Summer is when we enjoy a jaunt in the park most; especially when sublime clay sculptures are magically placed amongst the woods for our children and the child in us to discover… a definite time for engaging in fantasy worlds where life is dreamlike, ethereal and surreal… one ever worthy of a selfie moment for posting on social media…
… an ever popular endeavour with an evolving impact on the way photography has come to be used, as had the ways our grandparents and parents had lived have similarly driven the art form’s historical development in techniques, subject matter and use.
As we snap the self we want to show the world through social media, society concurrently continues to define gender and sexuality for men, women and children; be it norms, fashion and the way we live in our city….
…ponder as we next place our mobile on a selfie stick at the art exhibitions Your Living City has picked to while away the remaining weeks of summer.
Where: Moderna Museet, Exercisplan 4
When: Till 3 September
Exhibition (1) : Written in Light – The First Photographers
Artists: Julia Margaret Cameron, Oscar Gustave Rejlander & Carleton E. Watkins
Drawn from Moderna Museet’s collection of photography from the second half of the 19th century, the works are by some of the world’s most famous photographers; enticing us to look back and consider the impact of its legacy on contemporary photography, given the breakthrough of digital images, and their omnipresence in social media in relation to being catalysts for photography to once again change in its development and usage. Hence, the exhibition concurrently highlights the museum’s collection of daguerreotypes while giving examples of other early photographic techniques.
Exhibition (2): Film Inside an Image
Artist: Gerard Byrne
Irish artist Gerard Byrne’s new movie is shot at the Biological Museum in Stockholm with stuffed Nordic animals against a backdrop painted by the artist Bruno Liljefors. Using the museum’s only source of light from the windows in the ceiling, he thus compares the building to a camera, which creates its frozen images through light. By filming this setting in one unbroken tracking of the camera, the stuffed animals begin looking as if paused in mid-movement.
The Biological Museum was built in 1893 as the world’s first natural history museum using a large-scale diorama, a format using genuine, three-dimensional objects against a painted backdrop; giving the illusion of animals or people in their natural habitat. This August it will close for refurbishment indefinitely.
Exhibition & Artist: Marie-Louise Ekman
Where: Moderna Museet, Exercisplan 4
When: Till 17 September
A major solo exhibition by Swedish artist Marie-Louise Ekman that includes nearly 350 paintings, sculptures, films and dramas spanning the late 1960s to this very day, it showcases her idiosyncratic oeuvre of repeating characters in scenes where roles and relationships shift; all often based on personal experience in undermining social constructions to reveal our absurd everyday preconceptions, with the theatre as a recurring metaphor.
In rooms covered with floral wallpaper dreams, passions and disappointments are enacted in a heightened reality. Positions of strength and weakness are overturned, and Picasso’s female figures meet Daisy Duck.
“Marie-Louise Ekman’s oeuvre is characterized by her unromantic, subversive imagery and independent approach. In cramped pictorial spaces and warped one-point perspectives, she highlights the realities of women and children, portraying a coming to womanhood that closely resembles her own,” says Moderna Museet’s curator, Jo Widoff.
Exhibition: The Promise
Artists: Alternativ stad, Micke Berg, Bevara Slussen, Bostadsvrålet, Marc Camille Chaimowitz, CRUSH, Gräsrotsarkivet, Adelita Husny-Bey, Kate Newby, Norra Järva Stadsdelsråd, Malin Pettersson Öberg, Sonia Sagan / Orten i fokus (Secretary at Söderorts Institut För Andra Visioner), Våra Hem, Fredrik Vaerslev, & Peter Wächtler.
Where: Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Kungsbro strand 19
When: Till 3 September
The exhibition explores the city as a political space; given more people than ever are living and working in urban agglomerations, and commercial and political centers are growing in importance with city space becoming one of the most contested issues of today. How do its inhabitants live together? How does the city’s design – its architecture, urban design, landscape, and infrastructure – affect the conditions of living?
Engaging specifically Index’s surroundings and the city of Stockholm, the newly commissioned artworks by Swedish and international artists concurrently highlight the complex organization of space through the built environment, along with the invisible structures of ownership, policies and legal regulations that control access to resources and determine social interactions. In addition, it presents an extensive archive of materials and documents that trace the history of urban struggles, conflicts and resistance.
Exhibition & Artist: Love Lundell
Where: Wetterling Gallery, Kungsträdgården 3
When: 18 August to 23 September
Unfolding worlds ever so dreamlike, mystical, surreal while harbouring references to the everyday, Love Lundell’s paintings engage us directly while holding back in passive contemplation. Executed in a range of muted palettes, they include collage technique; often revealing a fragmentary crackling effect due to layer upon layer of applied lacquer.
