Category Archives: Sculptures

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Final words: The Icelandic Love Corporation

It’s the last day of June and time to move on. Before we continue onto the summer — keeping a lower profile on the country side — we are wrapping up the “flavor of the month“, closing June with an artistic work that touches upon existential and political issues, which is theatrically staged with a humorous angle — in a peculiar fusion of realism and surrealism…

Happy summer everyone!

The Icelandic Love Corporation — Eirún Sigurðardóttir, Jóní Jónsdóttir, Sigrún Hrólfsdóttir and Dóra Ísleifsdóttir (who left the group in 2001) — met in Reykjavík, at the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts. Their first big performance was “The Kiss”, featuring the artists kissing and was broadcasted on national TV in 1996.

The Kiss / Photo taken from ICL’s homepage

A kiss — they say — that was a little bit longer than a friends kiss but a little bit shorter than a lover’s kiss. In the end of the performance one of the artists kissed the camera lens and in the meantime, sent a kiss to every home in the whole country.

“With this performance we were trying to spread love and good feelings,” Sigrún says (in Grapewine 2007).

And since then — since that first kiss — the mission of the group has only expanded in line with their steadily growing career.

Women good enough to eat / Photo taken from ILC’s homepage

To The Icelandic Love Corporation, there are no rules — anything goes and nothing is irrelevant. Even though spreading love and good feeling is a part of their performances, The Icelandic Love Corporation has never been afraid to go all the way. Humour, femininity and carelessness is mixed with political thoughts and serious topics in their work, which is mostly performative — depending on time, place and “had-to-be-there” moments.  The group is enigmatic and their vibrant, life affirming work is both transient and anonymous. It’s not resistant to pin-pointing or analysing — and trying to do so is rather futile. Their work is honest — and refreshing — with a serious undertone that isn’t unwieldy. As is written in an interview with the group in the SiouxWire Annex from 2006:

“As a whole, their body of work is like an ornate diary, a window into their own personal journeys with the most incredible, enlightening outlook”.

“Where do we go from here?” / Photographer: Páll Stefánsson

Through performances and other mediums (including installations, prints, textile, sculptures, poetry, photography and videos), the group works to breakdown the distance between art and audience, and their projects often result in participatory events or public offerings. In one of their latest collaboration with Lilith Performance Studio in Malmö, the group created — in a living web of 5000 nylon pantyhose — a singular visual experience “Think Less, Feel more” that worked on irrational levels of the thinking process. The performance had its starting point in the visible and invisible contacts between people — conveying experiences of control and lack of control, conflict, sensitivity and elasticity …

… taking the performance artform just a one step further.

Think Less – Feel more / Photo taken from Lilith Performance Studio

The Icelandic Love Corporation (Gjörningaklúbburinn) was established by four Icelandic women in 1996 and since then, the group has gained a reputation both in Iceland and abroad. The fourth member (Dóra Ísleifsdóttir) left the group in 2001 but the three remaining members; Eirún Sigurðardóttir (1971), Jóní Jónsdóttir (1971) and Sigrún Hrólfsdóttir (1973), have kept on making artwork together, tour the world and surprise both audience and bypassers with innovative performances and lasting by-products including installations, sculptures, prints, textile, photographs, poetry and videos. Believing in the power of collaboration, the ILC’s history counts more than 200 exhibitions, as they’ve performed in small galleries and large museums, collaborated with renowned artists and musicians (f.ex. Björk) and invaded public spaces in major cities across the world. Their work can be found found in numerous public and private collections. 


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Filed under Art, Choreography, Documentary, Iceland, Installation, Live art, Media, Music, Performance, Photography, Political Art, Print, Reykjavík, Sculptures, Sociopolitical art, Sound Art, Textile Art, Video Art, Visual Art

LIFE CLOCK

Vernissage: 22nd of June 2012, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art (Copenhagen)

Every summer, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art invites artists to curate an exhibition with a focus on the latest tendencies in contemporary art. This year the art group A Kassen, curates the show and present their own view of interesting art right now, inviting 12 Danish and International artists to take part in the exhibition. The title of the show, Life Clock, is taken from one of the works by French artist Bertrand Planes. The piece consist of a clock that does not record time as normally — in hours and minutes — but instead counts years and age approximated from the average lifespan of a Frenchman. The clock is adjusted so that it’s 54.800 times slower than a normal clock and keeps time with the artists’ actual age. With this simple gesture, Bertrand Planes changes our perception of time from anonymous, collective and perhaps meaningless — to an image of personal vanity and a reminder of the transience of life.

