Belenius

MARKET Art Fair, Stockholm

23.02—26.02.2012

Bigert & bergström
John Duncan
Carl Palm
Miriam Bäckström
Aids-3D (Keller & Kosmas)
Carl Michael von Hausswolff

Leif Elggren, is a Swedish artist born 1950, who lives and works in Stockholm and New York. Active since the late 1970s, Leif Elggren has become one of the most constantly surprising conceptual artists to work in the combined worlds of audio and visual. A writer, visual artist, stage performer and composer, he has many albums to his credits, solo and with the Sons of God, on labels such as Ash International, Touch, Radium and his own Firework Edition. His music, often conceived as soundtrack to a visual installation or experimental stage performance, usually presents carefully selected sound sources over a long stretch of time and can range from mesmerizingly quiet electronics to harsh noise. His wide-ranging and prolific body of art often involves dreams and subtle absurdities, social hierarchies turned upside

Since the mid-1990s, Miriam Bäckström has been one of the most influential artists in the contemporary art scene in Scandinavia. Her work focuses on the staging of life and on the shifts between what we call reality and fiction. In 1995 Miriam Bäckström started the project Set Constructions, a series of photographs depicting sets built for television productions, film commercials and feature films. Her documentations of staged presentations in museums, such as the IKEA museum in Älmhult and the museum apartments of the Stockholm City Museum, started in 1999 and include a photographic series entitled Museums, Collections and Reconstructions. Miriam Bäckström works with photography, text, sound and film. The unspoken and the implicit are strongly present in her works,where different realities often coexist in the same image. We can never be entirely sure of what we see in Miriam Bäckström’s motifs.

During von Hausswolff’s career there has been some confusion amongst the audience concerning what he’s actually doing – what his work is about. In this exhibition the gallery will diffuse this clogged field of activity and show a variety of works by the artist.

Some know about his sound work. This could be experienced at Moderna Museet a few weeks ago with the much appreciated large installation freq_out or in Electronic Voice Phenomena works in Graz (Steirisches Herbst), Lopud (TBA21) or Venice (Guggenheim Museum/A.N.E.). His latest CD, 800 000 Seconds in Harar (Touch, London), showed another side of his sound art and was highly rated in the music press internationally. The 13 channel audio art piece Spiriport will be shown in this show.

Others are familiar with his “red” series of photographs and installations, where the artist focuses on wasted architecture and problematic sites by simply enlighten the areas with red spotlights. This resulted in the book RED 1999-2010 released by the gallery in 2010. The latest project – Red Domestic Death – pictures a ruined house in Western Sahara destroyed by Morroccan fighter planes in early 2010, and will be included in this show.

Three other works will also be shown:

a) In 1998 von Hausswolff launched his “social area” projects and the resulted in the sculptural Thinner- and Low Frequency Bar (Momentum, Moss). A series of bars and lounges has then been realized: Ether Bar (Kiasma, Helsinki), Meths Bar (Beaconsfield, London) and Glue Lounge (Centre Genevois de Gravure Contemporaine, Geneva). In 2010 he constructed a Cobra Venom Bar (Darb 1718, Cairo) and it was included in the freq_out installation in Stockholm – it will be exhibited at the gallery in its latest phase.

b) During the years von Hausswolff has been investigating other peoples various activities and has included this in his work. A few years ago he did an exhibition at the gallery called Adoptations (Tu Est L’Autre) where a group of new artists where introduced – artists that never knew they were artists. The artist is now working on the second exhibition, Adoptations II (Posse Est), and the gallery is now presenting a series of images from this work in progress: Laura Lee Burroughs.

c) von Hausswolff will also, hesitantly, show a series of paintings on paper called Majdanek (1989).

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Like Father, Like Son, Like Michael Douglas is a video installation by Axel Petersén. This is his first solo exhibition at Gallery Niklas Belenius.

In Paul Verhoevens erotic thriller Basic Instinct from 1992, Michael Douglas’s character is put to the test. Is he still living up to the image of his own sexuality? Is he still the sex symbol Michael Douglas, son to the former sex symbol Kirk Douglas?