Gathering inspiration from books, dreams and his own childhood, his works are rich in symbolism, with titles as guideposts to the underlying narratives that refuse to overexpose the contents; encouraging our engagement and interpretation.
Exhibition: Fence – Folk Festival of Photography
Artists include: Anette Urbach De Mare, Tuija Lindström, Maud Nycander, Anders Petersen, Ewa Stackelberg, Helene Schmitz, Christer Strömholm & Joakim Strömholm
Where: Lilla Mejtens gränd, Vita bergen, Södermalm
When: 26 August, 12:00 to 19:00, with a party at Fotografiska from 19:30 to 01:00
To celebrate plank GBG 35’s centenary, CFF – Center for Photography, Crimson, ProCenter and Fotografiska have organized an exhibition of works 130 top photographers had exhibited outdoors on the red plank at Sofia Church and the White Mountains during Plankets’ 35 year history of drawing from photographer Neil Goldstein’s inspiration of simulating the outdoor exhibits in Washington Square Park in New York.
Exhibition: Focus Finland: 3 x Aho & Soldan – a photo family’s story
Artists: Heikki Aho, Björn Soldan & Claire Aho
Where: Armémuseum, Riddargatan 13
When: Till 10 September
Liljevalchs celebrates the centenary of Finland by presenting three pioneers in photography and documentary film from the same cultural family with some 120 photographs from five decades of the 20th century selected by Mårten Castenfors, Director of Liljevalchs and Jussi Brofeldt, Claire Aho’s son.
Internationally educated half brothers Heikki Aho and Björn Soldan founded the film production company Aho & Soldan in 1924; depicting the natural and the industrialization of the young Finnish nation in a photographic style based on advanced image technology, while Heikki’s daughter Claire received her breakthrough as a fashion and advertising photographer in the 1950s and became known for her treatment of colour in photography and film.
Exhibition & Artist: Carin Ellberg: Selfportraits 1985-1995
Where: Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Hudiksvallsgatan 8
When: 24 August to 30 September
From 1985 Carin Ellberg has done more than 600 dated self-portraits, a genre of great importance in art history since the Renaissance given its appropriation of the artist’s identity and ability to capture an emotional state for staging one’s own image to the world. Yet Ellberg’s 622 portraits have no such ambition as all are in the same format, with the same fixed gaze; leaving us with seemingly very little clues to her ego or personality.
In the era of selfie-culture where we curate the self for the eyes of others, the self-portrait is more than ever a part of our visual culture and self-definition; leading us to look at earlier works in a new way.
Where: Thiel Gallery, Sjötullsbacken 8
When: Till 1 October
Exhibition (1): Moments sculptures Artist: Karin Wiberg
Karin Wiberg’s baked clay sculptures of imaginative animals seem satisfied by the calm and thoughtfulness of summer in Thiel Gallery’s park, whether sited visibly or somewhat more hidden, but always echoing the definitive way her works have been shown in Sweden’s and Japan’s large moss gardens.
Exhibition (2): Fashionable Memories: Clothes from Tonie Lewenhaupt´s Collection
Fashion is an essential part of the ever-changing Zeitgeist, but clothes can also be fabulous works of art that have their own story: once worn shimmering pink satin gowns with beads and embroidery, formal grey and black suits, elegantly cut evening dresses, sparkling sequin sheaths, and pleated designs in black are threaded richly with feelings, dreams and memories of markers of status, restrictive ideals and the roles of women.
Featuring haute couture from the entire 20th century by some of the most renowned designers, including Paul Poiret, Jeanne Lanvin, Christian Dior, Yves Saint-Laurent and Hubert de Givenchy, French fashion dominates at the exhibition. But there are also a few suits by Raymond “Ossie” Clark (UK), Issey Miyake (Japan) and the Swedish design house Systrarna Thunborg.
Exhibition: Half an Angel
Artist: Maria Miesenberger
Where: Carl Eldhs Ateljémuseum*, Lögebodavägen 10, Bellevueparken
When: Till 1 October
* Carl Eldh’s Studio Museum
With hundreds of Carl Eldh’s own sculptures populating his studio, Maria Miesenberger places her own work alongside his as a like-minded artist – sometimes clearly, sometimes clandestinely in sharp contrast or seamless transition; bringing us along on a journey through time and space.
Mindful of a mutual interest in ambivalent states, Miesenberger finds different intermediate positions for her sculptures as liminal figures, where dawn and dusk, the day’s most portentous times, are common symbolic motifs. And as being in a state of ambiguity and androgyny; contrasting with Eldh’s fascination with adolescence, where the body borders on adulthood while maintaining its innocence; bringing a critical perspective on gender and sexuality while disengaging her exploration from pre-determined norms.
Photo and information credits: The respective galleries