Belenius

Simon Mullan — Alpha

21.08—25.09.2014

As the world is globalised the local is polarised, tribes become increasingly based on ideology rather than ethnicity. Kids from the same street wearing the same clothes express their belonging to different clans of the intellect (well…) by which hue they pick for their nylon Alpha Industries MA-1 military flight jackets: neo-nazis – green; graffers – blue; hoodlums – black; turks – red; gays – silver; et cetera. Presumably Orwell or Huxley could not have imagined how well the human aptitude for conformity would fulfil their aesthetic visions of dystopia.

Platform Stockholm, August 2011.

Maestro Mullan stands in the middle of an industrial courtyard, conducting a thundering sound performance from the sub-woofers of super-tuned Audis circled around him, their neon lights beaming in the black night. The species is different, but this is the exact same behaviour exhibited by the vivid birds of paradise or the peacock – male adolescents aesthetically signalling their reproductive advantages, in part by displaying a vulnerability; an invitation to attack.

Simon Mullan is attentive to these instinctive idiosyncrasies. Not for criticism or fetischism, just for observation.

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Galleri Niklas Belenius is pleased to present Carl Michael von Hausswolff´s second solo exhibition at the gallery.

For the past several years Hausswolff has continued to explore the possibility of exposing different architectural and topographical settings with red light. The exhibition brings together five photographs from his Red series.

By photographing different settings using high-voltage red light, the image itself, or rather the subject of it, emanates from the means by which it is conveyed. The subject in question becomes transformed by its color bath into a real-world monochrome. The image thus becomes a painting in its own right through the monochromatic use of color where the transformative power of light and dark creates a painterly texture and nuance. The monochromatic surface also becomes an examination of changing values across the surface suggesting that repetition can in fact never produce the same meaning.

Even though the photographs offer no reference other than the viewer´s own, Hausswolff´s work is always rooted in a special relationship with the place itself. Red Dawn (2009) is portraying the ruins of German military leader Hermann Goering´s hunting lodge in the Kaliningrad area, Russia, (formerly Königsberg, Eastern Prussia). Through the forest the ruins of the former lodge is barely discernable, as the structure has slowly been erased by nature. By rewriting the history of a particular site brought to life with the color red, the image itself questions history´s disturbing sense of permanency. The overall tone is that of positive reflection on the ephemeral nature of existence and absence but one that never exceeds into nostalgia.

In one of the other recent photographs in the series, Red Cochineal (2007) several Nopal cacti are illuminated in the Mexican countryside. Here the almost invisible female shield louse, the cochineal, works as the extended narrative of the picture. The insect is used to produce Crimson dye; a strong, bright, deep red color that was particularly sought after in Central America in the 15th century by the Spaniards for coloring fabrics. The parasite became an important export product during the colonial period and contributed to the enslavement of the indigenous population by the colonialists. The picture is the resulting encounter between something that is transient in its contingency, yet charged with its own inherent history.

In addition, the newly published book RED (1999-2010) is released in conjunction with the exhibition and includes all red works in the photographic and installation series by Hausswolff, with text written by Daniel Birnbaum.

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Reflected in a drop of oil

03.06—27.06.2010

Thora Dolven Balke
Heidi Johansen
Stian Ådlandsvik
Steinar Haga Kristensen
Anders Smebye
Anders Dahl Monsen

Reflected in a drop of oil

Curated by Linus Elmes

It was late fall 2009, we were a few Swedes who had strolled around Vigelands Park during the day and laughed at the sculptures. Someone in the group re-named Vigelands monument The Giant Dick and talked admiringly about the less famous brother, Emanuel Vigeland, who dedicated his life to building one of Oslo’s best-kept secrets; A mausoleum made in tribute to their mother with explicit sculptures and incestuous erotic scenes painted on the walls.

That night I stepped through the door of Freddy Knox1, an artist run space inside a backyard in Fredensborg. They had opened only a few weeks earlier and it must have been their second exhibition.

