It is a series of acts that I made I stood up in the landscape of the Swiss Alps in Appenzell, with beer and wine bottles attempting to capture the wind to make them “whistle”. Then I asked the local meteorologist to describe the winds when my acts took place according to their official record.
At the exhibitions, the four images that are relevant to my each act are presented as a slide show with a projector. The projector sits near to the wall, and the images are projected on a sheet of A4 paper on the wall, fixed to the wall on the top corners. It sways with the breeze coming from the ventilation of the projector and the movement of the audience.
The caption to describe the intent of the acts and the description from the meteorologist is presented discreetly on the wall, printed on a respective paper and placed on the clipboard.
All the installation materials such as the paper and the clipboard, are found on the site of the exhibitions, reflecting the manner how the act was originally carried in Appenzell, spontaneously, and using only the things around
2016, installation (mixed media)
Rubin’s Vase (an optical illusion that presents the visual interpretation of reversible figures) as a keyword, I dealt with the figure-ground perception of the two complementary fields with shared borders in relation to my practice - life/work, process/result, and reconsidered the inquisitive and creative process that I had been defining as non-practice.
It evolved from my reflection on the margins and footnotes of my art practice through preceding work Collecting Distances, artist’s book where I presented my path of measuring the distances between me and society and the process of how my thoughts develop in everyday life.
The installation consists of elements that seem to exist in relation to other elements, and traces various peripatetic explorations and relationships with the people with whom I continue a dialogue in distance. Not only conceptually but also physically, the installation plays with the space that is not defined as an exhibition room.
2015, act / drawing installation
On the windows facing to a canal in the red light district in central Amsterdam, I made an act to take notes in public, writing mirrored letters.
The idea of fusing the notes with the notion of public/private stems from the thought I cultivated through my installation (Open Letter) (2003): The work is inspired by 17th century Dutch paintings with letter as motif, and the delicate diplomacy between private and public around the windows in Amsterdam (deriving from Calvinist discipline, Dutch windows are usually not covered with curtains).
Notes in general are often for personal use, cryptic for other’s eyes, written small, and kept private. What if these personal notes are disclosed, written bigger, and open to others? What if to process my thinking and taking notes in public, making use of the mutual intrusion of private and public at this particular part of the architecture?
Pure Diffusion (from series Steroscope on Society)
Pure Diffusion is an urban intervention as an antidote for “bad atmpsphere” - polluted air and bad mood - in Paris that I suggested and exercised, comparing with the situation in Stockholm. The air-purifying plants and the network of Parisian inhabitants develop and distribute cleaner air and happier mood.
I bought the plants that purify the air at a gardening shop last summer. I have taken care of these plants, and propagated them through time, by cutting vines and tubers and placing them in water. I had real joy every morning to greet them every morning while giving water and spraying some mist. Over eight months, the plants grew a lot and the number of plants increased to over 80 through propagation.
At a window gallery in Paris, I presented the intervention and distirbuted the plants to public – may somebody who works in a place that have more toxins, looks nervous or angry, wants to have a company, or wants to propagate and spreads the baby plants to more people.
2015, artist's book / project (book production and distribution)
graphic design: Audrey Templier, introduction text: Mats Stjernstedt
The book focuses on the margin and footnotes of my practice 2003-2014, without presenting the documentation of my works. At its distribution I aim to make it less “multiple object” but more “personalised object/experience” through my interventions.
The excerpts of my notebooks are featured to follow my paths to produce some works - the notebooks collect my notes, writings, diagrams, drawings and images from both my practice and everyday life since 1996. The book includes the material from ongoing and unrealised projects, and also the material showing my “detours”. Writing became one of my media since 2010, and I used my essays to interweave the materials presented.
The book reflects my life and its relation to different places in the world since my childhood. It is designed to avoid giving a linear/single direction to follow, and one can starts from anywhere in the book and jump to somewhere - it has neither table of contents nor page numbers, instead a hand-drawn diagram is printed on the back of the cover with grids and code system, which indicate roughly where you are in the field of my practice.
The book I used for the piece recommends 1000 places to see before you die according to the author. In its introduction, the author tells how she came to make this book. There I placed the first flower that I picked during my hike. There are many recommended places in the book that were not appealing to my eyes - luxury places and related to consumption. I chose the pages presenting Paris, where I am partly based, as the second image in the triptych that somehow represents the last century with city culture and industry where economy often was the dominant measurement to value our lives. The third image in the triptych presents places in Bhutan juxtaposed with a simple flower. It is a country I have not visited yet and I am interested in the way they measure wealth - according to how happy the citizens feel. I projected an ideal society and life, and I am hoping this would influence the next way to value in our lives.
in Appenzell (2013), Maebashi (2016), Echigo-Tsumari (2016)
The title of the piece refers to Smultronstället (literally means “the place where wild strawberries are”), a Swedish word that idiomatically signifies an underrated gem of a place, often with personal or sentimental value.