Annika Larsson, ”Animal”

Annika Larsson, Animal (in 14 Movements), 2012, image: Andréhn-Schiptjenko

Annika Larsson’s fourth exhibition at a gallery located in what Stockholm refers to as their “art palace” in Vasastan, ”Animal,” is a curious display focusing on the rapport between the human and animal from multiple angles: anthropological, psychological, theoretical, political—to name a few. More specifically, this show focuses on the philosophical concept of the human as yet another evolving species in flux and becoming.

Stories between and among the animal and human (ranging from real to synthetic to mythological) are numerous, from the proverbial folktale Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault from 1697, to Homer’s epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey from around the 8th century BCE (e.g. the big, bad wolf and the Trojan horse). Based on traditional stories like these, we interpret and represent the energies of specific animals. Larsson’s exhibition focuses on “power” animals such as the wolf, bear, panda and kangaroo—all of which possess their own spiritual underpinnings and intriguing narratives. For instance, the kangaroo’s animal spirit is known for its balance, focus and intuition. A gallery wall is painted black; the following text Untitled, 2012 allows entrance into this creature’s world:

Your feet are now longer, covered in orange fur and have three toes, the middle one being far longer than the outer two. A look around to your back and you’ll see a large lower body with a thick tail attached to it. You’re still somewhat bipedal but when hopping you know you’ll be in a stance that’s almost quadrupedal. You’ve become a kangaroo. The idea is absurd yet here you are standing in what may or may not be the outback wearing nothing but fur!

Additional works in the exhibition include: black-&-white drawings; notes and collage works composing A Musical Score for Animal, 2012; two tiny videos approximately one minute in length titled A Hole – Wolf & Panda, 2012 which can be viewed from within a wooden peephole box (missed entirely by those who lack initiative to see what exists inside); a sculptural object of burnt clay depicting a slender creature between human and animal—standing upright, protected in a glass box—titled Löwenmensch, 2012. The centerpiece is a forty-one-minute long video loop Animal (in 14 Movements), 2012 which mesmerizes with synthesized scenes of plushy animals (i.e. “fursuiters” as the press release calls them or ”furries” as innumerable fairly creepy fanboy/porn sites describes them) interacting with humans in a psychedelic zone where the two harmoniously coexist.

Eerie fursuiters dance, hug and play with humans who graciously accept their presence. The documentary is addictive; one is invited to live vicariously through their anonymity. These creatures do not appear consequentially tied to their actions in the same way humans are, yet there are scenes where fursuiters express human-like traits: empathy and a benevolent connection with those both similar and different. The fourteen movements could be interpreted as steps towards a state of losing or forgetting one’s self, desiring an undefined state of change—if nothing else. For better or worse, resorting to the animal within is nothing new.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
To see the review in context, click here.

Johannes Heldén, “The Exploding Book”

Johannes Heldén
Johannes Heldén, Clouds, 2017.

As one enters the space temporarily designated for Swedish artist and poet Johannes Heldén’s The Exploding Book at Konstakademin’s in Stockholm, one detects that Heldén is receptive to nuance; each creative gesture confirms his dedication to both text and image, expressed with equitable consideration. More »

Malin Gabriella Nordin, “Floating from Within”

Malin Gabriella Nordin, Veil of Dreams, 2017. Image: Gallery Steinsland Berliner.

Stockholm-based artist Malin Gabriella Nordin is one of many Swedish women artists who resort to the basics – or perhaps the old ways, meaning they’re not particularly interested in the digital. More »

“Survival Kit 9”

Andris Eglītis, Laboratory of Poetic Research, 2017. Image: Jacquelyn Davis.

The 9th edition of Survival Kit is orchestrated by a small team of Baltic and Scandinavian curators: Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Solvita Krese and Inga Lāce. All possess a background in organizing independently and within the confines of institutions, which may be their strong point—their fluidity. More »

The 9th Momentum Biennial

Jenna Sutela, Sporulating Paragraph, 2017. Image: Momentum 9.

Momentum 9, taking place in the industrial town of Moss, Norway, is being curated by Ulrika Flink, Ilari Laamanen, Jacob Lillemose, Gunhild Moe, and Jón B.K. Ransu, who together represent the Scandinavian region. With this biennial’s focus on ‘alienation’, the curators joined forces to determine how alien processes and entities are infused in our lives through technological, ecological and social transformations. More »

Klas Eriksson, “Vet din mamma var du e?”

Klas Eriksson
Klas Eriksson, Evidence of Patchwork, 2017. Image: Göteborgs Konsthall.

Swedish artist Klas Eriksson has developed a practice rooted in examining subcultures via works in public spaces and spontaneous performances. With an interest in how power flows and how crowds function, the artist attempts to unpack sociopolitical dynamics using playful tactics. More »

Lovisa Ringborg, “Night Remains”

Lovisa Ringborg
Lovisa Ringborg, Fountain, 2017. Image: Cecilia Hillström Gallery.

In Lovisa Ringborg’s second exhibition at this gallery, the artist upholds the argument that displaying a set of harmonious works can be more potent than a plethora of free-floating entities. More »

Przemek Pyszczek, “1989”

Przemek Pyszczek
Przemek Pyszczek, Public Relief No 6, 2016. Image: Gallery Belenius.

Polish-born, Canadian-raised, Berlin-based artist Przemek Pyszczek displays new works which are primarily sculptural and mixed media, with stints into collage. More »

Ulf Rollof, “Kleptomaniac”

Ulf Rollof
Ulf Rollof, Hungry Stranded, 2016. Image: CFHILL.

Sequestered above the restaurant Nosh & Chow in Stockholm (designed by Barcelona-based Lázaro Rosa-Violán), renowned Swedish artist Ulf Rollof’s current solo exhibition is the last installment in a trilogy that began in Mexico City. More »


Magdalena Dziurlikowska, Corona Radiata, 2016. Image: Gotlands Konstmuseum.

Differentiating between public and private spheres can be challenging. This group exhibition focuses on how one might successfully share a subjective experience when most individuals are conditioned to distance themselves from others. More »