When I interviewed Ilja Karilampi in the spring of 2014, he drew an analogy between being an artist and working as a detective inspector. Both being professions on the fringe of society, they work meticulously to solve things, more often than not using unorthodox methods. They have irregular working hours, always being on duty. They see patterns that no one else can see. They never give up. Seeing his new work, these similarities begin to dawn upon me.
In Faze Miyake, symbols and references taken from society and popular culture are interweaved with transient expressions of identity and selfhood. Brand logos and stylized icons are combined with personal quotes and images on large boards of plexiglas or aluminium, not unlike the collages of suspects and clues seen in detective TV-series. And not unlike the series’ designated star, Ilja Karilampi takes the spectator through a maelstrom of traces and signs, where every element suggests a deeper underlying story and a new dimension of truth.
In the case of Faze Miyake, Karilampi gives way to a myriad of voices and characters, all filtered through his strikingly simple visual language. One of them is the exhibition’s eponym, Faze Miyake, a British-Pakistani DJ and producer, who in his weekly Rinse.fm radio shows bring out the latest and most progressive tracks from the underground music scene. With music being one of Karilampi’s main sources of inspiration, Faze Miyake becomes a symbol for the new and unconventional, what the artist himself would describe as next level. Disguised behind a fictitious moniker, Faze Miyake also serves to illustrate the mystifying of pop culture and their public personas, a recurrent theme in Karilampi’s practice.
Another character included in the exhibition is Swedish artist and director Axel Petersén, whose upcoming thriller Under the Pyramid inspired several of the exhibition’s most recent works, made as possible set design for the movie. A third voice is Nhu Duong’s, fashion designer and friend of Karilampi’s, whose name figures in one of the plexiglas pieces, superimposed on a stylized fence patterns next to a trefoil knot symbol and an excerpt in Arabic.
Together, the various characters create an erratic narrative, unfolding in three parts. The first one, presented in the front room of the gallery, contains large-scale boards of laser cut plexiglas mounted in sculptural aluminium frames, while the second one comprises similar works in engraved aluminium. To get to the final part of the exhibition, one has to go through a balcony door and step into a UV-lit backroom, where a couple of brightly coloured wall-pieces are accompanied by soundtrack.
The most extensive exhibition of Karilampi’s work to be shown in Sweden, Faze Miyake is a meandering exposé of the artist’s multilayered universe, a fragmentary story told through a number or characters and scenes, symbols and signs. Moving between the representational and the self-reflective, the exhibition is a meditation on the times we live in as much as a self-portrait, a cold case with no solution in sight.
Our current exhibition on Jakobs torg 3 will feature a solo-presentation by Alexander Gutke (b. 1971), a Swedish-born artist with a mainly international presence. His approach to installation, film and sculpture is conceptual and minimalist, yet there is often a surreal component that can seem animistic, due to an esoteric focus on the technical media that has delivered many of our pop-cultural experiences.
Belenius/Nordenhake will present for the 2015 edition of ARCOmadrid three recent videos by Alexander Gutke from a series of five; Draw (2014), zoom in on some minimal theatrical spectacles of spontaneously combusting vintage matchbooks. Unfolding through changing image formats, Gutke`s seductive sequences, similarly to previous film-based works, reveal a studious process and dramaturgy. Held against a monochrome dark background, the torch-like fires appear like calibrated hourglasses measuring “their own time”, each burning, then fading away at a slightly different pace leaving only a smoke trail before the picture turns black again and the looped performance restarts.
The work Loud, loud (2014) was made specifically for Belenius/Nordenhake’s first exhibition with Alexander Gutke; it is a 137,5% enlarged brass replica of a Marshall Amp volume knob displayed centrally on a large wall of its own, attuned to the scale and proportions of its immediate surroundings. Inspired by his subjective experience of similairities between intense noise and total silence, referencing the sounds in space of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the piece continues in a line of replica works with their considerable set of references to the heydays of analogue technology and music history.
At certain times, dates and places, pedestrians halt, traffic stops and silence ensues. For just a moment, generally counted in minutes, the world is a frozen arrow pointing at the thought of something important, so important that it should never be forgotten. As a meditative memento on the importance of a collective memory, we have compiled a series of these moments into a film. Together these sampled minutes of silence reflect one of few activities that bring people together regardless of religion, race or cultural background.