One of Konsthopp’s good friend in Copenhagen, Amir Zainorin, was present at the opening night and took some shots. Enjoy!

Photographs by Amir Zainorin

Date: 23rd of June – 12th of August 2012

Artists: Honey Biba Beckerlee (DK), Julius Von Bismarck (DE) and Julian Charriere (FR/CH), Torben Christensen (DK), Cyprien Gaillard (FR), Robin Gommel (DE), Anna Molska (PL), Simon Dybbroe Møller (DK), Bertrand Planes (FR), Att Poomtangon (TH), Wilfredo Prieto (CU), Troels Sandegaard and Ebbe Stub Wittrup (DK), From The Confected Video Archive of Kling & Bang Gallerí: Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir, Loji Höskuldsson and Úlfur Grönvold (IS).

Curator: A Kassen art group

Place: Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Oslo Plats 1, Copenhagen


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Filed under Amir Zainorin, Art, Art stroll, Collage/Clip Art, Copenhagen, Group exhibit, Guest blog, Konsthopp, Photography, Sculptures, Visual Art, Workshop visit

“I WOULD LIKE TO SET A TREND!”

Artist talk: Mimosa Pale (Finland)

When I think about Finland, a bridge between east and west across my mind. The Finnish people — speaking Swedish by law but in general so different from the Swedes. Their own language — Finnish — so different from everything I´ve heard. And how does the Finnish heartbeat sounds like? Same but — in some way — different?

Mimosa Pale is our first Finnish interviewee. She is an incarnation of coolness — not only because she is an interesting artist — Mimosa also runs a hat store, where she sells her own design  Our guest blogger, Elina Lajunen worked with her in Berlin and introduced us to Mimosa´s intriguing world — of hats.

The curator; Katharina Rettelbach used these kindly words to describe Mimosa:

Her artwork is a synthesis of sculpture and performance art. In her often interactive work, humour, lust and celebration lead to carnevaleque staging. She likes to switch context being it museum, theatre, street or church. She acts in cabaret shows with her singing saw, creates haute-couture for everybody and makes fashion shows in her Berlin flat. Mimosa Pale has visited various international performance art festivals and is currently running Atelier Himo in Berlin.

We are getting one step closer to the Finnish heart. Read Mimosa Pale´s interview here.

Photograph taken from Ausland-Berlin

P.s. If you are Finnish; we hope you can write an article and unveil the secrets behind the mysterious Finnish art scene. Drop us a line at konsthopp@gmail.com

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Filed under Artist Talk, Finland, Installation, Konsthopp, Live art, Performance, Sculptures, Visual Art

“ART IS AN AMAZING WAY TO DEAL WITH LIFE”

– Interview with Tessa Praun (Sweden)

When did you start curating? Tell us something about your educational background and curatorial experience?

Curator Tessa Praun with Ai Wei Wei at his ateljé in 2010/ Photo by Magasin 3

 I started curating for real on my current job, the private art foundation Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall. My background is in the Humanities Study Program and Art History at Stockholm University. I did my final internship at IASPIS (International Artists Studio Program in Sweden), an artist in residency program that really got me interested in contemporary art. From there I moved on to shorter experiences at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and as assistant curator at Kunstverein München, amongst others. In 2004 I started as assistant curator at Magasin 3 and became curator two years later. Since then I have curated exhibitions with artists such as Miroslav Tichy, Christian Boltanski, Annika von Hausswolff, Marijke van Warmerdam, Ai Weiwei, etc. and have done collaborative projects with other art institutions in Europe and been working with Magasin 3:s own collection.

What is your personal relationship with Ai Wei Wei and his work? How did it come about that you got to curate his show at Magasin 3?

I was very taken by Ai Weiwei’s project “Fairytale” that he did for Documenta XII, this impressive idea to invite 1001 Chinese people to come with him to Kassel in Germany in the summer of 2007. It is a fantastic social multi layered project that lives on through stories that are being told as well as through physical remaining parts with an amazing visual strength. Experiencing this work in Kassel made me read more about Ai Weiwei and follow the work he did after.