I did not expect to meet something so apart and characteristic as Heidi Johansen’s wildly starring Bart. Roughly hewed like a totem, painted in tone colours, and ready to dig into a Hot Dog he dislodged my logic. But Bart just stood there grinning without any consideration for my expectations. Clearly I was the outsider within this context and not him.

When I left Freddy Knox that night, where Bart the Absolute stayed behind with the others, it felt like I left behind a piece of my former life there with them. I parted from something and that feeling absorbed me completely. I pondered this while slowly walking away, left with a profound sensation. Like descending into deep water, all the way to the bottom and realising that only through seeking the cause itself, through intense self-reflection could the feeling be transformed into some sort of insight.

Bart had initiated an exhibition that would introduce six young Norwegian artists whom already had made their international breakthroughs to a Swedish audience. He had pointed out the direction, and all I had to do was follow his instructions…

It became an introduction to a number of artists and places interlinked by coincidences so fragile that they are almost unspeakable of. They are not included in a homogenous scene or a monumental movement. Although they belong to the same generation, they lack mutual idiom, case, themes and figures. Still it is a special coherence, with so many mutual experiences and shared memories. There is a connection between them and they have all engaged, individually, collectively and at different levels in an asymmetrical and instable scene that is both the product and simultaneously the logical consequence of being an artist here. Not just by expressing something of themselves, through themselves and defining their own place, but also by creating an individual coherence and at the same time pronouncing that the whole institutionalised exclusive outlook on art is really enough not to be an artist at all.

An art scene can be composed of a series of independent factors such as expression, degree of priority, intensity, concept of reality or critical standpoint in relation to society and institutions, the degree of psychological insight and spiritual state, technological skilfulness and visionary strength as well as a variety of other qualities. But a series of successive independent individuals with various different temperaments, emotional lives; levels of knowledge, preferences and tastes also compose a scene. These artists have got a common base of experience through their shared environment. They have grown up in Norway during the good years. They have, apart from a few exceptions, attended the same school. They have grown up with movies about computer hackers uttering lines such as: “Fuck with the best – die like the rest”. They have grown up in a country where the prime minister has proclaimed that a winning mentality is a national trait. In numerous ways it is ‘new money’ and cheerfully populist, not to mention that the massive support for FRP constitutes an expression for naïve thoughtlessness.

But at the same time there are intelligent counter-movements in Norwegian society, like Georg Johannesen’s, whose wrath rages against an ‘industry of stupidity’. For instance he has said, loosely translated from Norwegian, that the texts in newspapers are a dream, dreamed by American ladies with shares in the war industry. And that is true. I am not claiming that Norway, or Oslo with its frozen pizza, heavy metal, oil billions, Christianity and immigrated labouring Swedes is more weird, schizophrenic or contradictory than any other country. Or maybe it is? Oslo is a city where in principal it is impossible to get eatable food despite very good ingredients. At the same time there are isolated gourmet phenomena like Tim Wendelboe, manifold barista champion who serves sensationally good coffee. It is like finding a pearl in a fetid, dead clam. So there definitely exist totally unique characteristics and I think that the environment and the climate, even in their most banal components must affect which type of art and artists that are produced.

Anders Smebyes Noll is a replica of Jan Teigens stage costume from the Eurovision Song Contest 1974, a ceremonial shaman costume designed for a journey towards the origin of Norwegian folk soul. Later in the 70s, Jan Teigen won Eurovision Song Contest with the song Mile after Mile and went to Paris to represent Norway in the final. Even though greatly optimistic to the chance of victory he left with zero points. Despite this, or maybe because of this enormous defeat, Teigen reached cult status. “ He became a fantasy fixed star who never died out but instead just rose and rose.[…] Everyone was expected to have an opinion about this Norwegian faun, the satyr in Willoch’s pasture. Teigen was a suburban Dionysius from the nine-to-five working and phone queuing monopoly-regulated Norway. A collective safety regulator for the sublime in the protestant work ethic, representing the ecstatic, positively irrational and playful in the structurally rationalized technocratic socialist state.”2

