Belenius

The materials in Linnéa Sjöberg’s works meld, fuse together, and layer the past into a non-linear narrative where yesterday is as present as today and where time utterly collapses.

“To see is to enter a universe of beings which display themselves, and they would not do this if they could not be hidden behind each other or behind me…Thus every object is the mirror of all others.” (Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, 1945)

The ongoing series The Inward Dance consists of objects firmly swathed in, and covered by, soaked parchment i.e. membranes scraped during the manufacture of leather. There’s a certain brutality to the drawn-out process – they are left to dry either hanging or lying, pierced and sealed with metal rods, hung with chains, collars and hooks. The interiors are made up of discarded clothing, debris and twigs, erasing the boundary between intimate souvenirs and waste. Many of the works allude to a human presence – exposed, mummified pieces – saturated in the same crude, dark humour as Michaela Eischwald’s resin-filled rubber gloves or Alina Szapocznikow’s head ashtrays. Each individual work forms an ambiguous memento mori, a reminder of the transience – or the triviality – of life.

Earlier in the year Sjöberg came across the VHS archive of the German public service television channel Deutsche Welle. If her previous weaves have intensively unravelled the memory of the individual – an upbringing in Strömsund, the performance work Business Woman – then German Wave is perhaps more concerned with collective memory. What did the world look like before we could follow a live broadcast, before we could say exactly where we were on September 11? What we see on TV etches itself into our memory, our shared view of reality formed and refined by the information sent out. In the process of weaving these stored memories are literally entwined to the point of complete erasure – no image or sound remains. The room is instead filled with long swathes of weaved magnetic tape and pieces of fur, a monument to the obsolete in an accelerated stage of synthetic fossilisation.

There’s something to Linnéa Sjöberg’s method that has me invariably returning to Joseph Beuys’s work Homogeneous Infiltration for Grand Piano. By covering a grand piano in a thick layer of felt Beuys emphasised the pitfalls of collective silence (in allusion to the thalidomide scandal of the 1960’s). Bound into an all-encompassing whole, the instrument’s parts are subsequently gagged. In an analogous gesture, if not one more personal than critical, Sjöberg wraps fragments of a collective history, compressing them into impenetrable objects. Just like the grand piano the contents are hidden and, sure enough, completely disabled.

The past is brutally wiped out, immortalised by its transformation, no possibility of nostalgic reclamation remains. If those objects that surround us are an extension of our own bodies then what Sjöberg engages in are mental acts of mutilation.

Text Ulrika Pilo
Translation Nicholas Lawrence

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Not yet an absolute figure in the context we usually call “the (art) scene”, Timothy Wilson operates in the borderlands between light design, sculpture and performance. This brings him a measure of independence as well as determination. Shown previously at Söderdepån 2041 in Södermalm (a run down old central garage and workshop for the city’s public transportation buses, an extensive building taking up a whole block, now beautifully decayed), industrial size laser installations provided us with the visions and aesthetics of Wilson: they are dark and dystopian, with the futuristic connotations that his medium suggests.

A feeling of dextrous precision while mastering these directions of light provides a striking effect. Even more so when presented sculpturally. It is also a requirement when he creates landscapes and futuristic patterns. Wilson will be showing five sculptures consisting of glass, water and sand presenting an inverted spatiality, making one think of underwater gardens.

Timothy Wilson (b. 1988 in Stockholm) is the guardian of the night and at the same time the champion of light. With installations at the Swedish Museum of Performing Arts and Söderdepån 2041 behind him, he makes his debut exhibition at Belenius.

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Mörkt och smutsigt. För många år sedan det bultande, mullrande hjärtat för stadens linjetrafik. Idag står maskinerna som skulpturala rester, ett minne av en manuell värld, omkring 2031. Vid tiden för Det Stora Omstörtandet, när det totala kaoset rådde; började Stråldepartementet utvinna energi genom att från pol till pol skicka och förädla koncentrerat ljus. En känsla av obehag, och samtidigt en galaktisk eufori. Världen en spillra av sitt forna jag.

https://vimeo.com/232968867

Timothy Wilson (f. 1988 i Stockholm) är nattens och på samma gång ljusets väktare, tillika mästare. Med ljus och laser som redskap skapar han landskap och futuristiska gestaltningar. I Söderdepån visar han fyra stycken massiva installationer i den unikt spatiösa miljön. På Scenkonstmuseet gör han en installation den 18-30/9 följt av en separatutställning som öppnar den 21/10 på Belenius.