In 2010 I was in China and had the chance to visit Ai Weiwei in his combined home and studio in Beijing. This was in a time when he was already very pressed by the Chinese authorities and he had just been under a three days house arrest when we met. Meeting him in his own environment and under these pressing circumstances effected me strongly and coming back to Stockholm I invited him to have the exhibition here at Magasin 3 this spring.

Fairytale (dormitory) by Ai Wei Wei 

Tell us more about the Ai Wei Wei exhibition. What has been your main role as a curator of the show?

From the beginning I knew that I did not want to make a retrospective exhibition, instead I wanted a selection of works that focuses on China as synonymous to mass production and Ai Weiwei’s concern for the individual as a necessary part of the big mass. Ai Weiwei did the first selection of works that he and I then discussed and added to. Only a few months into working together, in the beginning of April 2011, he suddenly was arrested and kept detained on no legal grounds in an undisclosed location. Not knowing what was going to happen, if and when he would be released, me and my colleagues had to decide how to move on. Together with Ai Weiwei’s assistants we came to the conclusion that the best thing that we could do in that situation was to continue the preparations of the exhibition, it felt even more so important to show his work and make his voice heard. Despite my deep concerns for Ai Weiwei’s situation I had to focus as much as I could on completing the exhibition and do so in the most respectful way.

World Map by Ai Wei Wei

Can you explain the importance of the reading room being a part of the Ai Wei Wei exhibition? Why emphasize on all that information?

At the point when Ai Weiwei was detained and couldn’t be part of the preparations of the exhibition anymore, I felt it was important to give our visitors a deeper insight into Ai Weiwei’s situation, why he is on a collision course with the regime and consequently has become so known also outside the art world. So I developed a reading room. A physical one in the actual exhibition space, side by side with the artworks. It includes reading material, a sound archive where various people contributed with their stories and reflections on Ai Weiwei, interviews and documentaries on and by Ai Weiwei. But also a digital one, a special homepage gathering articles, documentaries, the sound archive, filmed documentation of all panel discussions that we have arranged in connection to the exhibition etc. in order for people to explore his work both as an artist, activist, blogger, architect. He himself does not really distinguish these roles. I found it interesting to bring this up through the reading room. Both the physical and digital reading room have proven very useful and much appreciated.

Video work by Ai Wei Wei 

Do you think new and digital media used in contemporary art has brought new aspects to arts and curating? Yes or no, explain why.

Well yes, I think since these new media are part of society today it is only a natural development that also artists explore them and art institutions adapt them in communicating with the audience. In some cases art can be brought closer to the viewer through various new media and attract those who are hard to reach in a more traditional manner. In our part of the world we live in a time with a tremendous fast pace. It is important that art can both adapt to these new circumstances but also offer a brake from just that. The content has to be the driving force otherwise the experience will be lost completely. It is a challenge for both artist and curator to find the right balance.

Stool by Ai Wei Wei

Photographs by Konsthopp

What qualities do you think a good curator should have?  

A good curator knows how to both support and challenge an artist, is curious and open minded, dedicated to the project and flexible to deal with different characters and situations under time pressure : )

From your point of view, how does the future of professional curating look like? What are your personal wishes, hopes and perspectives on your future curatorial plans?

My main motivation for being a curator is to learn more about life. Being close to art is an amazing way to deal with life, to explore notions of the present, history and future, to be inspired to thoughts and feelings. If I can transmit this also to other people then I think I am doing something good.

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Filed under Ceramic Art, Conversation, Curator, Curator Talk, Documentary, Fine Art, Installation, Political Art, Sculptures, Sociopolitical art, Stockholm, Textile Art, Uncategorized, Video Art, Visual Art

TONIGHT X 3

Vernissages: 24th of May 2012 (Stockholm)

TONIGHT X 3 is a collaboration beeween ANNAELLEGALLERY, Gallery Niklas Belenius and Young Art. The galleries are all in a walking distance from each other and on Thursday night last week they opened up their galleries and gave us — the visitors — a great opportunity to take an art stroll around the neighborhood, mingle and see some outstanding artwork. Later in the night they invited their guest to continue the art party at Berns Salonger. Great initiative by the gallery owners and I hope they continue the collaboration next fall!

