Belenius

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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Stina Stigell

06.12—31.12.2012

Gallery Niklas Belenius is pleased to announce the opening of Stina Stigell’s third solo show at the gallery.

This time Stina Stigell invites the visitor to a polyphonic Dadaist fairy tale, a stream of consciousness, written not with words, but with found objects and various materials, such as fibreboard, paper, macaroni, corrugated cardboard, chalk and straws.

The scene of the story is a hybrid between gym hall, garden and classroom. The hierarchies of materials are torn and the natural proportions are out of order. Here you’ll find a pair of jeans in size XXXXL, crossword paintings, oversized seed bags, hand herbicide sprayers, and a gymnastic box horse also serving as a place for dwelling. On the wall is a circular vehicle in corrugated cardboard and the letter “s” is functioning as one of its wheels.

The works of Stina Stigell strongly opposes definition. They are ambiguous in essence. In a jovial manner and without any papers of identity, they cross the borders between painting and sculpture, sign and signified object, private and political, fiction and reality.

A quilted jacket is hanging on a post. Maybe it was forgotten on the playground and later picked up by someone who made sure it would be easier found. But it could also be a flag, raised as a declaration of independence and absolute freedom of imagination.

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Natalie Sutinen has moved on in her work with the immediate, magical object. In the exhibition In between sleep and sleep, works are shown from an ongoing study of time, where the artist discontinues a logical chronology on behalf of the irrational, and creates a room where time is movement.

Time becomes a wet slippery soap in the hand. Incomprehensible traces, memories and dreams are gathered in floating grey zones. In the images and artefacts there are remains of faded generations. Previous pleasures and gravities live on in a dark or light coloured hair, under closed eyes, in a wing or in a feather. Here we find reminders of destinies and persons who no longer are available to tell us the truth about the past. At the same time it is like you somehow know anyway.

A chronological experience of time does not exist in memory. Precisely like it rarely does in the dream or in hurried thought. An episode or memory from the past does not become weaker because it took place a long time ago. Time is relative and subjective and it feels like it is moving in some form. In between sleep and sleep it is an underwater story. Sutinen looks to details, makes parallels, creates patterns and pulls strings that she ties together to both the future, the present and the past. It is handsome and pretty, simply beautiful, funny and melancholic.

In between sleep and sleep is Natalie Sutinen’s third solo show at Galleri Niklas Belenius. This coming spring she will participate with a larger piece in the group show ‘Hem som turneras i Berlin och Skåne’. The Royal Academy of Art has elected Sutinen for an artist residence scholarship at Carl Larsson’s studio at Grez-sur-Loing where she will work on a site-specific project during May-June. Sutinen is also working on a film project that combines performance, documentary film and fiction.

Beatrice Ehrström

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The works by Gustafsson Fürst revolve around the materialisation of political content and the representation of policies. In a sober activist spirit her work departs from found objects and obtainable materials, perpetually exploring and reworking into sculptural language. The works embrace and fortify the materials, which constitute the investigations inherent in her practice, thus flexing a discourse on the consensus of how aesthetics, content and communication are staged as a presence in society.

Gallery Niklas Belenius is proud to present Johanna Gustafsson Fürst’s second solo exhibition The Fall. The exhibition consists of a series of sculptures from a new project, as a starting point: two classical works which pay homage to the heroic deeds of six men, the sculpture series by Auguste Rodin The Burghers of Calais (1888) and the photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (one of the worlds most reproduced images) by Joe Rosenthal (1945). Gustafsson Fürst draws on these stories, not only on what they communicate but also on the events surrounding their creation. The works generate political coordinates while manifesting images of the political.

When the city of Calais commissioned Rodin to create a commemorating sculpture to the rich burgher, who was the first to sacrifice himself, in order to halt the English siege of the city in 1348, he chose to portray all six burghers, who as a group, surrendered to the enemy. He also insisted on a modest and low base so that the sculpture would be level with the viewer and he opted to reproduce 11 copies of the work, which were subsequently placed around the world. In Candida Höfer’s work Twelve (2000) all reproductions are photographed by the artist, as a means to focus on how the sculptures generate a complexity of content to a specific site, for example, how discrepancies in plinth height inform its reading. Rodin’s choice of representation, at the time, had radical conceptual undertones, revealing a critical reflection and understanding of both heroicness and sculpture. It suggested a liberation of sculpture from architecture and placing it in the space itself, with the people.

In both the Iwo Jima photograph and in The Burghers of Calais an essential duality is depicted as the seemingly humble burgher who goes to meet his death is also privileged enough to be able to choose to act selflessly, thus the opportunity to become a hero. But is this perhaps even an obligation? What constitutes an act of heroism today? The sculptures by Gustafsson Fürst stages the slow decay of the western worlds secular traditions as well as the gradual dismantling of past ideologies, simultaneously she examines the social conditions for carrying out heroic deeds and the possibility to create new types of heroes.

Text by Diana Kaur

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Willem Andersson

In the picture world of Willem Andersson the viewer is drawn into various emotionally charged spaces. We find the characters in a kind of absurd theatre where human existence loses its purpose and all communication falls apart. A seductive calm beyond time and place appears in the silence and in the act of waiting for something you know never will happen. The averted, shaded and hidden glances convey an abiding sense of loneliness and isolation.

In Andersson’s painting the expected structure is broken down and leaves behind an entire world of associations. The classical idiom of the portrait with focus on accurate depiction becomes the starting point for a reflection over a general questioning of our identity, and where a literal need for invisibility cast a pale haziness over the depicted. But the dreamlike fogginess does not cast a shadow over the memory of the past where the individual identity finally reveals that all the perceived differences are similar for all of us.