Since I moved from Stockholm to Oslo to become director of UKS I have often been asked to define what separates these two Nordic capitals. It is a silly question. Everything differs: The language, the nature, the culture, the character, the debate, the wealth, the perspective, the temperature, the immigration policy, the humour, the pace, the pondering, the thinking, the drinking, the fiddling, the itching, the fucking, the gossiping, the doing, the finding, the making, the creating, the heckling, the developing…

Norway and Sweden are no more alike than Dubai and Albania. (Sweden is by the way called the Albania of Scandinavia) What do you know about Norway? Do you know how it feels to breath the air in Oslo? Have you seen the wall where it says: “PARTY SWEDES; GO HOME”? Can you imagine what it is like where you never been? Did Carl Larsson know what it was like to be Christian Krogh? Can you compare Munch with Zorn?

The geography of thought has got its own map. It has been a privilege to be introduced to new places such as Dortmund Bodega3, a previous strip club on Grünerløkka, now an exhibition space for art. It is as close to nihilism as you can get in contemporary art. It is not, as many might think, a question about low culture versus high culture, it is against all culture. Leander Djønne sits behind the brown bar wearing a lusekofta and carves dried reindeer meat with an enormous knife. And it is a damn big deal, for real, in life.

The early 21st century has produced a large number of artist run spaces in Oslo, Rekord, Dortmund Bodega, Freddy Knox and Bastard are just a few. There are great examples of next to anti-mythical dimensions. Sverre Strandberg and Anna Daniell have been running “Planka” at home in their kitchen. It is what it sounds like, a plank in the ceiling where they invite artists and curates epic exhibitions. The epitome and presence of these initiatives constitutes a crucial part of the art scene here, it is impossible to deny their power, they are premise-providers and they have positioned themselves as such important players that the Cultural Affairs and Cultural Council now runs a three-year long pilot with full funding of artist-run spaces. Within this context, two of these initiatives are worth looking closer at. Bastard, run by Anders Smebye and Rekord where Thora Dolven Balke was one of the initiators.

Rekord was started in collaboration between Ingvild Langgård, Erin Støen and Thora Dolven Balke in 2007. According to themselves they were driven by a need to challenge the defined power within the established commercial galleries and institutions that they felt dominated the art scene in Oslo at that time. Rekord has founded several young important artistic careers and have at times filled the role of the larger institutions by exhibiting young, Norwegian artists alongside international, dead and forgotten, or more established artists. Rekord has not reduced visual art to theoretical concepts but have instead confronted the audience with vulnerability and humanity. Real or constructed, live or framed, aesthetic or dirty, explicit or inaccessible, they have let the artists work on their own terms.

Anders Smebye started Bastard in 2005, and the name itself implies a hybrid of some kind, between art and life. Bastard has operated equally as a place for social events as for exhibitions. The exhibitions have often had simple and raw expression, concluded in appropriation, theft and low-budget production. While it has been one of the most important art spaces in Oslo for a long time it has also periodically functioned as Anders’s studio and housing. Art and life, life and art.

I have had the privilege to take part in this scene, to get to know it and in some way also become part of it. On one occasion I was invited as a speaker to a marathon-seminar session, “The Parallel Action4” at Bastard. 37,5 hours of uninterrupted lectures, matching the duration of a Norwegian working week. I talked about Truth and was supposed to wear a red clown nose but instead Anders Smebye taped half a passion fruit to my face. Bread, soup and beer were served. The audience were wrapped up in blankets after a long night.

Somebody told a story about an artist who was the personal assistant of a mentally retarded guy with a very vivid imagination. On a day off his phone rings and on the other line he hears a very excited and proud voice. You have to come over, you have to come over, I caught a troll. He explains that it is his day off and he cannot come over but nothing seems to be helping. The voice repeats the same thing with increasing excitement. You have to come over, you have to come over, I caught a troll. You have to come over, you have to come over, I caught a troll. He eventually goes over, steps into the hallway and sees the bathroom door barricaded with furniture. Together they hastily remove everything. When they finally open the door he discovers a dwarf standing there with a collection box in his hand.

