SOFT GUYS FOR HARD TIMES
Holmqvist (S), Lars Ramberg (N), Knut
Curated by Sparwasser HQ/Lise
Nellemann and Thorbjörn Limé
-November 14. - December 15.
-Opening November 10. from
7 - 11pm
This group of 1970s-generation,
Scandinavian artists proves that masculine identity can be also
about soul searching, identity politics, and general comfort.
Karl Holmqvist seeks varied
public response to ambivalent masculine attributes and icons.
Through his performance and writing strategies, Holmqvist considers
how music can create identity, how physical appearance can serve
as a form of protest, and how text can be a sound of freedom.
Knut Åsdam turns to deeper
psychological experiences: he considers the city as an apparatus,
exemplified by the dark (club) room, a space in which the borders
between personalities, bodies, and surroundings float together
in one subconscious.
Themes of freedom and the social
link Lars Ramberg to the two other artists. Ramberg's artistic
practice is bound to the more material and formal structure of
his subject: socialist architecture. His works explore buildings
that seeks to create space for equal human beings, in which politics
and culture are parallel matters for the larger organism (the
mass). He constructs a monument of doubt, rooted in the question:
can one power structure replace another without any intermezzo
Åsdams contributes to
the exhibition a video work, titled "Come to your own"
(1993), investigating the hypno-therapeutic possibilities of
the video-medium. In this work, the artist sits in an empty white
room, dressed in black, repeating the same phrase endlessly.
The pseudo-hypnotic sentence invites the viewer/patient to enter
a space, to become aware of his/her physical presence, and, eventually,
to "come to his/her own." The work explores how affect
is transmitted in conversation, and plays with the relationship
between viewer and video subject.
Karl Holmqvist presents a reference library of audio recordings
published in 2001 (Metronome, Paletten, Make It Happen, oVER).
The project, SlimVolume, was initiated in London, and picks up
on the theme of a recent issue of the journal Aesthetic Movement,
portraying a collection of men with long hair and beards, including:
Marx, Darwin, Lennon, Jesus, and Maharishi.
Lars Ramberg shows a huge,
digitally manipulated photograph, the first sketch of his larger
project: "Palast der Republik." The building is depicted
as a monument to Doubt; the project questions whether it is possible
to change/replace history, manually, from one day to the next.
Since 1989, the city of Berlin has renamed or demolished several
East German icons; a movement of resistance has, consequently,
arisen. Can Berlin, and the whole of Germany, retain the balance
of democratic pluralism? Can Berlin keep that which makes the
city unique, namely, the historic authenticity of its changing
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