EPISODE 1: Acute Melancholia
Dates: 5-28th February 2010
Breakfast Press View 5th February 2010, 9 am-12 noon
Private View 5th February 2010 from 6pm-9pm
Curated by Linda Persson (U.K / SWE)
Sara Ahde (FIN), Anna Barriball (U.K), Johanna Gustafsson-Fürst / Magnus Mattsson (SWE), Johanna Hällsten (U.K/SWE), Conor Kelly (IR/U.K), Linda Persson (U.K/SWE), Iris Piers (NE), Philomene Pirecki (U.K), Kristin Posehn (US), Stéphane Querrec (FR), Natasha Rees (U.K), Marja-Leena Sillanpää (SWE), Martin Westwood (U.K)
The driving force behind the exhibition Episode 1: Acute Melancholia (1), outlines and explores the possibilities of a provisional suspense, where the ambition is to generate a transitional environment in relation to and between the individual works and aesthetics being presented.
The participating artists share the sensibility, across their diverse practises of something that can’t easily be articulated. The odds against the ability to reconcile desire with reality therefore emphasize a state of impossibility, a sort of failure.
The presentation procedure will accentuate the notion of contemporary practice and this exhibition is considered to evoke one of displacement, obliquity and suspension, rather than directly communicative and absolute in and of itself. As a reflection to the global situation of the financial and natural ongoing transformations, shapes a slippage between what we experience as an individual and what we experience as a global participator which is highly subjected to scaling in a sense of the ‘real’ and the ‘truth’ via expansive or reductive series of vernaculars, repetitions and failures.
The balance between the aesthetics being presented and the outlook on ‘world balance’ will emphasize the lack of significant coherence between economical and political development and the human mind itself.
In Freud’s essay ‘Mourning and Melancholia’ (2). (1917), he challenges the difference between the two and proclaims that in the former, it is consciousness that experiences a loss. This causes a painful withdrawal, a necessity for the conscious mind to understand what has been lost. The latter, melancholia, has no recourse to the solution of withdrawal. Unable to recognize its stimulant it is an affect without identifiable or particular cause.
- Acute Melancholia is a phrase taken from the film “Vertigo” (Hitchcock), when John Scottie Ferguson, a San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia, investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife. While becoming dangerously infatuated with her, and when she mysteriously commits suicide and dies he is diagnosed with acute melancholia.
- (Penguin Freud Library, Vol. 11, p. 248).). ‘In mourning “it is the world that has become poor and empty; in melancholia it is the ego itself”
Sara Ahde’s films and photography explores the occasionally ominous underside of interpersonal relationships, where what usually remains left unsaid bubbles to the surface with unrestrained candour and buried treasure. Ahde studied in London but lives/works in Finland since 2008. She has since completed several photographic commissions.
Anna Barriball’s work hinges on minimal interactions with objects and often steps between the parallel languages of drawing and sculpture. In her hands a map of the world is transformed into a strange expanse of shimmering substance, or the bounce of a rubber ball on a piece of paper creates the effect of a cosmic explosion. Barriball is represented by Frith Street Gallery and her work is in many collections such as Tate gallery, Arts Council U.K, Herning Museum, Herning, Denmark, Saatchi Collection U.K.
Johanna Gustafsson-Fürst / Magnus Mattsson
Johanna Gustafsson-Fürst / Magnus Mattsson, are here attempting a collaborative piece called Tragedy is nothing compared to this. Gustafsson-Fürst often uses material downloaded directly from the places where she works. The material / concepts are often filtered via a narrative context. Mattsson has been working on a series called ‘Doppelganger’ since 1997, in which he questions the tradition of portraiture by creating a conflict between the personal and the formal, with a borderline balance between the extremely superficial and an inner human depth. Gustafsson-Fürst is represented by Gallery Niklas Belenius and was with Magnus Mattsson amongst others the co-founders of the artist run space AK28. Both have shown their work extensively in Scandinavia.
Johanna Hällsten was born in Stockholm and now lives/works in the U.K. In 2004 she completed her PhD on the Uncanny in contemporary installation art and since then she has consistently exhibited her work throughout Europe, US and China. Hällsten’s work transcends the vernaculars between human, animal and nature and her sculptural sound pieces insinuate several parallel universes with an uncanny undertone. Alongside her art practise she presents papers and writes (IAPL, n.Paradoxa, Contemporary Aesthetics, IIAA, etc); she is included in many books and journals.