The archival material outlines a mute history of tragedy and grief, often staged against a backdrop of natural disasters and violent conflict. But the footage is also a reminder of the stoic nature of humans, never accepting the horrors of terror attacks, war or rogue killers.
More news about: Bigert & Bergström
The Moderna Exhibition 2014, Moderna Museet, Malmö
Participating artists: AaBbPp, Patrik Aarnivaara, Emanuel Almborg, Cezary Bodzianowski, Maja Borg, Eglė Budvytytė & Bart Groenendaal, Zenta Dzividzinska, Ugnius Gelguda & Neringa Černiauskaitė, Johanna Gustafsson Fürst, Joachim Hamou, Maj Hasager, Łukasz Jastrubczak, Laura Kaminskaitė, Tadeusz Kantor, Essi Kausalainen, Agnieszka Kurant, Anna Lundh, Henning Lundkvist, Maija Luutonen, Björn Lövin, J.O. Mallander, Jonas Mekas, Miks Mitrēvics & Kristīne Kursiša, Kristina Norman, Michala Paludan, Lea Porsager, Emily Roysdon, Imri Sandström, Algirdas Šeškus, Janek Simon, Ola Ståhl & Terje Östling, Mika Taanila, Anna-Stina Treumund & Marju Mutsu, Ola Vasiljeva, Visible Solutions LLC, Tris Vonna-Michell, Mette Winckelmann.
Curator: Andreas Nilsson. Co-Curator: Maija Rudovska. Assistant Curator: Julia Björnberg.
More news about: Johanna Gustafsson Fürst
Presenting new works on paper and metal composed of repeating and reflecting lines, Tottie can be said to question the divide between painting and drawing. The imperfections that arise from this free-hand exercise in drawing parallel lines become a reflection of their creators physiology in print. They are not only very effective optically, but – by accident – extremely associative in an almost hallucinatory way.
Currently professor at the Royal Institute of Art (KKH), Stockholm, Tottie has had a long career garnered with international attention since graduating from there in 1991, having previously studied at the Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques in Paris. Major solo exhibitions include Malmö Konstmuseum (1997 & 2011), Liljevalchs konsthall (2007), Göteborgs Konstmuseum (2002), DAAD Galerie Berlin (2001) and the legendary Konrad Fischer Galerie (2009), guest lectureship at Harvard University (2009–10), as well as participation in group exhibitions at MoMA (2010 & 2013) and Drawing Center, (2006), NYC.
Sophie Tottie — Time Is/Tid finns (exhibition text in Swedish)
”I am more than half way through my biological life and about half way through my creative life. I measure time as we all do, and partly by the fading body, but in order to challenge linear time, I try to live in total time.”
Under den tidsrymd det tar när järngallusbläck reagerar med luft och oxiderar får det sin blåsvarta färg. Men även om järngallusbläck fortsätter reagera efter att det omvandlats
i luften (med pappret på mycket lång sikt) var den kemiska processen inte egentligen en del av utgångspunkten för teckningarna ”Oxidopolis” och ”Oxid Square”. Istället var
det linjerna som först drev fram en visualisering av linjär
skrift och linjärt tänkande. Den linjära processen fortsätter
i överkorsandet men motorn här är att de sammanlagda linjerna ska göra tiden mer synlig i kraft av form, i en textur
av bläck. Teckningarna utvecklas på så sätt ur ett mekaniskt tillvägagångssätt som bygger på idéer om framsteg, rationalitet och logik. Under tecknandet förhåller sig linjerna också strikt till föregående linjer vars små avvikelser ger nästa linje. Men snarare än att frambringa läsbarhet och förklaring ger de hopräknade linjerna erfarenheter som inte är den sammanlagda summan av det logiska tillvägagångsättet. Istället uppstår erfarenheter av tid, material och rum där teckningarnas pendling som ett slags ”flip-bilder”/aspektseende förvånar mest. Linjernas bredd gör att färgbläckets djup endast framträder på stort avstånd eller genom fotografiets distans.
I avståndet växlar bläckets blåsvart färg från till synes fysiskt material till djupskapande representation för att vid närmare betraktelse växla tillbaka igen.