Anders Dahl Monsens allegorical abuse of one of the 17th century’s most important socialist slogans hung on one of the walls. According to rumour he is the laziest artist in Norway and you could try to interpret that, but I do not think it matters. He portrays a condition that is the effect of abundance. It sheds light on the class issue in a country with an enormous oil wealth and which already in 1821 – the same year as Louis Vuitton was born – revoked nobility in the assembly so no one no longer could enjoy class related privileges. Today it is completely classless to own a Louis Vuitton handbag in Oslo.

The Norwegian oilfields have beautiful names such as Eldfisk, Embla and Albuskjell, and every year Statoil hands out a big art price. Maybe the world could have been different if the result of a meeting about territorial boundaries in the North Sea between the Danish and Norwegian foreign ministers in 1963 would have resulted in another way. The Danish foreign minister Per Haekkerup was a legendary drinker and notorious for his wild parties in the ministry. His Norwegian colleague Halvard Lange was the complete opposite, orderly and dutiful. When the treaty was finally signed in Oslo, Denmark had voluntary renounced the area where Norway later found its first and largest oil finds,

Eskofiskfältet. Stian Ålandsvik has submerged in the political affair and has identified it as the critical point in history where Norway assimilated its wealth. The division was based on the centre-line policy that was established as one of two basic principles at the Geneva Convention in 1953. Denmark practised this policy in all of its division negotiations during the 50’s but could have insisted on the other main policy in the Geneva Convention that was based on sea-depth. With this set-up the territorial border would have been different and Norway would have lost major parts of these important oil finds and we would have had to write another kind of history. The empty Johnnie Walker bottle that Per Haekkerup consumed during the meeting is now kept in a secret room in the National museum in Oslo as a holy relic.

If there is logic in all of this it is my own. A subjective iconography made of informal points of reference. All names mentioned of people and places are important parts of a scene and extensions of a structure and a society. This introduction is a cut-out, a segment of what is happening in Oslo right now, and it describes something about the mechanisms and functions in motion.

When I saw Thora Dolven Balkes works for the first time in Elmgreen and Dragset’s staging of an art collector’s home up for sale (presented in the Venice Biennale in 2009) I had never met her. (Maybe once?) If you where there you might remember the two high-backed green couches with a low table in between them, on top of which a yellow family album with polaroid pictures (Safety Measures) was placed. Elmgreen and Dragset used them as uncanny reminders of a family album, and as a narrative element. The pictures in the album were alive regardless of me and just like images in a dream, they escaped every conscious glance. Later on Thora and I have become friends, but parts of her personal history I know best through her pictures. I think of them as diary notes, they tell an essential story and give us access to a greater insight to society as well as to the individual. Did she look like that? Has she got a new boyfriend? If there exists an unconscious Norway of dreams then this is it. Is it possibly a love story? Like all love stories it is hopeless to write because the object of love is impossible to subsume and classify. The loved one cannot be caught in some kind of stereotype. “The loved one is Astonishing, the special Image that miraculously appears like an answer to the unique in my desire5” I love people who sing even though they should be crying. I love people who don’t do what they should. It ought to be forbidden to follow the rules.

Steinar Haga Kristensen doesn’t follow any rules. I curated his solo exhibition at UKS in 2009. That time we struggled with the exhibition text and countless versions were sent back and forth. Steinar had commissioned music from a composer and had written a libretto. Two opera singers and a harpist acted as visitors from the future. They had travelled back to see Steinar’s exhibition because in the future, it marked the critical moment when contextual relativism succumbed. They walked around in the exhibition and celebrated each piece. It was about an idle running sensibility-factory, about how we no longer can stomach anything that lasts. For me it was not only the content itself and the relation to what existed before but also the utilisation of the time aspect that was important. To move the storyline forward and let it play out in the future, if only just suggestively, creates a kickback in history. Steinar represents a historical heritage; he is the essence of the Christiania-bohemian, a descendant in a declining rank, but maybe the other way around, reversed, reciprocal and explicit at the same time when he ritualises the studio situation in a private gesture.

Deconstruction. Starvation. Desperation. We are lost. Ladies and gentlemen, we are lost. A fanfare.

