a michael johansson.

Save this PDF as:

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "a michael johansson."


1 a michael johansson.

2 He ain t heavy, he s my brother, 2005 A pile of bathroom scales are placed on top of one other. Their original purpose, to measure weight, is placed in connection to their own weight, their own relationship with gravity. The scales gives rise to a 1.6 meter high tower; the weights shown on the scales gradually rise to 55 kilos as one reads down the pile. The scales aren t attached to one another, but are simply balancing on top of each other. In Swedish the word våghals (daredevil, lit. trans. scaleneck ) is in this case perfectly literal. Packa Pappas Kappsäck, 2006 (Pack Daddy s Suitcases) The title comes from an old Swedish rhyme and refers to the difficulty of repeating the same thing several times. This time, the repetition lies in differently sized suitcases that fit perfectly inside one another, and thus lose their original purpose. Ain t no Picnic, 2005 The surface of a foldable picnic table is completely covered with differently coloured thermoses. Their variations in shape and design are forced to work together within the limited space. The new construction transforms the original use of both the table and the thermoses and combines them into a new symbiotic relationship. Han hade packat hela natten, 2005 (He had been packing all night) He had been packing all night is a work following simple rules of replication. Five rectangular masses, the same shape and size, sit in a row. Each structure follows the pattern of the previous structure, but each shape is made up of more and more individual boxes the first mass is a single box, the second two boxes, and so on. The idea is similar to a Russian doll, but in this case it s the outside format that constitutes the unifying factor throughout the series, not the fact that they actually fit inside each other. Platsspecifikt, 2007 (Particularly placed/placed particularly) As the first exhibitor in the transformed tool shed at the Arnstedt & Kullgren gallery, I wanted to remind the viewer about the previous function of this space. A carpenter bench is located in the middle of the room defining the limit of the stacked objects that are beneath its shape. The everyday articles have been altered into a sculptural form that encourages the visitor to try to visualize the tool shed as it was before. Bunker, 2007 An archive normally contains the history of an activity and offers the possibility to go back in time and navigate a research for specific facts. But if the activity seized to exist and its former premises changed into something else, how can an archive present this transition? And what then constitutes its functionality? For a group exhibition in a building that formerly was a bank the old furniture and possessions were carefully assembled to form a sculptural unity defined by the vacant spaces of the old archive system in the basement. The objects previous functions yield to form the fundament in a story about the transformation into something new Tipi - Konsthallen Trollhättan, 2007 For an exhibition at Konsthallen in Trollhättan with the theme Nollställt (put to zero) I wanted to put the Kunsthalles activity to zero as well. I carefully packed equipment from the storage room underneath a ladder, some still accessible but most of it in places hard to reach. Already the day before the opening some difficulties occurred, since the ladder usually used to correct the lighting was no longer available. Monolit - Bastard, Oslo, 2007 A construction of a 3,5 m high monolith was made out of every conceivable material, equipment and artwork that could be found in the backrooms of the show room Bastard. The objects that were added to the sculpture were put to zero, and morphed into elements of a monument. Vi hade i alla fall tur med vädret, 2006 (At least the weather was nice) A caravan is filled to the limit with camping equipment. All the windows are fully covered with objects, organised by theme. One of the windows have given in to the pressure and cracked. On the ground lie some of the ice packs that formerly filled one of the portable coolers. TOYS R US - Dinghy scale 1:1, 2006 A boat and related equipment are joined together in a welded metal frame. Everything is painted in a unifying plastic layer to resemble the surface of a model kit. The real boat is transformed into a model of itself, and its original purpose has given way to something else. TOYS R US was made for the exhibition Besökarna (the Visitors) in a new part of Malmö, the Western Harbour, built for the housing fair Bo01 in The area was developed as a demonstration project to provide a model for future cities. Today, six years later, it still feels like a model. The artificial atmosphere still awaits to break loose from its surrounding plastic sticks. Some Assembly Required - Scooter scale 1:1 / Crescent scale 1:1, 2007 As a child I was fascinated building models. I remember breaking off the pieces from the surrounding plastic sticks that were leftover from the casting process and subsequently gluing the pieces back together in the right order by following the instruction manual. An old vespa is taken apart, cleaned up, and displayed as a life size model kit at a public garage in Hallonbergen Centre in Sundbyberg. The scooter is turned back into a space of imagination. By this I wanted to address the similarities between different contexts and spin concepts such as size and belonging. Engine Bought Separately - Volta / Hugin / Krups, 2006 Everyday objects from mid-20th century housewives are taken apart, sorted, and repacked in an equally outdated boydream esthetics. These two worlds are merged together and the objects are frozen in their new shape - while the function is displayed, the functionality is taken away.

