Monthly Archives: April 2012

UGLYCUTE

Date: 18th of February – 13th of May 2012, Marabouparken (Stockholm)

Colorcube (2008) by Uglycute

The art and design group Uglycute (Markus Degerman, Andreas Nobel, Jonas Nobel & Fredrik Stenberg) began their collaboration in 1999. The team-up was a reaction against the Swedish design climate at the time as the group used craft and design to discuss taste, quality, class, gender and politics. Their activities have branched out into the Swedish and international art and design worlds through objects, exhibition architecture, interior design and teaching.

Speakers for Cheap Monday (2010) by Uglycute

Between 18th of February – 13th of May, Marabouparken is exhibiting a collection of Uglycute’s work and practices. Through the 500 m2 gallery the work is presented as a labyrinth of transparent metal cages, were the audience is able to walk around the space, which feels like a three-dimensional archive over Uglycute’s methods seen through objects, furniture, interiors, films and educational practices.

In the exhibition catalogue it says:

According to Uglycute, their practice takes place between art, design and architecture. The goal is to expand the notion of design by cross-fertilizing it with the members’ different professions and by analyzing the effects of design on society not only through their own practice, but also through writing, teaching, and organizing workshops. In Uglycute’s quest for new approaches to material, beauty, economy and collaboration, they developed their characteristic uglycute “look” whereby furniture, objects and interiors are created out of chipboard, styrofoam and clay.

Photographs by Konsthopp

Even if the goal has been a renewal of design, much of Uglycute’s work and discussions have taken place in the art world. One reason why this has been the case could be because the art world provides a place for criticism and self-reflection. The exhibition is inspiring and brings to the front the role that the art space can play for the important political and social debate in the discussion about form and design.

You can read the Uglycute catalogue online by clicking here!

Date: 18th of February – 13th of May 2012

Uglycute: Markus Degerman (artist), Andreas Nobel (interior designer), Jonas Nobel (artist) & Fredrik Stenberg (architect)

Place: Marabouparken, Löfströmsvägen 8, Sundbyberg (Stockholm)

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Filed under Architect, Art, Design, Konsthopp, Stockholm

NÚNINGUR / FRICTION

On-going: 14th of April – 13th of May 2012, Listasafn ASÍ (Reykjavik)

The visual art in the city — The city in the visual art

It can be hard to define what is sociopolitical art. But as far as I know  — all art in public sphere have political implication. And since our flavor of this month is sociopolitical art;  it is a must to mention the ongoing project; Núningur (e. Friction).

The project is build upon ideas by couple of artists and scholars and have been under way for a while. Together — the project deliberates about the many-sided connection between visual art and the urban community.

“Veghelgunarsvæði” by Ósk Vilhjálmsdóttir

“Heyr mína bæn” by Katrína Mogensen

“Kleine Welten” by Christian Hasucha

Photographs are taken from the project´s Facebook site

Listasafn ASÍ is working as a kind of center for the project but the the work will be published all over Reyakjvík city this year. An ambitious exhibition catalogue have been released and many open symposium are scheduled in relation to the show. So stay tuned!

Date: 14th of April – 13th of May 2012

Artists: Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Ásmundur Ásmundsson, Berglind Jóna Hlynsdóttir, Brynjar Helgason, Christian Hasucha, Elin Wikström, Gunnar J. Árnason, Hjálmar Sveinsson, Hlynur Hallsson, Indriði Arnar Ingólfsson, Ingirafn Steinarsson, Ívar Glói Gunnarsson, Karl Torsten Stallborn, Katrín Eyjólfsdóttir, Katrína Mogensen, Margrét H. Blöndal, Nikulás Stefán Nikulásson, Nína Óskarsdóttir, Páll Haukur Björnsson, Ósk Vilhjálmsdóttir, Ragna Sigurðardóttir, Stefán Óli Baldursson, Una Ösp Steingrímsdóttir, Unnar Örn J. Auðarson, Þorvaldur Þorsteinsson, Þröstur Valgarðsson, and Æsa Sigurjónsdóttir

Curators: Einar Garibaldi Eiríksson, Kristinn E. Hrafnsson and Ólafur Gíslason

Place: Listasafn ASÍ,  Freyjugötu 41, Reykjavík

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Filed under Art, Group exhibit, Konsthopp, Lecture, Multimedia, Performance, Photography, Political Art, Reykjavík, Sociopolitical art, Uncategorized, Video Art

“MASKULIN”

Ongoing: 11th – 30th of April 2012, Young Art (Stockholm)

From the series “Närhet viktigare än sex ” by Viktor Johansson

This month, Young Art is presenting their first “themed exhibition”, with work by Johan Ray Pedersen and Viktor Johansson. In the exhibition Maskulin, the focus is laid on how social norms of masculinity looks like, can be questioned and changed. The two artists tackle the theme from different perspectives and with different techniques but come together in their interest of the expectations and definitions of today’s manliness.

