Leif Elggren, ”A Dormitory for Celebrities”

Leif Elggren
Leif Elggren, Bed, 2011, image: Galleri Niklas Belenius

Leif Elggren is unavoidable in Scandinavia: Not only is he known for his profound oeuvre of sound pieces and performances, his collaborative spirit (see his work with Thomas Liljenberg and their DIY initiative Firework Edition), and his insight into the absurdities of power and privilege but the artist also owns a specific style marked by his use of yellow and black, a color combination that he has claimed as his domain since 1977. In this exhibition, Y&B, 2013, and Y&B Bed, 2012, visually alert one to caution or danger. The show as a whole appears to be a retrospective culmination of Elggren’s serious yet sometimes humorous artistic inquiry into the perplexing contradictions between modern life and spirituality.

After a close reading of the text-based work Genealogy, 2005, it is apparent that Elggren harbors anarchistic tendencies and a robust skepticism of political figures conveniently situated in power. The steel engravings of Eight Queens, 2013, for example, picture nameless female authority figures from previous eras, encouraging the viewer to consider history’s respective position in today’s art and society. In another work, Under the Couch, 2013, the artist, dressed in undergarments similar to those his father wore during his last days, is pictured writhing underneath Sigmund Freud’s famous couch. To complement this work, Elggren invites one to peruse versions of his own bed-as-sculpture in Bed, 2011, a reproduction of the intimate site where the artist throughout his life has sketched many of his ideas. Often seen publicly wearing a self-made tin crown as if a caricatured nobleman, Elggren continues to lay claim over his kingdom unscathed (one example being the digital realm Elgaland-Vargaland, coreigned with conceptual artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff) through unique investigations into the binds of both familial and sovereign lineage.

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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 »

“Personal”

Dziurlikowska
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 »