The relentless and sometimes quiet universal events of the city are often the subject of Kelly’s films. In these works he pays homage to the urban journey and they are framed in such a way that anticipation is a vital part of the work. The notion of the familiar is interpreted as a musical cadence or dynamic possibility. Things pass through the frame as if looking is almost within earshot. The result will engage the gallery space and viewer in a form of song…a form of slow sing-a-long. Conor Kelly is a London based artist and composer. He is represented by Green On Red Gallery Dublin and has shown extensively in solo and group shows in London and internationally
Linda Persson is an artist with an interdisciplinary practice employing video, sound, dance, drawing and installation. Persson studied in London and moves between Sweden and the U.K. She is the founder of an artist run space in London, 'X-ray at the Perseverance', which has exhibited over 70 established and emerging international artists. She also acts as a curator/organizer and is the initiator for 'EPISODE 1: Acute Melancholia'. Persson had a solo show at AK28 in 2007 and has also exhibited in Europe and the US. She is nominated for the Sovereign European Art Prize 2010.
Iris Piers is an artist working with non-narrative and non-linear film and installation. She does not determine the structure of a film by a classic script or story line, but by isolating, abstracting and simulating parts of ideas and everyday life. The combination of video and audio are an unlimited source of self-generating abstraction and therefore extremely pliable to present in an artistic form and/or context. Piers often collaborates with other sound artists producing live performances. She has recently screened and performed at Malmö Konsthall, Dunkers Kulturhus, Helsingborg, Filmhuset, Stockholm.
Kristin Posehn was born in Northern California, she now lives and works in Maastricht, the Netherlands, as a research fellow at the Jan van Eyck Academie. In 2009 she completed an architectural installation relating to the ghost town of Metropolis, USA, which was realized outdoors, in public space, with Museum De Paviljoens in Almere, the Netherlands. Her work was recently included in the exhibition “Chanting Baldessari” at the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, and “Parlor and Roseville” at Kate Werble Gallery in New York City.
Philomene Pirecki’s cross-disciplinary work involves painting, drawing, collage, slide projections, photography, text and video. Through the use of repetition, reproduction and material transformations in a work, over time, she attempts to question the notion of a definitive representation and interpretation of an artwork. Pirecki has recently exhibited at Thomas Dane Gallery, London and at David Risley Gallery, Denmark and is represented by BROWN gallery in London.
Stéphane Querrec What is the place for conflict in art? What are the potentials of embarrassment for art?
As an author Querrec wants to react to how “distanced” or “engaged” the beholder-subject is supposed to be when experiencing art, and to play with feelings of anxiety, stress and strain. In creating a conflictual zone between beholder and work, he wants to propose a friction in the traditional, philosophical subject-object separation.
I'm a 31 year old artist, and I need an audience to worship. One that keeps on giving. To me. To my moans. To my happiness. To my general well-being. This is my new mantra: to ME. I have been denying myself and there's just no need. Be nice to me and you'll see... just how happy you also can be! When are you taking me and why am I picking you?
Natasha Rees visual languages compel an understanding of what we look at, hear, or witness – sometimes first hand, on a fundamental level, through simple constructions.
Her use of various media investigate how images and objects can be pared down and in a way ‘exposed’ to the point where their obvious associations have to be rethought.
Rees is also a freelance writer and Founder and Editor of 'Evidence', a journal of writing and artists' originals. She has contributed to ‘Untitled’ Contemporary Art Magazine and FRAME online Contemporary Art.
JAG ÄR CLARIVOYANT
Marja-Leena Sillanpää is an artist whose work often uses different vernaculars to communicate about things we don’t like to be reminded of or talk about such as death. Her works often depart from text and transform itself to various forms of sound, installation and image. One easily becomes absorbed by the melancholy and humor that her work communicates. The latest 2 years Sillanpää has increasingly developed work in the genre of sound and has released cd’s and vinyl (anthology "Departure of Melancoly" or hits from "h&h o&a n&n).
Her latest sound piece "polyglot - jag har kontakt med döda" will be released 2010 by Hagström & Nordwall. Sillanpää is represented by S.P.G gallery, Stockholm.
Martin Westwood creates images and objects by employing stock photographs of idealized executives, company livery and the banal stuff of office fixtures, fittings and supplies to create images and objects that speak of how the language and ideology of exchange bleed into other, more frangible realms of human experience. By working the fields of already discredited fictions he enables the work to surpass them, raking its familiar soil so that a perverse formality may reveal itself. Westwood is represented by The Approach Gallery, London and has exhibited at Art Now, Tate Britain, Henry More Institute, Leeds, Art Statements, Basel and recently held a fellowship at the British School of Rome.
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