“Utan titel” by Johan Ray Pedersen 

Johan Ray Pedersen (b. 1975) focuses on the stereotypical male ideal of society and the arts. For two years he has been working with paintings and collage, studying classical male attributes and symbols, such as penises, horses, bodybuilders and industrial environments. The paradox in choices of subjects can both go against and emphasize what is considered to be masculine but still un-masculine to portray. According to himself, he has even been asked if he isn’t afraid to become gay, while painting penises! With his work Johan wants to de-dramatize the emphases on what is feminine or masculine  – and instead focus on what is human. Or as he self puts it:

“Is it really that dangerous to paint some penises?”

“Golden Receiver” by Johan Ray Pedersen

“Göteborg” by Johan Ray Pedersen

From the series “Vem mäter mina drömmar” by Johan Ray Pederses

Viktor Johansson (b. 1987) works with photography as an artistic medium. In the past year, he has (among other projects) examined men in groups and their fear of physical contact. For the exhibition, Viktor Johansson has chosen to follow five male friendship pairs, portraying best friends and their way of socializing. The theory he carries is that men often only have one or two friends where the physical contact is natural, artless, and without prejudice. Through his photographs Viktor Johansson questions the social norms of masculinity and studies men’s views on non-sexual physical contact. Why can women, unlike men, hold hands and share a bed without anyone questioning their sexual orientation?

From the series “Närhet viktigare än sex ” by Viktor Johansson

From the series “Närhet viktigare än sex ” by Viktor Johansson 

“Närhet viktigare än sex ” by Viktor Johansson

Photographs by Viktor Johansson belong to Young Art / Other photos taken by Konsthopp

So– what does it really mean to be a man today? Is masculinity carved in stones? An image associated with taboos – saying that men should not show emotions or paint penises? Or is it constantly changing? As many of today’s gender debate is often dominated by the theme of how women can change, I believe the theme of “masculinity” hits right across!

As we have mentioned before, Young Art  is the place for those who are interested in enthusiastic art by emerging artists, and is always worth visiting! This time there is no exception! The exhibition runs until 30th of April 2012.

Artists: Johan Ray Pedersen & Viktor Johansson

Date: 11th – 30th of April 2012

Place: Young Art, Artillerigatan 6, Stockholm

Opening hours: Wednesday – Friday, 12.00 – 18.00 ; Saturday – Sunday, 12.00 – 16.00

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Filed under Art, Art stroll, Collage/Clip Art, Documentary, Konsthopp, Paintings, Photography, Political Art, Sociopolitical art, Video Art, Young Art

GOOGLE PHOTO PRIZE 2012

Net stroll: Viktor Johansson (Sweden)

The 24-year-old Swedish photo student, Viktor Johansson, has been named as the winner of the Google Photography Prize 2012. Viktor impressed the judges with his documentary series of Christoffer Eskilsson, Sweden’s top male 10m diver.

The jury’s motivation:

“Viktor Johansson has chosen to show us an alternative view, one that we are not used to seeing from sport photography in the media. Instead of glamorous action shots of an athlete in competition, he has produced arresting and unexpected photographs that focus on the long, lonely hours of repetitive training and practice that it takes to excel in your field.” (Nigel Hurst)

Viktor Johansson (b. 1985) studies his last year at the Nordic Photography school Biskops-Arnö (related post). You can see some of Viktor’s photographs at the ongoing exhibition “Maskulin” at Young Art in Stockholm. And if you’re in London, Viktor’s photographs of Christoffer Eskilsson will be exhibited along with the 9 other finalists photographs at The Saatchi Gallery, between 25th of April – 22nd of Jule 2012.

Congratulations Viktor!

 

Photographs belong to Viktor Johansson


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Filed under Documentary, Stockholm, Young Art

KIDS STUFF

Art workshops for children in Reykjavik

It might sound strange but during national (economic) depression — people often seem to have more children. Iceland is there no exception.

In the year of 2009 and 2010, more children were born in Iceland than ever before. These periods are in daily life called baby boom. People born during such a period are often called baby boomers.

Art workshop at Kjarvalsstaðir. Photo/Ragna Kjartansdóttir

Painting by a child at Gerðarsafn

Art work by various children at Listasafn Íslands

An installation at Gerðarsafn

Drawing by a child at Gerðarsafn

Art workshop at Kjarvalsstaðir. Photo/Ragna Kjartansdóttir

Photographs by Konsthopp

While it is trendy to have a baby, the biggest art museums in Iceland work hard to please the parents. Recently, the first Children´s culture festival in Reykjavik was launched. Many art workshops for children of all ages were scheduled. Almost anything was possible. The youngsters could create swords and shields, forge settlement era style jewelry, kites, masks and draw runes.

Where there are children, there is life. All kind of people showed up. Young, old, big, small, known, unknown. In the middle of the crowd you could spot the culture-minded Mayor of Reykjavik, poets and popular DJ´s. Thanks for this enjoyable enterprise.

I´m already excited to watch out for our future artists!

Artists: Various children

Places: Listasafn Íslands, Gerðarsafn, Kjarvalsstaðir and Nýló

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Filed under Art, Art festival, Children Art, Drawings, Konsthopp, Reykjavík, Young Art

I LIKE IT

Artist in residence: Una B. Sigurðardóttir (Iceland)

– Read Una’s previous diary notes Please note this & It boils my blood

Now I will talk about what is enjoyable about being in Japan.