Articles:
Vice
Allt om Stockholm

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Crazy drawing room is based in the creative flow that can occur when someone draw. Monica fills the gallery with paintings and drawings to create the manic inspiration and depending feeling drawings can generate. A free association process where an idea leads to another and where the drawings of roofs, walls and floors are united in a creative jumble. Viewers thrown back and forth between unexpected place. Details, which at first sight seem familiar, it proves full of surprises.

Crazy drawing room is Monica was second exhibition at Gallery Niklas Belenius. 2008 demonstrated the installation TWIST who took over the entire gallery space. In the 600 meter spring, stretching between the floors, walls and ceilings, floating chairs sloping and a house of steel.

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Monica Höll — Twist

13.03—16.03.2008

With Twist, Monica Höll takes over Gallery Niklas Belenius with a conceptualized minimalist work inspired by childhood games. By attaching elastic walls, ceiling and floor stretches do the body memories of power and control needed to jump twist.

In meetings with slightly since childhood acquaintance, information may be stored suddenly picked up and companies are born through flashbacks. Recurrence was held in work is a playful drama of the familiar, room and the home.

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Johan Strandahl — Kök

19.01—24.02.2013

The artist Johan Strandahl is a devoted explorer in a world where everything already is discovered. His field of interest is the familiarity of everyday objects and standardized products.

Strandahl is indifferent to prestigious brands and high-end products. He focuses on low-budget consumer goods, the category of products that we hardly ever notice, since there are so many of them. Things like cheap power drills and coffee makers that we think we know everything about, things we are actually completely oblivious to. We don’t know where they come form, which components or materials they are made of, or how they are constructed.

It doesn’t bother us, since we are perfectly happy to know how to make a cup of coffee or drill a hole in the wall. But it sure bothers Johan Strandahl, who has spent the last 1,5 years of trying to comprehend an ordinary kitchen.

The result of his exploration is now exhibited at gallery Niklas Belenius: a handmade and fully functional reproduction of a complete kitchen from Ikea. All the components and parts are manufactured by Strandahl himself, including the oven and refrigerator as well as the ceramic tiles, chipboards, screws and hinges …

In comparison with the Ikea kitchen, which is also shown at the gallery, Strandahl’s replica lacks the perfection of the original, but also the passive anonymity. Strandahl’s kitchen is active and impossible to ignore, it stares back at the spectator, demanding something in return.

Strandahl’s work is not only an act of re-producing, but also of re-understanding. In the process of making he returns the lost pieces of meaning to the object, thereby pointing out the possibility of a different kind of understanding, where, in Immanuel Kant’s words “the hand is the window on to the mind.”

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Johanna Gustafsson Fürst

02.03—07.04.2013

Johanna Gustafsson Fürst could be described as a linguist of space, striving to bring forth the grammar hidden in our surroundings and encouraging us to participate in the re-writing of space. Her work is parasitic to the extent that it enters a space and tampers with its functions.

In her third solo show at Gallery Niklas Belenius she is using space as a notebook.

The sculpture ”NO” is composed by equal parts of control and desire, with a faded and torn garment exposed on a stand coated with copper. This precious metal is playing a central role in the global market, with the hedge funds and speculators at its centre and the thieves in its margins, searching for copper plumbing, wiring, cables and sculptures

Juxtaposing copper is an anonymous green colour, frequently used in public spaces. As copper prices skyrocket, the value of the commonly owned is declining. While copper is being protected, public green is being painted over with corporate colours.

Doubt, trial and error is expressed through the art works. The thoughts are not finished, but they are embodied in works such as the Frankenstein-like “Europe” and in “Words” in which the copper and public green meet joined by a halfway fastened screw.

The high density and complexity of meaning in the works do not aim for completion. Johanna Gustafsson Fürst is aspiring to make the unfinished permanent. The thoughts in her three-dimensional notebook are drafts, to be developed in collaboration with the visitors.

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Timothy Crisp — Untitled

13.04—19.05.2013

The works of Timothy Crisp resemble delayed postcards. Memories of abandoned and forgotten places, that suddenly emerge, many years after they were forgotten. It is a remembrance that has nothing to do with Paul Ricoeur’s joyful “small miracle of recognition”. Rather it is a memory haunting us. The landscape depicted is loaded with guilt.

