Leif Elggren — A Dormitory for Celebrities
”My name is Legion: for we are many”, an obsessed man replies when Jesus asks for his name (Mark 5:9). The Swedish artist Leif Elggren is also best described in plural. He is a dreamer, a state founder, a subverter, a man of enlightenment, a mystic, a thief and a king with a crown that earlier served as an air filter in a Saab from 1971.
Leif Elggren began his work in the mid 70s. Ever since then he has been busy crossing boundaries between various layers of reality and different artistic fields. His body of work extend over performances, graphics, music, painting, installations and collaborations with artists like Kent Tankered, Thomas Liljeberg, John Duncan and Carl Michael von Hausswolff.
The act of claiming is frequently recurring in Leif Elggren’s practice. He has claimed to be the originator and owner of the iconic combination of black and yellow stripes. Together with CM von Hausswolff he has announced death to be abolished in Elgaland-Vargaland. He has also declared himself king, not in order to take power, but to give it away to everyone; when crowning himself he encourages us all to follow his example and climb up on our thrones.
Leif Elggren’s artistic oeuvre includes works such as IDOL and Experiment with Dreams (with Thomas Liljeberg); The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland (with CM von Hausswolff); A if I was my father; Talking to a Dead Queen; and Pluralis majestatis. In 2001 Leif Elggren represented Sweden together with CM von Hausswolff at the 49th Venice Biennale. ”A Dormitory for Celebrities” is his second solo show at Gallery Niklas Belenius.