YTTERSTAD at Johan Berggren Gallery

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Artists: Julia Bondesson, Andreas Eriksson, Goldin+ Senneby, Steinar Haga Kristensen, Helena Lund Ek, Viktor Rosdahl, Emanuel Röhss, Eirik Sæther, Maria von Hausswolff

Exhibition title: YTTERSTAD

Venue: Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö, Sweden

Date: August 27 – September 26, 2015

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö

Johan Berggren Gallery is pleased to announce a group show of Scandinavian artists, called Ytterstad. Itself a complex word, it doesn’t point out a specific physical location, despite its origin. Rather it pinpoints a mental locus at the border of urban civilisation, echoing a surrounding nature’s vast impact. Thus, the aim of the exhibition has been to map what this field of tension could reveal at a time when the boundaries between urban territory and nature, in its rawest form, is rapidly transforming and blurred due to a current digital and economic paradigm shift.

The exhibition evolves around a part of an installation by Norwegian artist Steinar Haga Kristensen called ”Trolle Pavilion der verdorbene Historismus Kontext Fetischmus uns der disfunktionale Schlissmuskel der Kranke Prophet”. A painting on latex called ”Pissing Man and Woman” has been extracted from its installational setting. It’s a large scale, portal painting on latex depicting a man and a woman, standing, pissing at the foot of a lake. The act of pissing while turning your back to a slightly narrowed down, stereotypic and homogenous urban existence is a liberating and romantic one, offering a work full of humor at the same time as echoing a raw sincerity. Eirik Sæther’s two self-referential sculptures follow up on questions of identity and stereotypes. One of the sculptures, ”ROMSC RATCH BAKEF” appears as a ”start-over”-manifest while ”Ståplass (20ACTING40ACTING20A)” offers the molded posture of the artist’s feet, offering a more profound belief in life’s options, incorporating delicately printed textiles not without personal and political beliefs.

Andreas Eriksson, one of Scandinavia’s most well-known abstract and internationally acclaimed painters, presents a new painting in which again he has managed to develop his inner complexity deeply rooted in the nature of his immediate surroundings at Kinnekulle. Colour has taken him down new, uncharted paths in both composition and meaning. You could easily imagine Julia Bondesson’s Asian-inspired carved, doll-like sculptures performing their task out here. ”Guardian” brings together heavily carved wood that she assembles in the northern Scanian, mythical woods – touching upon profound, forceful aspects of human emotions, intentions and living conditions. Out of this portal of natural impact, Viktor Rosdahl’s virtuos painting ”Pigs of wings” is whirling in. Those familiar with Rosdahl’s practice over the past 6-8 years, will be puzzled as he anew incorporates colour after a long black/white period. Pigs on Wings is a transitional work, where descending from the mountains, we become aware of the urban existence on the horizon. A factory is roaring in the not so far distance, pigs are flying around as if caught in a vortex spin and a graffiti trained way of applying paint reveals that we’re on our way to revisit more urban territories.

Fully investigating the artificial potential of Ytterstad are Goldin+Senneby. Their conceptual approach to art making is ever present in the work ”After Microsoft”. They’ve searched for and found the physical location, on the outskirts of Californian suburban society, of one of our times’ most iconic virtual images – the stylized image of Microsoft’s logo of a hill in a colour-coded landscape. In this Goldin+Senneby point to the force of the conventional, mundane nature as raw file material for branding and value creation in today’s urban, digital economy. Also in California and on Los Angeles’ outskirts, Emanuel Röhss’ has found a new arsenal of artificial objects and source material. From both allowed and permitted visits to architectural land mark environments, Röhss has created his own fiction, in both art and writing. We somehow recognize the actual settings that Röhss presents us, but are we all sure? There’s an uncanny moment in Röhss’ way of dealing with his material that makes us uncertain of its origin.

Using similar rabbit holes is Maria von Hauswolff in her film ”Evidence of the not yet known”. We witness a pièce noir that could easily have taken place in one of Röhss’ settings. More stylized, the film is also shot on spot in California. A murder mystery evolves in a landmark, architectural building. Still there is an uncertainty emanating from von Hauswolff’s use of both traditional film techniques and a very personal way of storytelling. The image landscape rattles, it becomes increasingly more claustrophobic. Something is hinted at and an accident has all of a sudden taken place. Or has it really? The story has long started over when we catch-up with it again. We lose our orientation while the crickets are stubbornly playing. We encounter that same surreal landscape in a new painting by Helena Lund Ek. An ambiguous elephant reveals itself only moments before it’s on the brink of being swollowed by a potent, smaller green hole. Only chorals then remaining, dangling in a sun drenched spot on the outskirts of a city, somewhere, tapping into the smells of a more profound nature calling, again, in Ytterstad.

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Steinar Haga Kristensen, Trolle Pavillon, 2012

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Steinar Haga Kristensen, Trolle Pavillon, 2012

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Julia Bondesson, The Guardian, 2014

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Julia Bondesson, The Guardian, 2014

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Viktor Rosdahl, Pigs on Wings, 2015

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Eirik Sæther, Ståplass (20ACTING40ACTING20A), 2015

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Eirik Sæther, ROMSC RATCH BAKEF (light blue and pink), 2015

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Eirik Sæther, ROMSC RATCH BAKEF (light blue and pink), 2015

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Eirik Sæther, ROMSC RATCH BAKEF (light blue and pink), 2015

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Helena Lund Ek, Elephant, 2015

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Goldin+Senneby, AfterMicrosoft, 2007

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Emanuel Röhss, Window, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, Window, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, Entrance, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, Entrance, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, Striding Wall I, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, Striding Wall I, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, Striding Wall I, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, The Byzantine Family, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, The Byzantine Family, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, The Byzantine Family, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, The Byzantine Family, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, Marina Traversing the Dining Room, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, Break – In – Point, 2015

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Emanuel Röhss, The Burglar Couple anticipating their move, 2015

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Maria von Hausswolff, Evidence of the not yet known, 2015

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