The people here. I have met many people during my stay here and I mostly live and work with  local people. Even though I am sometimes with out a tongue among large groups — and the fact that languages barriers truly exist — I feel very warm with the Japanese people I have connected to. Acting, drawing and whatever you can think of to make yourself understandable has been tried out on both sides. And as I start to know the people better and they to know me, it becomes easier and joking around is no longer a mission.

My experience with the people and the social culture is most friendly and I find the respect among and between people very comfortable. But this is also a double edge sword, this culture has a tradition for people not disagreeing or debating. People here have addressed this problem to me and are searching for a way to get the society to talk and debate about its future. It is very necessary right now because of the nuclear issue that they are facing.

There are not really bars in Japanese culture, but really many drinking restaurants. That means there is a big culture for eating and drinking all night long, talking, laughing and singing. Frankly, I think I have not sung as much with people in years! Maybe this connection through music has become so strong exactly because of the lack of language, but it doesn’t change the fact that the freedom to sing and be exposed by that is ok and not frightening.

Eating in Japan is also fun. It is very social action and as one can imagine the cuisine is brilliant. Of all the various traditional dishes that I have tried at dinner parties or restaurants there are only two things that I will absolutely not eat again. But the rest, preferably.

It is hard to describe a place, and why you start to love it. It is an atmosphere. The millions of details that you notice when you’re going around and about that compose this picture. The attitude, the smile, the colours, the smell, the train, the metro and the face masks. How people just seem to feel ok about falling asleep everywhere and under the most strange circumstances. The fact that you take off your shoes all the time and that you don’t need to worry about locking your bicycle.

The bathhouse and the bathing culture, the loud and colourful advertising signs everywhere manifesting the craziness of this country’s capitalism, shouting people on every corner wanting to sell you something, the stylish girls and guys and Kawii! Never have I met as many adults presenting themselves with such cutefied shyness as here. This attitude is the fruit of the Kawii culture that has been completely integrated into “Old Japan”.

Photographs belong to Una B. Sigurðardóttir

I am telling you that public signs, roadblock and … you name it — has been citified. But the sky here is beautiful and all is full of automates, for whatever you can’t think of and this culture definitely does not understand coffee, or to put it mild, has reinvented it … and everything is a bit different from what you are used to.

I like it.

宜しく

Una

About the artist 

Una B. Sigurðardóttir completed her BA degree from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in the spring of 2008.  She lived and worked in Reykjavík, as an artist and a poet, as well as teaching figure drawing at a secondary grammar school until the fall of 2011. She currently lives in the Netherlands and is pursuing her MA degree of Fine Arts at AKV St. Joost Academy.

She was a member of Gallery Crymo, an artist-run, non-profit gallery. In addition she ran a studio at Hvefisgata 61 in collaboration with other artists and writers. She has been involved in the organization of many artistic events, participated in numerous exhibitions in Iceland and abroad, and given performances and readings of her own works.

Her body of work is marked by multiplicity and the desire to experiment with materials, medium and method. Therefore she has chosen not to limit herself to a specific medium, although she has increasingly given emphasis to  drawing/painting/collage and sculpture, as well as continuing the fusion of and search for new mediums. Una has explored the relationship between text and other mediums such as text and image. For example, three books with her texts and drawings, “The Adventures of the Sick Girl”, “The Sick Girl Kills” and “Soap Stories” were published in 2007.

Since 2010 she has individually, and in collaboration with artist Rakel McMahon, experimented with new mediums and forms of presentation, such as creating large advertising stickers displayed in windows and manufacturing false product packagings. By this they are testing the border between the art and consumerism.

In Una’s works there are underlying narratives, and although she critically examines serious subject matter, her work is liberally spiked with humor. Una seeks to process her personal vision of society and environment in the context of the ideological assumptions and global realities that modern man is faced with. Therefore many images of consumerism and popular culture, as well as symbols of dominant ideologies, have become motifs in her work.

Between 9th of February – 11th of April 2012, Una has been writing diary notes which she has been kind enough to share with us. This was the last post. 

Read Una’s previous posts, #1 here and #2 here

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Filed under Art, Artist in residence, Guest blog, Illustrations, Japan, Konsthopp, Paintings, Political Art, recycled art, Reykjavík, Sociopolitical art, Uncategorized

ARTIST DISCOVERY #5

Illustrator: Dilka Bear (Italy)

Italian artist, Dilka Bear creates a charming acrylic illustrations of children and their honest expressions. The delicate female nature of the characters frames a magical world of daydreams — with a little touch of childhood sadness.

Photographs taken from Dilka Bear website

The artist introduces us to a misty world — conjured through muted colors and distinct style. Each painting is a magnetizing piece of art that focuses on the presenting female fragility and beauty in a wonderful but sometimes a bit surrealistic way.

It surely stoke up the mystery behind the artist not knowing her real name — or gender. Although we allow for Dilka Bear being in fact a female.

I have already bought an extremely beautiful art work from Dilka Bear Etsy store!

Artist: Dilka Bear

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Filed under Art, Illustrations, Net stroll, Visual Art