Exhibitions 2017

  • Vassil Simittchiev

    05 Dec 2017

    Vassil Simittchiev

    Lunds konsthall, 16 December 2017 – 4 February 2018

    Lunds konsthall has the great pleasure to present a solo exhibition by Vassil Simittchiev (born in 1938 in Bulgaria). It consists mainly of new works, which are put into context through a retrospective look at Simittchiev’s production from the 1970s until today. The ambition is to offer a many-facetted and in-depth survey of his much-appreciated oeuvre: humorous and magnificent but at the same time subtle.

    Simittchiev must be regarded as one of Sweden’s most important conceptual artists. For him the artistic idea is at least as important as its realisation. This has been the case at least since 1975, when he left Bulgaria, with its explicit political and artistic rules of conduct, and moved to Malmö in Sweden, where he still lives and works.

    Art in the People’s Republic was supposed to materialise the glorification of power, but Simittchiev wanted to use art as freedom of thought. His thought-based practice has since yielded a series of significant projects, realised in nature as well as in the city. A quay covered in plate glass; a street given the entire colour spectrum of the rainbow – works reminiscent of the wrapped buildings by Christo, a fellow Bulgarian of similar age, and of Robert Smithson’s ruminations on landscape.

    For Simittchiev’s latest solo exhibition at Lunds konsthall, in 1981, the whole façade was covered in silvery foil, allowing passers-by to see themselves and all of St Martin’s Square reflected by the building. The house of art as a mirror of the world around it, just like art itself.

    Thirty-six years later Simittchiev is back at Lunds konsthall, and this time we encounter an artist who has scaled down his large gestures in favour of concentrated studies of artistic processes, the laws of physics and the conditions for life. The metaphysical and the mathematical, which were always there, are brought forward, but we still recognise the approach, both light-hearted and razor-sharp.

    On the façade we see, looped to infinity, the artist’s hands shaping a lump of clay, but without producing any result. Other new works also focus on the gallery’s architecture and its place and role in the city. Simittchiev’s penchant for glass is also a recurrent feature. Large swathes of plate glass are covering the gallery’s inner courtyard.

    The gesture of covering the ground with glass can be recognised from an earlier project, a performance realised in 1985 at the Hjälmare Quay in Malmö’s harbour, where Simittchiev directed heavy trucks to drive over the temporarily glazed flagstones. Documentation of this action is shown together with other works that are central to his oeuvre.

    Another example is Possible Dissection: Project for the Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia, 1999, which proposes at cut through the mausoleum where the embalmed remains of former Bulgarian Communist leader Georgi Dimitrov used to be displayed. Simittchiev’s proposal for deconstructive conservation was presented in the year that the Bulgarian government dynamited the building.

    The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, distributed free of charge to visitors, with a new essay by critic and writer Dan Jönsson.

    Warm thanks to the artist, and also to the art institutions that so generously lent us works from their collections: the Malmö Art Museum, the Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art, here in Lund, and Moderna Museet Malmö.

    Download the exhibition catalogue

     

     

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  • Simryn Gill

    18 Sep 2017

    Simryn Gill.The Opening Up of the World
    30 September – 3 December 2017

    Lunds konsthall is proud to present Simryn Gill’s first institutional solo presentation in a northern European country. Its title is also the title of a textbook in political economy from 1936 by J. F. Horrabin, a Marxist geographer well known in his time. Gill keeps multiple copies of it in her library at Port Dickson, Malaysia.

    Gill is a Malaysian national of Indian ancestry, who represented Australia at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 and participated in two consecutive Documentas, in 2007 and 2012. Much like her social self, her work takes pain to stay gentle and decorous as long as possible, because the calm this approach helps establish is a necessary condition for making informed and instructive observations about the world—prying it open, as it were.

    Yet such straightforwardness is always conditional on how much understanding viewers show, how far they are willing to open up to the work and to the world that it creates and reveals. So the exhibition at Lunds konsthall—containing photographs, prints, other works on paper and three-dimensional objects from the last decade—is both visually inviting and conceptually demanding.

    If we were looking for an overall metaphor to describe “The Opening Up of the World” we might say, somewhat reductively, that it articulates the experience of mapping and the mapping of experience. One concern that unites the works on display is that of record-taking, understood both figuratively, as the imprint that the world makes on the artist and that she conveys to us through her work, and literally, as when she makes prints directly from sprouting coconuts or run-over snakes in the two new series Travelling Light and Naga Doodles (both 2017) that are now premiering at Lunds konsthall.

    Much like these exercises in direct printmaking, the large black-and-white photograph Scale, or Tasha and the Tree (2005/14) combines record-taking and measure-taking by letting Tasha, a young girl from Port Dickson, pose under a giant tree at the city’s old cemetery. The untitled sheets of paper, partially eaten by insects, can also be seen as records: of how bugs bore through books and of how, as Gill says, “there cannot be sentimentality toward paper in the Tropics.”