Toot. Toot. Tooot-toot-toot. Toot-tooot-toot-toot. Toot-toooot-toot-toot toooot-toot-toot-toot-toooot toot-toot. Toooot-toot-toot. Toot. Toot-toooot-toot-toot-toooot-toot-toot.Toot-toooot-toot-toot-toooot-toooot-toot-toot. Toot-tooot-toot-toot-toooot-toooooot-toot. Toot-toooot-toot-toot-toooot-toot-toot. Toot-toot-toot-toooot-toot-toot. Toot-toooot-toot-toot-toooot-toot-toot. Toot-toooot-toot-toot-toooot-toot-toot. Toot-toooot-toot-toot-toooot-toot-toot. Toot -toot-toot. Toot-toot-toot. Toooot-toot-toot. Toot-toooot-toot-toot.

Linus Elmes, Oslo

April 2010

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John Duncan — The Dream House

02.09—19.09.2010

Galleri Niklas Belenius is pleased to present the second solo exhibition at the gallery by John Duncan.

In the installation The DREAM HOUSE each room is specifically designed to evoke a specific state of consciousness. Assembled together they form a multi-story structure based on the form of the human brain. The exhibition will include new works such as several tableaux pieces and abstract drawings portraying the different ‘chambers of the mind’. Duncan portrays his work as a catalyst confronting the viewer with questions about human existence where the revealing reactions and experiences perceived by the audience contributes to the work itself. His unrestrained exploration and interaction with the deepest layers of the human psyche and the traumatic invites the participants to reflect on hidden emotional responses. Duncan is a multi-media artist and has gained notability for his forceful work with sound. His body of work span from confrontational performance events to installations and video art. For this exhibition he has chosen an exclusively visual form of expression.

Excert from a talk with John Duncan prior to The DREAM HOUSE exhibition.

NB: Your work is often actively inviting and challenging the viewer to participate in a process of investigation and self-discovery. What do you wish the audience to experience when visiting The DREAM HOUSE?

JD: What I wish to experience, as a visitor, is a different way to conceive the processes going on in my head, to consider how they’re connected or lead into each other, the possibility of recombining them. The overall structure of The DREAM HOUSE is based on the physical structure of the human brain, with room modules dedicated to specific behaviors, placed in areas of the building that correlate to where they’re known or thought to be in the actual brain.

NB: Your practice has been perceived to engage in existential research and in many ways to inquire into the hidden aspects of human nature. Can you elaborate on this statement?

JD: I can say that I think of art as a tool, a method to expand that research and take it further, that the research itself is what’s essential.

NB: A certain shock-value has been associated with your practice throughout your artistic career. Is there any parallel between how you use these ´´provocative´´aspects with the intent to create a reaction or participation from your audience?

JD: Again, what’s essential is the research. What I do in my work is to deal with situations that I’m faced with in some way in life, to find ways to ‘work through’ them. What I hope to see as a participant in these presentations is a moment where I learn something, percieve differently. I don’t see the situations in art that I set up as ‘provocations’; I see them as offerings, portals, open to anyone willing to go further than a cursory summing up of their own psychic makeup, to learn what we can from the experiences they catalyse. Sometimes the unexpected, shock or other forms of confusion, is part of the process, a collateral effect that doesn’t last. Unless the participant feels threatened by it, which is a part of her or his own psyche and is her or his responsibility to manage.