Timothy Crisp’s inventory of repressed memories takes place in the margins of late modernity, in a place robbed of its assets and deprived of its future.

A black river runs through the deserted landscape but the ground appear lifeless. What is left are the rejected remains of a society; burned out cars, drilling rigs, rodent skulls, left behind communication equipment… The settlements, tents, shacks, cabins and domes all appear to be temporary, as if they were placed there randomly in haste. The living are uncannily absent; man is nothing but a memory.

The technique developed by the artist can be described as an archaeological uncovering of images that appear when layers of paint are being erased from plates of glass.

Timothy Crisp turns the gallery space into a memorial site, anchoring the past in the present and the present in the past. But what has happened is never revealed. Since there is only a
carefully documented scene, but no witnesses and no written messages to decipher, the viewer herself must continue the act of recalling.

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TATORT
Brottsplats/Crime Scene

Gösta Adrian-Nilsson
Bigert & Bergström
John Duncan
Leif Elggren
Öyvind Fahlström
Paul Fägerskiöld
Allen Grubesic
Philip Grönberg
Sten Hansson
Carl Michael von Hausswolff
Magnus Wallin
Weegee

– A History of (Mostly) Violence

In the entrance we are greeted by what looks like a large sword – it is, however, a bronze coin from the Lokele people of Congo. The fact that their coinage is crafted to look like weapons becomes a rather overt symbol of the link between economics and crime, and furthermore, a coin of this size would suffice to buy a wife…

Gösta Adrian-Nilsson was the great pioneer of Swedish modernism, his “Livsfarligt” (At Peril of Death/Fatal) from 1922 was made in a time where he lived in Paris and had contacts to Fernand Legér.

Weegee was the pseudonym of news-photographer Arthur Fellig, who became known for his uncensored presentation of life and death in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The exhibited photograph, entitled ”Murder” is from 1945.

In Sten Hanssons “1968 Athens Tourist Map” we are reminded of just how easily our patterns of consumption can support criminals, in this case the military Junta that rose to power shortly beforehand, and actively promoted Greece’s tourist industry.

Öyvind Fahlström’s 1974 “Column 4 – IB-affair” details the political scandal that unearthed from among others, journalist Jan Guillous findings about a secret intelligence organ known as IB that collaborated with CIA and Mossad, and reported directly to prime minister Olof Palme and his minister of defence Sven Andersson. The four journalists were sentenced to a year each in prison for espionage. Only decades later was it revealed that Jan Guillou had himself been working for the KGB.

After having been stabbed while working as a bus driver in L.A. in 1976, John Duncan set out on a two night performance to capture, or rather to pass on to friends the experience of believing that one’s life is about to end the very next moment. Masked, disguised and with a gun firing blanks, he went to different friends’ houses late at night, knocked on the door, and when they opened, shot them in the face…

In a 1977 performance, Leif Elggren laid claim to the international symbol of danger; diagonal black and yellow stripes.

Carl Michael von Hausswolff’s “Red” series are pictures taken of locations where crime or violations have taken place; the location is lit up by strong red light, as to suggest a looming presence of the previous trauma. The pictures on display were taken in 2003 at an evacuated terrace housing project in Chicago where after extensive drug dealing and crime the city authorities stepped in and shut the area down.

Magnus Wallin works with a highly art-historical approach to questions of norm and crip-theory. “Horizon”, 2005, consists of two unflinching eyes. Nothing more.

Bigert & Bergström’s interest lies in the human condition and its environment. “Jag hör röster” (I hear voices) from 2006 is a mash-up of pictures from a car rampage through Stockholms Old Town, reminding us of how psychopathology allways will be a variable in crime statistics.

Allen Grubesic’s “I Was Young” from 2007 is an apology for a past of typical juvenile delinquencies – prostitution and/or drug dealing – excusing it in part by pointing out the everlasting link between youth and crime.

Philip Grönberg’s work is a pattern with pictures of the perhaps most aesthetically-minded of all gangs, the transnational Mara Salvatrucha, best known for their intricate full-body tattoos.

L.A. gang culture also sets the backdrop to Paul Fägerskiöld’s hieroglyphic painting of Bloods and Crips tags, from his 2011 series “Stolen Messages”.

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