    This exhibition is—and again both figuratively and literally—bathed in light: not least the physical light streaming through the three series of photographs taken in an unsold compound of mock-Tudor weekend homes in Port Dickson: My Own Private Angkor (2007–09), Wormholes (2009) and Windows (2011/17). Gill repeatedly snuck into the abandoned spaces, inexorably decaying after local “entrepreneurs” removed all metal armatures they could sell for scrap, including the aluminum window-frames.

    The exhibition is also about color. There are the flaming red and yellow sprouts of Travelling Light and the occasional stains of dried snake blood in Naga Doodles. There are the hundreds of potato prints, made with luxury fountain-pen ink in many different nuances, of Let Them Eat Potatoes (2014). There are the reddish and grayish objects of Domino Theory (2015): bricks whittled down to egg- or bread-like shapes by the ocean, cubes shaped by Gill from soil she dug up close to termite mounds. And there are colour photographs, not only in Windows but also in the series Social Insects (2012/16) and Sun Pictures (2013).

    Lunds konsthall warmly thanks Simryn Gill for her extraordinarily precise and appealing exhibition, and also the guest curator Anders Kreuger. For their collaboration on this project, Lunds konsthall thanks M HKA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, and the galleries representing Gill: Tracy Williams Ltd in New York, Utopia Art Sydney and Jhaveri Contemporary in Mumbai.

    Download the exhibition cataloge

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  • Whither the Winds

    08 May 2017

    Whither the Winds 
    The Malmö Art Academy, at the Occasion of Lund University’s 350th Jubilee
    Lunds konsthall, 20 May – 17 September  2017

    At the occasion of Lund University’s 350th jubilee, Lunds konsthall dedicates a substantial group exhibition to artists who have taught at the Malmö Art Academy. The Academy, which is part of Lund University, was founded in 1995, continuing the activities of the Forum schools of painting and printmaking in Malmö.

    In a relatively short time, the Academy has built a solid reputation for itself. Today it offers an advanced and varied array of courses and programmes, all adapted to the students’ individual needs, and receives a high number of applications every year, not just from all parts of Sweden but also from the neighbouring Nordic countries, Europe and the rest of the world. It is a great advantage for our region that some of the sharpest students and teachers of contemporary art continuously gather here.

    The exhibition ‘Whither the Winds’ presents a selection of the many accomplished artists who have been affiliated with the Malmö Art Academy throughout the years: as professors, lecturers and visiting tutors or in the doctoral programme. We get to see works by Rosa Barba, Charif Benhelima, Matthew Buckingham, Jimmie Durham, Maj Hasager, Olav Christopher Jenssen, Mary Kelly, Joachim Koester, Matts Leiderstam, Sharon Lockhart, Lars Nilsson, João Penalva, Nina Roos, Jim Shaw, Sophie Tottie, Emily Wardill and Haegue Yang. Without doubt a magnificent panorama of the many precise forms of expression and modes of storytelling that today’s art comprises.

    In collaboration with the ‘Sommarlund’ festival, Lunds konsthall has built a stage in its inner courtyard and developed a programme titled ‘Lunds konsthall Outdoors’. For this we have invited three artists studying at or just graduated from the Malmö Art Academy − Axel Berger, Joana Pereira and Ana Rebordão− to produce three new temporary works in response to the city of Lund and its communities, all meant to be shown in public space. We hope to be able to continue this new initiative also next summer.

    Lunds konsthall warmly thanks Professor Gertrud Sandqvist of the Malmö Art Academy for the extraordinary collaborative curatorial process resulting in ‘Wither the Winds’ and for her catalogue essay that provides unique insight into art education today. Heartfelt thanks also to all the artists for the outstanding work they have contributed to this exhibition.

    Of course we also wish to thank all the lenders whose generosity have made the exhibition possible: Magasin 3 in Stockholm; Simon Lee Gallery in London; Galleri Riis in Oslo; Galleri Nicolai Wallner in Köpenhamn; Galerie neugerriemschneider in Berlin; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; Los Angeles Projects; Galleri Thomas Wallner in Simris, and not least those private lenders who also contributed. A very special thanks to Lund University’s Jubilee Fund and to Birgit and Håkan Ohlsson’s Foundation for supporting the realisation of this exhibition so generously.

    Read more in the catalogue Whither the Winds

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  • We Have A Dream

    07 Mar 2017

    Albert Wiking
    We Have A Dream. About Courage, Compassion and Human Rights
    18 March 7 – May 2017

    Having a dream is a strong motivation. The purpose of the exhibition and the book We Have a Dream  is to inspire everyone to dare follow their dreams: big or small, now or later in life. Dreaming gives us power and courage.