In Like Father, Like Son, Like Michael Douglas Axel Petersén is staging a sexual generation shift. Through a number of scenes he instructs his father, Etienne Petersén to play the main male character while he himself portrays the female counterparts – a father and a son together watching and acting Basic Instinct.

Axel Petersén, born in Stockholm 1979, is a visual artist and filmmaker. He has made numerous short films and video installations that have been shown widely in art and film contexts. His first feature film AVALON, won the Fipresci award for best debut 2011. He has a MFA from The Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm; he also studied film at FAMU, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and most recently attended the Mountain School of Arts in Los Angeles while he wrote the final act for his upcoming feature Under the Pyramid.

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Carl Milles — Sculptures

03.02—05.03.2017

Carl Milles (1875-1955) is undoubtedly one of our foremost sculptors during the 20th century. Few have had such great success and lasting effect of his oeuvre. A traditionalist yet seminal. Celebrated, but also contentious, his is still one of the brightest stars of the modernist sculpture sky.

With his traditional subject matter; ancient and Christian mythology, and Swedish history as well, along with a classical yet quaint style, whereas movement expression carries traits of spirituality, he seem barely touched by the radical developments in modern sculpture which were happening around him.

One of his publicly most famous works, alongside “Poseidon” in Gothenburg and the “Orpheus group” in Stockholm, is indeed “Europe and the Bull” from 1926.
The sculpture depicts a course of events in Greek mythology where Zeus, insidiously disguised as a bull, attracts and abducts princess Europe to Crete, where he eventually lays with her. It is tempting to, perhaps a bit cynical, allude the situation in the world today i general and the geopolitical Europe in particular.

Milles began his course of study at the Technical School in Stockholm, but after having been granted a scholarship he went to Paris, where he studied anatomy at Ecole des Beaux-Arts. For a time he worked for Auguste Rodin, from which he derived a strong impression. Whereas his early works are characterized by salon sculpture, he developed under Rodin a impressionistic style, mainly in small format genre figuers. Around 1913, a new phase occurred, characterized by stylistic features and designs from Greek archaic sculpture and decorative simplicity and a drastic narrative.

 

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Brief Story of Capitalism

24.05—14.07.2012

Aids-3D (Kosmas & Keller)
Bigert & Bergström
Timothy Crisp
John Duncan
Öyvind Fahlström
Johanna Gustafsson Fürst
CM von Hausswolff
Sten Hanson
Jan Håfström
Stina Stigell
Johan Strandahl
Andy Warhol

In 1798, Thomas Robert Malthus’s “An Essay on the Principle of Population” is published, which later became a key to Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace’s development of the theory of the natural selection.

In 1972, the report “The Limits to Growth”, commissioned by The Club of Rome and produced by the world’s leading future analysts is presented. Questions of growth, limited natural resources and environmental issues are put in focus for the first time.

In 1970-71 Öyvind Fahlström describes his Monopoly game as a political psychodrama where the observer gets involved in different choices and strategies. Fahlström establishes that the world is constantly changing, as a tree in the passage of seasons.

Öyvind Fahlström’s Monopoly game “World Trade Monopoly” (1971) constitutes the central piece in the exhibition. Through this piece, questions regarding the connection between the realpolitik discourse and the individual terms on society’s game plan are addressed. All pieces in the exhibition reflect on the rules and norms that form our reality in a continuous flow.

In 2012, Munch’s ”The Scream” is sold at Sotheby’s for 117 million dollars as the most expensive work ever sold at auction. Maybe proof that the market still works? At the same time The Club of Rome publishes a new report with the title: 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years.

In 2018 it is more apparent ever before that humanity’s adaptation to the limitations of the planet is moving too slow. The American economy stagnates while Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa constitutes the great booming economies.

In 2024, three billion people are still living under the poverty line, and China appears as the only state with enough capacity to turn the development.

In 2042, the global population reached its high due to reduced fertility in the metropolitan areas and levels off.

In 2052, carbon dioxide has increased to a level in the atmosphere that raises the global mean temperature with by 2 degrees; creating uncontrollable climate changes.

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Niklas Belenius is proud to present Bigert & Bergström’s first solo exhibition in the gallery.