Järngallusbläck är liksom silverstift ett teckningsmaterial som varit känt sedan många århundranden men som i en del länder (som Sverige) verkar ha fallit i glömska sedan grafitens inträde och möjligheten att sudda uppstod. Silverstiftet ger en linje med en gråsvart ton som med tiden oxiderar och
blir brunsvart i sitt möte med luftens syre. ”Metal point”
(på svenska ung. metall stift) är en vidare beteckning för att teckna med ytterligare andra metaller såsom t.ex. koppar och dessa metaller ger andra färger än silvret i sitt möte med pappret eller grunden de appliceras på. Grunden
är av avgörande betydelse om man vill framhäva de olika metallernas färger men i ”White Lines (Metal Point)” I–IV försvinner nästan färgskiftningarna och teckningen ur vissa vinklar eftersom metallernas märken gjorts på en grund av endast lätt limmat papper.
Stålteckningarna ”White Lines (steel drawings) rattan texture” skiftar på ett liknande sätt när betraktaren rör sig framför
de tvådimensionella objekten där teckningen gjorts genom
att skrapa bort delar av grunden snarare än lägga till. Genom den bortskrapade ytan omvandlas betraktarens spegelbild dessutom till en skugga som genomskjuts av alternerande vertikala, horisontala och diagonala linjer – linjer som återkastar ljuset annorlunda beroende på vilken vinkel verken ses ur.
”Betraktar vi världen och oss själva annorlunda blir också världen och vi annorlunda.”
More news about: Sophie Tottie
Bringing a twist into the stylistic tradition of conceptual art born out of high (abstract) modernism, Alexander Gutke creates carefully choreographed analytical sculptural and cinematic situations that question our traditional understanding of “realism”.
His current solo exhibition features objects/sculptural works made between 2008-2014 and three recently finished videos, that all of which correspond to the idea and illusion of infinity in their own specific way.
The wall mounted Measure (2011), made from brass sheet, transforms a domestic object –the textile measuring tape– into a Möbius strip. As the twisted cylinder with engraved metric markings becomes both a poetic and deadpan metaphor of paradoxical nature that conveys the concept of the infinite surface, Folded Into One (2012) works with countable infinities. As an installation it presents variable configurations of the image of the universe squared and formatted as a heap of hundreds of stacked folded cardboard boxes. Printed both inside and out, the 3-dimensional collage is built as a modular system to be expandable through various arrangements that may spread out vertically and horizontally carrying the very same image of a starry sky.
Since the very beginning of his career, Gutke has been occupied with cinema’s material elements: the physical and technical characteristics of analogue film (light, celluloid filmstrip, screen and projector) and cinematic narrative. Three of his new videos from a series of five, Draw (2014), zoom in on some minimal theatrical spectacles of spontaneously combusting vintage matchbooks. Unfolding through changing image formats, Gutke`s seductive sequences, similarly to previous film-based works, reveal a studious process and dramaturgy. Held against a monochrome dark background, the torch-like fires appear like calibrated hourglasses measuring “their own time”, each burning, then fading away at a slightly different pace leaving only a smoke trail before the picture turns black again and the looped performance restarts
With an undeniable playfulness and self-irony, Gutke`s practice at large often challenge both our logic of viewing and the mechanisms of perception. Untitled (for Christian Andersson), a sculptural object from 2007 pays tribute to generous collegiality and to some enthusiastic late 90s experiments with two-way mirrors and light, recalling the novelty design lamps of 60s lounge lighting. Placed on the floor, the open box is equipped with light tubes, a mirror and a two-way glass, together creating the illusion of an infinite tunnel inside the box, which is revealed when one bends to look inside.
His new sculptural work Loud, loud (2014), made specifically for the exhibition, presents a 137,5% enlarged brass replica of a Marshall Amp volume knob displayed centrally on a large wall of its own, attuned to the scale and proportions of its immediate surroundings. Inspired by his subjective experience of a spectrum of noise qualities from unwanted random to expressive musical, and from loud to barely audible, the piece continues in a line of replica works with their considerable set of references to the heydays of analogue technology and music history.
More news about: Alexander Gutke