John Duncan was born in the United States in 1953, has lived and worked in Tokyo and Amsterdam and currently resides in Bologna where he teaches audio art at the Accademia delle Belle Arti. His events and installations have recently been held at Färgfabriken and Gallery Niklas Belenius in Stockholm, Ex-Teresa in Mexico City, XSNOSA in Palermo, Netmage 7 in Bologna, PX2 and PX3 in Piombino, O’Artoteca in Milan, Atlantic Waves in London, The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston, Eco e Narciso in Turin, MUTEK in Montreal, The Compound in San Francisco, Teatro Fondamenta Nuova in Venice, Teatro Piccolo Jovinelli in Rome, the Noorlands Operan in Umeå, Fylkingen in Stockholm, the 2nd Gothenburg Biennial and Galleria Enrico Fornello in Prato. He has performed with Musica Nova in Tel Aviv and Zeitkratzer in Berlin, directing these ensembles in live events. His CD releases THE CRACKLING (1996 with Max Springer), TAP INTERNAL (2000), PALACE of MIND (2001 with Giuliana Stefani), FRESH (2002 with Zeitkratzer), PHANTOM BROADCAST (2002), INFRASOUND-TIDAL (2003), THE KEENING TOWERS (2003) and NINE SUGGESTIONS (2005 with Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen, a.k.a. Pan Sonic) are all considered by critics and composers alike to be benchmarks in the field of experimental music. His work in radio, video and performance has been shown recently at the Getty Center (Evidence of Movement and California Video) as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles (Out of Actions:Between Performance and its Objects, 1998); the Osterreichisches Museum für Angewandte Kunst (MAK), Vienna; Museu d’Arte Contemporani, Barcelona (MACBA); and Museum of Tokyo (MOT)

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Ivana Franke

14.10—07.11.2010

Gallery Niklas Belenius is pleased to present the second solo exhibition at the gallery by Ivana Franke.

There is a story about a certain optical phenomena that happens while looking at someone, or yourself in the mirror long enough, at some point, this person´s image disappears, dissolves into a fog. Ephemerality of appearances and finitude of forms and the way they are experienced, understood and responded to or simply made in time are frequent topics in Ivana Franke´s work.

The series of drawings presented in this exhibition – Thinking dimensions (n-cube) – speak about the process of slowly getting lost in complex abstract counter-intuitive conceptions of space, represented through several projection graphs. These graphs are used in visualizing structures of the higher dimensional regular polytopes. In each drawing one dimension is added, the addition of lines unfold further spaces and the lines multiply until they finally become happily raveled or blur together.

Franke´s work investigates the concept of visibility and space. The sculptural piece Boxed-in infinite polyhedron is an object made of transparent acrylic glass and is a fragment of space filling polyhedra, which is in theory, by mathematical definition infinite. The rigid materiality and solidity of the object is partially canceled out by the transparency and reflectivity of the acrylic glass as they bring forth an encounter with many faces simultaneously. Reflections follow the viewers pace of movement and extend the gaze in time, while empty space and reified volume exchange in perception.

Tensegrity wall is a construction made of steel rods connected with thin wire that engraves the space. The large-scale installation physically divides the gallery, breaks the shortest path, and directs the visitors movement. At the same time it opens the space into itself, into multiply new spaces inside of it. The construction could be used for measuring through the space – the distance between you and me at the moment, as it renders spatial relations visible.

Her exhibitions include P.S.1 Center for Contemporary Art, New York; the Venice Architecture Biennale; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; the Venice Biennale; Reykjavik Experiment Marathon; Manifesta 7

Ivana Franke was born in 1973 in Zagreb and she currently lives and works in Berlin.

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Galleri Niklas Belenius is proud to present The truth about this work (2010), a site-specific video installation by Loulou Cherinet that has recently been shown at Manifesta 8.

During a car trip through Slovenia we stopped at country store for supplies. We bought two litres of 96,6% pure alcohol. On the flight home we spiked our drinks with considerable amounts from one of the bottles. The taxi journey from Arlanda is eternally etched in my memory, it was sleet outside, and I cooled one hand through the open window and placed the other on her forehead. The lights along the motorway, the smell of leather from the car coupé, the cold air from the outside and the heat from the alcohol that incinerated and radiated through the delicate skin in her forehead. Imagine how the palm of our hand register hallucinatory fragments, how it reads and renders a meaningful message there in the backseat. Essential basic naive mental layers interacting with more defined and developed structures. Conclusions based on experience are in compromise with standpoints of a fundamental cultural, and moralistic nature. It is a cognitive narrative in real-time. Not a passive contemplation but a doing, an active acting. A hierarchy composed by forces and counter-forces that are unified and concluded in a densified story, in an image of a human being. An image fulfilled, containing all the unconscious material that the conscious has displaced, everything that do not exist in the official repertoire. It has to be real. The time in Washington, the welding sparks and the cigarettes. The time in Indonesia, the great paintings, the water leak in the ceiling. The return journey, the knife incident, love, impotency and insanity. The bars in Gothenburg, Hayward Gallery, Moderna Museet, Centre Georges Pompidou and the Mori Art Museum. The miracle in Vienna, the implausible high odds winner at the race tracks who saved the economy. And here we are – right at the heart of the result and at the centre of a construction – with access to new works. A configured basic material in a materialised format, half encoded, half projected or projected because it is encoded. Just lift your hand to the forehead and make yourself aware.
Linus Elmes, Oslo, 2010

