Pamela Rosenkranz and Nikolas Gambaroff

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz, Firm Being (Soft May), 2011, image: Swiss Institute

Pamela Rosenkranz and Nikolas Gambaroff display works side by side in their respective shows, “This Is Not My Color” (Rosenkranz) and “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” (Gambaroff), for the Swiss Institute’s first exhibition in one of Jeffrey Deitch’s former gallery spaces. Twenty distinct pieces are strategically positioned in conversation with one another in Swiss Institute’s main space, and downstairs two projectors display Rosenkranz’s disturbing work Over My Brainbow, 2011, a haunting apparition of the Michael Jackson many will recognize from his later years. In one projection, Rosenkranz has superimposed a woman’s eyes over Jackson’s and they are taut, blinking, and hyperaware; his pale skin glows next to the other projection, which features a morphing rainbow’s ROYGBIV spectrum. The forced intimacy, between the two projections as well as between the viewer and the work itself, creates blatant discomfort and self-consciousness.

Both artists focus on the body as material and on the human figure as a reference point for closer philosophical inspection. Joining the ranks of people who have battled external forces set on pigeonholing or oversimplifying their existence, Rosenkranz and Gambaroff unveil the illusive notion of the human being as a prêt-à-porter item for consumption by reminding the viewer that though human qualities and traits are often compartmentalized or reduced in aesthetic objects, humanity remains irreplaceable. This is evident from the installation’s clean interior design aesthetic, which, in its evocation of showcase rooms promoting new apartments (and of modern-day domesticity in general), hints at the simultaneous appeal and danger of contrived plasticity. This point is further made by specific materials present, such as Evian water bottles filled with a flesh-toned substance, and tall lamp sculptures that stand alone, forcibly personified, on oversize rugs—placeholders for works previously sold. As such, these objects, especially the lamp, bring up comparisons between the individual, vapid household commodity, and artworks that are subject to liquidation. The exhibition suggests human beings are invaluable, as their wide array of traits, ambitions, and foibles are not, despite attempts, easily mimicked or represented, and thus cannot be sold. What it means to be human—that invitation to overused parody and abused metaphor—surfaces in these works, as we perceive the coincidence of vacancy intermingling with the substantive, inciting an urge to both preserve authenticity and to come to terms with the forged. Straightforward object or sly feint, organism or machine, original or reproduction—the line between such spheres is inspected, along with the ways science and technology simulate the real while expanding the unreal.
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 »