The 2018 edition of Moderna Exhibition presents the works of nearly 40 artists connected to the Swedish art scene. An exhibition that only comes around every four years, the Moderna Exhibition aims to capture something of the essence of Swedish society in 2018, looking back on the history and the events that have led to where it is now. The Moderna Exhibition in Stockholm is Finally Here Again
This time, the mission was given to Joa Ljungberg, Santiago Mostyn and Lawen Mohtadi, who have researched Swedish contemporary art and present their findings in the exhibition that has just opened at Moderna Museet in Stockholm.
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The Moderna Exhibition in Stockholm is Finally Here Again
The Exhibition is a large-scale project looking back at Swedish history and exploring the events that have shaped and reshaped society. Other artists highlight alternative experiences of living in Sweden today, and in the midst of these local standpoints, the exhibition incorporates geographically distant perspectives that, in different ways, impact our lives here and now.
The curators Joa Ljungberg and Santiago Mostyn have painstakingly collected the works of almost 40 artists from the Swedish art scene. “It is with great expectations that we handed over this assignment to the Museum’s curator Joa Ljungberg, in association with the editor and author Lawen Mohtadi and the artist Santiago Mostyn. What is essential to Swedish art today, and how can we understand the contemporary regional and national perspectives? These are a few key issues of our time that the curatorial team will try to answer,” said Daniel Birnbaum, director, and Ann-Sofi Noring, co-director of Moderna Museet.
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The Moderna Exhibition offers both sober and intimate reflections on Swedish society today, on a natural world that is no longer what it once was, and a future that appears to have already begun.
Joa Ljungberg (b. 1976, Uppsala) is a curator at Moderna Museet Malmö. She recently completed a project entitled THE NEW HUMAN, which explored, through contemporary art, our human condition in a rapidly changing world. The project was manifested in three international group exhibitions: You and I in Global Wonderland (2015), Knock, Knock, Is Anyone Home? (2016), and, finally, The New Human (2016-17). Ljungberg has also curated several solo exhibitions: The Social with Annika Eriksson, To What I Might Become with Ursula Mayer, Rip Image with Tala Madani (in collaboration with Andreas Nilsson), Plegaria Muda with Doris Salcedo, The Girl, The Monster and The Goddess with Niki de Saint Phalle, and Europe will be stunned with Yael Bartana, among others.
In 2004–2008, Ljungberg worked at the Public Art Agency Sweden, where she curated projects with the artists Jenny Holzer, Julia Peirone, Marjetica Potrc, Franz Ackermann, among others. She has also been the artistic director (together with Edi Muka) for the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art 2007: Rethinking Dissent, and co-director and curator (again with Edi Muka) for the Tirana International Contemporary Art Biennial 2009: The Symbolic Efficiency of the Frame.
She studied History of Art at Uppsala University and University of Warwick (ENG), and graduated as MA in Creative Curating from Goldsmith College, University of London.
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Santiago Mostyn (b. 1981, San Francisco) is a Stockholm-based artist with a practice founded on politically resonant personal histories. His prints, videos, sculptures, and performances challenge established social norms by giving visibility to cultural outsidership.
Mostyn, a graduate of Yale University, Städelschule in Frankfurt, and the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, and has exhibited internationally at venues including Kunst-Werke, Berlin (2008); Turner Contemporary in Kent (2011); Malmö Konsthall (2013); Kunsthall Stavanger (2014); and Moderna Museet in Malmö (2015) and Stockholm (2016). In 2016, he created a large-scale commissioned work for the Public Art Agency Sweden; in autumn 2017, he will feature in the 9th edition of the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art. His work has been featured in The New Yorker, Interview Magazine, BBC Radio, and Creative Time Reports, among others.
Lawen Mohtadi (b. 1978, Stockholm) is a writer, documentary filmmaker and editor. For the past ten years, Mohtadi has been researching the life and work of Swedish-Roma civil rights activist Katarina Taikon. In 2012, Mohtadi published Den dag jag blir fri (The Day I Will Be Free), the first biography of Katarina Taikon. Three years later, the book became a feature film, co-written and co-directed by Mohtadi. Her research also resulted in public seminars at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, a national book tour, talks in Berlin, New York and Washington DC, and a photo exhibition at Moderna Museet, co-curated with Fredrik Liew.
The human body is tangibly present throughout the exhibition – surveilled and registered, caught between legal and geographic boundaries, and shaped by ideologies, technologies, power structures and norms. Also palpable are the remnants of nature, transformed beyond recognition to make way for vast industrial tracts of land where time passes ever more quickly.
Meriç Algün, Muhammad Ali, Emanuel Almborg, Ragna Bley, Alfred Boman, Kalle Brolin, Fanny Carinasdotter, Anja Örn & Tomas Örn, Kah Bee Chow, Rebecca Digby, Sven X-et Erixson, Malin Franzén, Mark Frygell, Erik Mikael Gudrunsson, Thomas Hämén, Ingela Ihrman, Sara Jordenö & Amber Horning, Hanni Kamaly, Mårten Lange, Helena Lund Ek, Dinis Machado, Éva Mag, Eric Magassa, Tor-Finn Malum Fitje with Thomas Hill, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Fatima Moallim, Åsa Norberg & Jennie Sundén, Ida Persson, Anna-Karin Rasmusson, John Skoog, Anders Sunna, Cara Tolmie, Anna Uddenberg, Sophie Vuković, Knutte Wester, John Willgren and Christine Ödlund.
The Swedish Art Scene
Artists active in Sweden today may have a background in one or many other countries and cultures. Some have been living in Sweden for just a few years, others considerably longer. There are Swedish-born artists based in other parts of the world, and artists who live and work outside of Sweden but did all of their studies here. The boundaries, then, of the “Swedish art scene” do not match the national borders, although within this scene, we find many content-related connections to the Swedish state, its histories, its civic and educational systems, and its relations to the rest of the world.
A book with also be released around the exhibition in associated with Konstnärsnämnden.
Feasture imaeg (on top): Sven X et Erixson ‘Refugees’- from Malmo Museum. Photo: jenny Eliasson
The Moderna Exhibition in Stockholm is Finally Here Again, edited by Tor Kjolberg