To give you a little overview of the artwork of the night; I snapped some shots with my i-phone. Hope you enjoy!

Work by Ellisif Hals / ANNAELLEGALLERY

Work by Simon Mullan / ANNAELLEGALLERY

Work by Max Ockborn / ANNAELLEGALLERY

Work by Olof Inger / ANNAELLEGALLERY

Work by Timothy Crisp / Gallery Niklas Belenius 

Work by Jan Hofström / Gallery Niklas Belenius

Work by Andy Warhol / Gallery Niklas Belenius

Work by Gustaf Lilliestierna / Young Art 

Installation by Daniel Jouseff / Young Art

Work by Gustaf Lilliestierna / Young Art

Date: 24th of May 2011

Artists: Various

Places: ANNAELLEGALLERY (Riddargatan 41), Gallery Niklas Belenius (Ulrikagatan 13) & Young Art (Artillerigatan 6), Stockholm

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Filed under Art, Art stroll, Collage/Clip Art, Group exhibit, Installation, Light installation, Multimedia, Paintings, Political Art, Sculptures, Sociopolitical art, Stockholm, Textile Art, Visual Art, Young Art

– 33

On-going:, 14th of April – 6th of May 2012, Kling & Bang (Reykjavik)


Demons, fiends, devils, sorcerers, monsters, werewolves …

Somehow — spring usually brings out my inner demons. And sometimes I´m lucky enough to meet some of them — unexpectedly — on my way.

Sigga Björg creates a mysterious world of all kinds of creatures in her latest exhibition: ” – 33 ” at Kling & Bang Gallery. Up to this point, the artist´s creatures have been anonymous but now you can meet and even buy the little devils.

Please, let me introduce; Max, Gaab, Dianna, Jacobb, Benedict and Najim.

“Max” (or I think this is Max)

“Gaab”

“Dianna”

“Jacobb”

“Benedict”

“Najim”

“Max” (or I think this is Max)

Photographs by Konsthopp

I´m going to end this short entry with a text from the exhibition catalog under the heading Looking the Devil in the Eye by Goddur:

“Demons, fiends and devils visit our dreams and visions. They appear on everyone’s inner hemisphere. So do angels, nymphs and little elves, flashing before us on the peripheries of our vision. However, very few are willing to acknowledge this and accept it, let alone draw it on paper and thereby transfer the vision into this world. Most people dismiss it as fantasies and hallucinations, ashamed even to mention that it happened. Nevertheless, the devils and demons symbolise certain things. They harbour our hidden impulses and feelings.”

Guðmundur  Oddur  Magnússon (Goddur)

Today is the last day to look the devil in the eye!

Date: 14th of April – 6th of May 2012

Artist: Sigga Björg Sigurðardóttir

Place: Kling & Bang Gallery, Hverfisgata 42, Reykjavik

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Filed under Art, Drawings, Konsthopp, Reykjavík, Sculptures, Video Art, Visual Art

“SO I COULD PUNCH PABLO PICASSO”

Artist talk: Sanna-Lisa Gesang-Gottowt (Sweden)

Political and without borders is how you could describe Sanna-Lisa — and with an attitude that doesn’t call everthing her grandmother.

This is how the artist describes her style:

“I usually mix mediums and sometimes include found objects for their symbolic value. In general I am attracted to and use a lot of texture, colour and shape. I always have a social and/or political message but it can be hard to decipher. To sum it up I guess my style is a socio-political discharge of colour and texture”.

There is no stagnation around Sanna-Lisa either, and soon she is opening up a public space gallery in Stockholm. The gallery (Galleri Fotfolket) is being built already and will have its first show in May 2012 – with an exhibition consisting of a number of pedestrian powered boxes. And that is something to be excited about!

We are happy to have Sanna-Lisa join us in our latest “Artist-talk”. Click here to read the whole interview!

Photograph belong to Sanna-Lisa Gesang-Gottowt

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Filed under Art, Artist Talk, Installation, Photography, Political Art, Sculptures, Stockholm, Street Art