Together with the Canadian storm chaser and meteorologist Mark Robinson, B&B travelled to the Midwest in the US, to film and document the increasingly hostile weather patterns that are developing today. The exhibition The Storm centers on B&B’s attempt to intercept a tornado using a device called the Tornado Diverter.

”The idea of creating a protective shield against tornadoes was formulated in 2004 by the Russian scientist Vladimir Pudov, at the Institute for Experimental Meteorology, Obninsk. In 2007, we travelled to Obninsk to interview him for our film, The Weather War. He had just retired from his position at the institute and no longer had the funds needed to further develop his invention. We were intrigued by the scope of his idea of being able to affect the most powerful weather phenomenon on earth, and decided to take up the challenge and build it for him.”[1]

In the middle of the gallery, placed on a custom built trailer, the Tornado Diverter is flanked by a series of photo montages printed on layered glass. The photo montages document the aftermath of the destructive tornado, that wiped out parts of Joplin, USA, May 22nd, 2011.

”We slowly roll into Joplin, and initially it looks like any small town in southern Missouri. A shopping mall and the familiar row of well-known fast-food chains formed a line, on the strip leading towards the city centre. But when the wound opens up, it is an unbelievable sight. We enter exactly at the spot, where the tornado caused the most damage, at St. John’s Hospital. We stop at an intersection and look out over the 1.5-kilometer wide strip of pulverized buildings, that extends 10 kilometres, from the city’s west side to the east.”[2]

As the most destructive tornado recorded in the US since 1947, dubbed ”Gods Finger,” the twister eradicated over eight thousand houses and killed 130 people, in the middle of the Bible belt. Bigert & Bergström’s layered photo montages titled The Disasters of Weather depicts the trees in the wreckage, with broken off branches and twisted metal around their trunks. Like Goya’s engravings of mutilated torsos and limbs mounted on trees, the Joplin trees cry out the absurd violence, that is involved with a natural catastrophe.

Ever since their first large-scale performance/installation Biosphere III, in 1990, B&B has been obsessed with the climate and its extremes. The weather – both a trivial theme for petty conversation and a life threatening natural force – is central in their art. And they use it to pinpoint our currently exposed position living in a slowly heating lab-maze.

A call to arms and prelude to coming visionary geo engineering performances, Bigert & Bergström’s exhibition The Storm also plays a part in the duo’s new film, The Weather War. The film tracks the history and contemporary struggle, between man and man-made climate, as we approach the tipping point. The film will premiere at the beginning of October, and a special screening will be arranged, during the finale of this exhibition – venue to be announced.

In connection with the exhibition, The Storm, a 72 page field-guide covering the project, has been published by the gallery. The book is designed by Björn Kusoffsky and the opening essay is written by Christopher Turner.

1, 2 Bigert & Bergström, excerpt from field-guide The Storm, 2012

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Grönlund & Nisunen

01.11—23.12.2012

Gallery Niklas Belenius is pleased to announce the opening of its first show by the artist duo Tommi Grönlund and Petteri Nisunen.

With the presence of the works, the gallery space is not only architecturally challenged, but also invaded by the sound and the speaking silence of the installations, as well as the magnetic powers of “Illusion”, which end up in a state of weightlessness, when the magnets are being hindered in their movement towards each other.

While “Spring Field” and “Unstable Matter” move and make sound in a random manner, “Illusion” is silent and immobile. Its fragile stillness makes manifest a utopian vision of harmony, but the state of peace is deceptive. Under the visual surface a cold Hobbesian war is going on, a silent struggle between opposing movements and forces.

Grönlund-Nisunen’s installations can be described as experimental plays, in which the objects are actors, directed in co-operation with the unseen forces. The works make references to the techniques of science, but the outcome is something quite different.

Science has proven successful in the disenchantment of the world; the soul Thales attributed to the magnet, because of its capacity to move iron, was carefully amputated a long time ago and replaced by far less poetic stuff.

Grönlund-Nisunen do not end up in explanations or verifications of hypothesis. They rather direct the pole of scientific power against itself, making visible the insufficiency of rational explanation. The outcome is a state of wonder. A re-enchantment of the world.

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