3 Oops, I did it again..., 2005 For my final exhibition in the school gallery I decided to create two environments that, in addition to investigating the notions of originality, also helped to create an inviting atmosphere for the visitors. At first the duality between the scenes wasn t obvious, but through the windows you could see that the objects in both of the spaces were almost identical. The green wall mirrored the colour of the tarpaulin, and the objects in the two areas were placed in line to each other. The environment inside the gallery was a place where people could sit down and drink a cup of coffee. The flea market outside the gallery helped to create an interest from people not normally attending the gallery, but it also served the function of making people come back one more time, since the objects were only sold the last weekend. Boulevard of Broken Dreams - mixed media, 2005 For the annual exhibition in my final year at the art academy, during my last days in school, I decided to get rid of all the unused art material I had stored in my studio. When I first began to study art, at two different preparation schools, I bought a lot of paint, brushes, and canvases, in the belief that this was the media I had to choose to become an artist. Despite this I couldn t convince myself to become a painter, and maybe this inability was what made me overcompensate in the material way. Finally, I found a way to use the material in an art piece, but maybe not in the way I had in mind at the time that I bought it. BBD-Grant, 2006 Scolarship of 1000 sek (110 ). As a continuation of the project Boulevard of Broken Dreams I founded the BBDgrant - a scholarship for up and coming painters at Malmö Art Academy. The BBD-grant is provided by the interest earned from the sale of painting materials in the installation Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Both the sale of materials and the resulting endowed income for the BBD-grant provide two different platforms for a discussion about the concept of art one casually on the street, the other formally in a merit-based grant. Each year a student from the Malmö Art Academy, devoted to painting, is selected by the faculty to receive the BBD-grant. By supporting painting as an artistic expression the grant re-actualizes my sold materials original purpose. Granne med Gud, 2002 (Neighbour with God) For an Open Day exhibition in the Trondheim Academy of Art, I divided the studio I was sharing with a fellow student in half. Our way of working was very much different. I liked keeping my space clean, while my studiomate s paint and materials spread both in volume and intensity. I chose to make our differences even more obvious. Chaos is neighbour with God is a Swedish proverb, meaning that there s a thin line between succeeding and failing, between total chaos and great solutions. In this artwork you might say I named myself God. Finn Femtio Fel, 2003 (Find Fifty Faults) At an exhibition in my studio I chose to transform the studio itself into an exhibition object. I placed identical pieces of furniture and objects on each side of the room, so that they would constitute symmetrical mirror images of one another. Since the studio still had its character of being an ordinary studio, and the number of objects was so great that the repetition did not become obvious, the double was not as clear to the viewers as I had first assumed. It was the small details that made them compare the placement of the larger objects as well. The installation was titled Finn Femtio Fel (Find Fifty Faults), and after the exhibition I chose to present the documentation as photographs. Here the mirror image became obvious. At first it was easy to think that one of the sides in the picture was a digitally reversed montage, and again it is the small details that reveal that it was an installation. Photographs, (Double shift, round about, Room with a view, Bathroom mirror) In my installations and images I have often chosen to increase a visual expression and create new contexts by intensifying reality. Often I concretize my concept by focusing on repetition and reflection. In my works I wish to add one more dimension by twisting situations which, at first, seem to be taken from everyday life, and adding a layer of unnatural order. I want to get the audience to look a second time, this time with the disordered layer in focus, and see how this irregularity changes their experience. Sometimes these scenes occur automatically, but sometimes they need a helping hand. COPYCAT, Together with Croatian artist Kristina Lenard I have been engaged in a project called Copycat, where we investigate the notions of original and copy. We look for motifs in our everyday lives that from the outset involve repetition or reflection, for example a repeated object or an ambiguous situation, and then we exchange them. The situations, which are sometimes complicated, are recreated and copied by the receiver and eventually we present two analogous pictures, where the visual re-creation raises questions about the origin of the pictures. 10 a.m, 2004 To use balloons at festivities to underline a special occasion is a common occurrence. How long can you use the same behaviour without it losing its value? In the video 10 a.m. I filmed, at ten o clock each morning, a shop manager as she rolled out two mattresses covered with balloons which were part of her marketing and promotion. It was the recurring use of balloons that first caught my interest. The balloons never ceased to be rolled into place, but after a while I started to take a greater interest in other details. By compressing half a year of this repeated event into an eight-minute sequence, where her procedure is almost the same every day and only the environment around her changes, I did not want simply to comment on the shop manager s monotonous behaviour, but also on my own repetitious rhythm of life while I filmed her. This woman s recurring morning ritual coloured my own everyday. In principle, each working day for half a year, I stood by my window ready with my camera, and I waited.

























28 +46 (0) (swe) (nor)