David Douard, S1CK 54LIVA, 2013, image: 1857

In Oslo, summer is full-on, accompanied by the hedonistic joys brought on by a tenacious sun that hardly ever sets. A current exhibition at 1857, heralded by a press release remarking, “Everything is more pleasant now that it is warm outside,” features the title “Sunbathers,” which may call to mind Morrissey’s mope-rock lyrics on the subject: “Nothing appears to be between the ears of the lazy sunbathers / Too jaded to question stagnation / The sun burns through to the planet‘s core / And it isn’t enough, they want more.” This exhibition brings an intensity akin to a sky aflame.

The Latin root of “vacation” is vacare, which means “to be empty.” Yet the voids of summertime can be replenishing, unfolding possibilities to realize untapped potential. The high-ceilinged room of 1857 beckons to the imagination, since its unfinished area can be altered to serve numerous functions, as do the multivalent artworks, which largely lean in two directions: Adele Röder’s Untitled, 2013, and its ilk display the human figure in a nostalgic, visceral manner, whereas David Douard’s S1CK 54LIVA, 2013, and Aude Pariset’s Hosted as Seen on Screen / Ultrasport Klappstuhl, 2013, appear futuristic and mechanized. Camilla Wills presents a variety of works, all with the same title—Psychic cabaret and crudités, 2013—including a video with text overlay, a pastel-hued silk-screen print, and a synthetic banner displaying a trio of feminine figures. These energetic media infiltrate the space, breeding curious thinking and moxie.

The exhibition features four artists who can claim Norway as neither their country of birth nor their site of residence and practice. In general, artistic investigations into immigration and colonization have increased in Scandinavia; much art being made here takes up the relationship between an immigrant artist’s citizenship or residency status and his or her work. And while, in most shows, emphasis is placed on work, production, and distribution, “Sunbathers” highlights a conscious shift toward leisure. Its introspective pause is progressive and charming.
To see the review in context, click here.

Edgar Cleijne & Ellen Gallagher, “Better Dimension”

Edgar Cleijne & Ellen Gallagher
Installation view. Image: Jacquelyn Davis.

Presenting collaborations between Dutch artist Edgar Cleijne and US artist and filmmaker Ellen Gallagher, ‘Better Dimension’ at Stockholm’s Bonniers Konsthall includes experimental works that provide socio-political commentary on US history and race relations from a cosmic, obscure distance. More »

Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA1)

Aslan Gaisumov
Aslan Gaisumov, People of No Consequence, 2016.

For the first Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, curator Katarina Gregos has chosen to view Latvia as ‘the center of the world,’ where other regions and nationalities become satellites. This is refreshing, for the Baltics have previously been considered to have a peripheral status. More »

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 »