Johanna Gustafsson Fürst b. 1973


Johanna Gustafsson Fürst  was born 1973 and is based in Stockholm


Johanna Gustafsson Fürst often uses found items and materials that refer to a place and a function, including the specific stories they carry into the work. Her work processes operate into the connections between social systems and individual existence. For example, in the relationships between power and resistance, language and body, linguistic violence and inclusions and exclusions in public spaces. She mainly uses sculpture and site-specific installations where the physical's ability to respond and operate relationally in the spaces is central to creating changes between the known and the imagined. She sees the sculpture as an integrative and moving place that opens the possibility of reorienting dialogues.


In 2017 she received the Friends of Moderna Museet Sculpture Prize. Part of the jury’s motivation read: “She challenges the materials, their properties and common uses, in order to create an inverted, suspended, not to say unyielding, sculptural otherness." In the text for the publication following the price, the art critic Lars -Erik Hjertström Lappalainen writes “Her works often stand in the way physically, placed so they block the entrance to, and circulation in, the gallery. We are forced to lean over, bend down, crouch, with the feeling that the works come far too close with their damned surfaces. In that position, we certainly can’t look at them; instead, we have to look out for them, sensing that our bodies are dominated by the works. We are forced so close that the subject-object relationship dissolves and we achieve a body-material relationship instead. And this is the door leading to the social dimension, the relationship between material and body, the capacity of the works to get too close and menacing. In the material and the sensitivity there is another space, which is social. Although many of her pieces show that she works with the basic elements of sculptural art, they do not actually exist in the external space, but in the relationship to the body.”