    Lunds konsthall now shows a selection from 114 portraits, taken all over the world between 2002 and 2016. Each portrait is accompanied by a story, and together they want us to realise that nothing is impossible. The exhibition is a document of our time, showing some of the most influential people in the world alongside youngsters and other ordinary people who really want to influence their immediate surroundings.

    We Have a Dream is essentially a photography project, but one that goes beyond the portrait frames. The initiators – Albert Wiking, who took the portraits of the participants, and Oscar Edlund, who interviewed them – wished to make a contribution to a more liveable world by showcasing positive examples. A teeming network of contact persons, agents, managers and other gate-keepers have facilitated, or blocked, their countless attempts to gain access to Nobel Prize winners, royalty, activists, performers, artists, entrepreneurs and everyday fighters. Once the enquiry went through it could still take years to reach an agreement or book a meeting.

    ‘We and those we portrayed are convinced that art has a real potential to influence us, one person at the time. Our dream is that every viewer will relay the stories to others and become inspired to act. In order to make this happen I believe it was an advantage not to be backed up by any organisation, country or Prime Minister. This, I think, is something the participants found fascinating’, says Albert Wiking.

    ‘It has been a long journey. It took between four and seven year to secure Malala Yousafzai’s, Ai Wewei’s, Dalai Lama’s and Jane Goodall’s participation in this project. The common denominator for all participants is that they have a touching story to tell’, says Oscar Edlund.

    Among those portrayed are members of the punk band Pussy Riot and the Chinese regime critic and artist Ai Weiwei – people who have stood up for democracy. This is also true about the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousfzai, who is fighting for girls’ right to education. Other participants include human rights judge Navi Pillay, musicians Annie Lennox, Quincy Jones, Zara Larsson, Patti Smith and Timbuktu, model and actress Ruby Rose, writers Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Yeonmi Park, as well as UN functionaries Anders Kompass and Jan Eliasson.

    One of the first to be photographed was Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh. Her portrait was taken in Lund and the interview was scheduled to happen later. Soon afterwards she was brutally killed by a deranged assailant. She has, however, left her imprint on this exhibition.

    Albert Wiking (1956), initiator, photographer and designer. He has authored a number of exhibitions and books, such as Eldvatten (‘Firewater’, 1998), about well-known and unknown people and their relation to alcohol. After premiering at Lunds konsthall it toured for several years and attracted more than a million visitors.

    Oscar Edlund (1979), initiator, responsible for the interviews and for recruiting participants. He has previously worked for Swedish Television, His Majesty the King’s Foundation for Young Leaders and the Nobel Foundation. Wiking and Edlund have previously produced the book and exhibition Rött – mellan kärlek och revolution (‘Red: Between Love and Revolution’, 2001).

    Daniel Rydén has written the texts and Henrik Lörstad has created the exhibition audio design.

    Please find more information about the project at www.wehaveadream.se

     

     

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  • As Told

    01 Dec 2016

    As Told

    Ana Gallardo, Tamar Guimarães & Kasper Akhøj, Emily Wardill
    10 December 2016 – 5 March 2017
     
     Every day we are fed stories, observations, confessions, statements, anecdotes. Some of these pass us by, while others may prove decisive for how we view the world.

    Modern art used to insist on the difference between things seen and things told. The autonomy of the visual arts was seen as emanating from a profound understanding of silence, a resistance against sequenced narration and ultimately against its dependence on time. Contemporary art offers another perspective. Visuality has become part of a larger toolbox, with various modes of expression that include the spoken and written word.

    Indeed, today’s artists often use language as a tool for analysing and transforming everyday stories. In this exhibition, Lunds konsthall presents works by four artists from different countries, born in different decades. What unites them is their interest in personal stories and in probing the distinction between reality and fiction.  

    Ana Gallardo has met elderly women from Latin America, now residing in Malmö and Lund, and listened to their stories of involuntary migration. She has also more spontaneously met women from the centers for elderly people run by the Municipality of Lund, who have as part of the artist’s work been invited to install a temporary center at Lund konsthall.

    Tamar Guimarães scrutinises the inner workings of representation. Where does fiction begin? What can be said, about what, and when? We show a new piece where Guimarães explores this, as well as a co-production by Tamar Guimarães and Kasper Akhøj, a film demonstrating what history might look like when filtered through contemporary criticality.


    Emily Wardill is interested in how differently we perceive and process actual events, but also how documentation may influence our understanding of reality. Her films demonstrate how efficiently the dream-like and the absurd may infiltrate the everyday.
      

    A handful of works are presented in this exhibition, and it is no coincidence that they mostly rely on (and relay) stories told by women. They articulate views of reality that seldom reach a wider audience, thus challenging the traditionally male-dominated field of historiography. 

    Read more in the catalogue As Told

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