a way of relating to this freely – a possibility to make my own decisions and identify the worth and potential of things. I believe that objects have a freedom or a flow: they were one thing and then they turned into something else. The old scrubbing-brush became a doorstopper; barbed wire from the war was attached to a tree stump and became a tool for making “shoe grass”. An oar became part of a fence.
As a result, I work with my improvisations and the material’s independence. The stick unbound by classification, and evaluation based on function, governed by something else. I make an effort to accept the aesthetics that arise when you follow the lead of the material. The material’s structure, form, power and deficiencies, such as damages, knags, rust and changes, all have their value and limitations and I try to open up for the logic of the material when I put things together. I think of this as “logic” even though the word “logic” may sound as something that leads to a resolution. However, I believe that the “logic of the material” provides infinite possibilities; the resulting combination is a test of the interaction between that which is built and the material with which it is built.
Alexi Kukuljevic (b.1978, Johannesburg) is an artist based in Philadelphia. He received a PhD in Philosophy in 2009. He is a former researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, Netherlands.
His work addresses questions of reflexivity, reification, and the tensions that arise in the dramatization of a subjective attitude. Understood as a process of objectification, reflection requires the interruption of its process, introducing into the reflected object certain distortions without which it could not appear. By dramatizing subjectivity and allegorizing the processes of its objectivation, his work attempts to come to grips with a subject that can only be staged through the deformations of the object and through processes of its withdrawal. By working across different media and drawing on diverse points of reference—literary, philosophical and artistic—his practice defies easy categorization and slips between disciplines. Not interested in collapsing distinctions between different discourses, he explores the impasses that occur in shifting between frames of reference, modes of expression and media, seeking to avoid the purported necessities of ‘good sense’ and the urge (social and psychological) to resolve contradiction. The different materials and media that he works with compose a complex web of references that hint at without defining a distinct sensibility, an attitude, or set of tastes, giving form to a vacant or lifeless substance, a subject that is there, but somehow absent, occupying a neutral zone between the animate and the inanimate.
His work has been exhibited in the United States and in Europe.
Li Xiaofei (b. 1973) is a Chinese artist who lives and works in Shanghai. He graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1998. Li is the Founder and Director of the Creek Art Center, Fei Contemporary Art Center (FCAC) Shanghai, and the Zendai Contemporary Art Exhibition Hall.
Li has been focusing on the
project since 2010. He has visited hundreds of factories in the delta of the Yangtze River. He has filmed interviews and engaged in dialogues with people working at these sites for production.
The videos deliberately mix artistic and documentary language. Images of the individual and the machines are constantly being cut up, restructured, transformed and rebuilt into an evocative reality. The repetitive nature of the films provokes the audience to think about production processes and the stories of the consumer products that surround them in their everyday lives.
Li's work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions internationally, including: Descriptive Acts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA (2012); Melancholy in Progress, 2012 Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition, Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2012); Reliquie als Fetisch in Kirche, Kunst & Konsum, Trier Contemporary Art Center, Trier, Germany (2012); JETLAG, Multimedia Contemporary Art in China, Kunsthalle Faust, Hanover, Germany (2012); Trans Media Fashion and Art Exhibition, Shanghai Sculpture Space, Shanghai, China (2012); Assembly Line, Li Xiaofei Solo Exhibition, Mandarins Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium; Ictus Gallery, San Francisco, USA; OV Gallery, Shanghai, China; Pretty Land Gallery, Krefeld, Germany (2012); Taiwanese Contemporary Art (TCA Project), ISCP, New York, USA (2011) among others.
Li has been the recipient of grants and awards from multiple organizations, including Asia New Zealand Foundation Wellington Grants, New Zealand (2013), Iaspis International Residency Grant, Stockholm (2013), the Sovereign Foundation Fellowship of Asian Cultural Council (Rockefeller Foundation), New York, USA (2011).
Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi / Pages
In 2004 Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi founded Pages, a collaboration that encompasses various joint projects and the production of a bilingual magazine in Farsi and English, entitled
. Their projects and the magazine’s editorial approach are closely linked, both described by the artists as “attempts in articulating the indecisive space between art and its historical condition”.
Their work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions internationally, including:
, Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK (2013);
, MACBA-Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain (2012);
, Les Ateliers de Rennes Biennial, Rennes, France (2012);
, 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012);
, 12th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2011);
, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany (2011);
, Witte de With Institute, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2011); Trust, Media City Seoul, Korea (2010);
, MAK Center/Schindler House, Los Angeles, USA (2009); Documenta 12 magazine project, Kassel, Germany (2007); and
Como viver junto
, 27th São Paulo Biennial, Brazil (2006).
Tabatabai and Afrassiabi live in Rotterdam and work both in the Netherlands and Iran. Currently they are Advising Researchers Fine Art at the Jan Van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Wu Tsang is a Los Angeles based artist, performer, and filmmaker. His projects have been presented at the 2012 Whitney Biennial and New Museum Triennial in New York, ICA Philadelphia, MOCA Los Angeles, Gwangju Biennial (South Korea), Tate Modern and Liverpool Biennial (UK). He was named one of 2012's “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by
, and is currently a Film Independent " Project:Involve" Fellow. His first feature
won the Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Documentary at Outfest 2012 [World Premiere: MoMA Documentary Fortnight (New York, NY), SXSW (Austin, TX), Hot Docs (Toronto, Canada), SANFIC8 (Santiago, Chile)]. He has received grants from Frameline, Art Matters, Center for Cultural Innovation, Tiffany Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Contemporary Art Foundation.