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A fountain and its natural form, the spring, are symbols of the miraculous life-begetting ‘élan vital’ that permeates the universe. In fact, life on earth is now thought to have begun in the nutrient-rich plumes of undersea hydrothermal vents, real-life fountains of life. But, when the image of the source is mimicked as Water Feature, a merely decorative, self-contained electric fountain, the maternalistic life-force is perverted into what amounts to abject MILF porn. The Water Feature is so wasteful and self-indulgent that it becomes the straw man in the argument against contemporary art as useless blubber for the tasteless elite. But— can’t home and garden decor give back a little bit? Can’t we efficiently retrofit some of our ‘criminal ornaments’ for a fairer future? If there is some leftover space inside their faux-marble fiberglass hollowness, we can definitely squeeze some useful nanotech in there— right? Let’s finally answer Joseph Bueys famous challenge, “Kann Plastik die Welt verandern?”—can sculpture change the world? with a resounding “YES!”…as long as that sculpture contains a state-of-the-art-kick-ass-energy-efficient-linux-micro-PC that is totally discovering a cure for cancer.

A group of spectacular cast-fiberglass fountains stand together on an elevated server-room floor. A Fit PC 2 (the smallest PC currently available, 96% more energy efficient than a standard desktop) is installed in each water feature. Whenever the fountains are plugged in, the Linux PC’s will automatically boot up and run World Community Grid software, a distributed computing project which uses a massive network of PC’s around the world to model solutions for various humanitarian problems, such as: “Clean Energy Project”, “Influenza Antiviral Drug Search”, “ Fight Aids@home” and “Nutritious Rice for the World”. The delightful splashing of the water and twinkle of the energy-efficient LED’s act as relaxing and meditative status-light for the computers, tirelessly laboring within. Although there is no screen visible in the installation, the computation progress can be remotely monitored through a dedicated website.
Throw in a coin, and make a wish….introducing, World Community Grid Water Features by AIDS-3D

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A short story by Swedish novelist Stig Dagerman inspired a series of painted stage directions, featuring an ambiguous drama of God and Newton. The paintings draw upon ideas in the text, merged with the artist’s interest in a shack-like condition best described as “a sustained moment in time where collapse is imminent.”

Newton is in his London study on the night of his death. The air is raw with fog, the candles lit. When God pays the scientist a visit, a battle of desire and vanity ensues where neither God nor mortal are entirely redeemed. The stage folds into itself, the characters merge into one another, and miracles are reversed when Newton gambles for the deity’s human shape. In a shack on the street outside the gallery the most precious of substances, silence, is collected in amber jars.

good,

thaw the I

sand us ray

You are all familiar with that first scene from the new country: A few shacks in a field, morning mist dissolving imperceptibly and rapidly at the same time. Any thought disrupting this hypnotic presence must be addressed to god, as an idea. What we see here is a workplace without mercy. The turpentine, the dust and the boards are all elements of an involuntary state of exile, brought about by internal forces, contaminating the body. Labor executed here is unimaginably heavy, with severe restrictions on both air and imagination. Pause is out of the question.

Each effort is painfully hard; feet slip in shoddy mud, sweat attracts insects and the blistery hands are full of splinters; sleep and nutrition sorely lacking. Spirits haunt within and without in this place that consumes its inhabitants.

The installation “Skjul för tystnads skull/” Shack for the purpose of silence” is part of the ongoing project “un

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