press release

Index first show in 2011 is dedicated to the Finnish-Swedish artist JO Mallander’s works in selection from the period 1968 -1980. Today J.O. Mallander is regarded as one of the artists in Scandinavia, perhaps the earliest, influenced by the international trends he encountered in the mid sixties during his stays in New York. As a result, inspired by pop and minimalism, Mallander began to exercise conceptual expressions in his own practice.

As the initiator of the performance group Elonkorjajaat (the Reapers), leader of the underground gallery Cheap Thrills in Helsinki, and as an exhibition organizer, poet, writer, critic and arts commentator in magazines devoted to contemporary art such as Aura, Paletten and Vargen, Mallander has kept playing diverse and significant roles in the Scandinavian art scene. Hence the exhibition at Index wishes to showcase a few concentrated positions during a certain period in Mallander’s active life as an artist.

The exhibition entitled In Short includes Red Wire (1968) from the collection of Moderna Museet, according to critic Mats B possibly the first conceptual work of art in the Nordic countries. Red Wire will be juxtaposed by work series such as the two-dimensional Paper Sculptures (1972): posters with a combination of letters playfully inserted in different cityscapes.

As a poet and author of lettristic document, Mallander’s poetry debut Out (1969), the artist book Kama Lettra (1975) and Ett läsdrama (A Reading Drama, 1974) will also be represented in the exhibition. In Brâncuşi Studies, a photo suite that was conceived during the so-called elm riots in Kungsträdgården park, Stockholm, the artist keeps documenting what is going on right above him in the air, by chance, re-directing the centre of attention.

The opening on January 26 begins with the playback of the sound work Extended Play(1968), the gambit by which J.O. Mallander emerges as an artist in the tumultuous year of 1968.

In connection with Index’ exhibition of Mallander a suite of lectures will be organised in collaboration with the magazine OEI and editor Frans Josef Petersson, culminating with the release of Petersson’s forthcoming OEI issue on the history of Swedish conceptual art, featuring amongst others an interview with J.O. Mallander.

On February 16, an evening dedicated to the conceptual artist and pataphysicist Mats B will be arranged. Mats B was one of the few critics (Mallander was another) who wrote about the conceptual art in Sweden in the 70s, including in his journal Grisalda (1974) and Paper For an idea-based art (Cavefors 1975). Other publications include Vet snut hut? Vett hutt snutt! (Cavefors 1973), An Easter in Paris (1973), and number 4 /1976 by the magazine Kaleidoscope on the theme "idea-based art in the North".

On March 16 there will be an evening dedicated to Leif Erikson's book Wedge Press & Cheese, which since its inception in 1978 has published some 80 artists' books by Swedish and foreign artists. There will also be a participation from the conceptual poet Bengt Adlers, whose bibliography includes nine collections of poetry published at Wedge Press & Cheese: The Poetry of Mickey Spillane (1980), The Hits of TS Eliot (1980), Poetry Try Poe & Verse Vica (1982), La Poésie the DONZY (1983), Rock Age Poetry (1986), Dix Poems (1986), TRIX (2000), SIX BISCUITS, (2000) and Jagumaj (2006). Leif Eriksson's bibliography includes 130 or so titles, from his debut in 1965 with the erotic picture story En smekning (A Caress), to 977 words from 2010. Speakers invited are Leif Eriksson, Bengt Adlers, Jonas (J) Magnusson and Frans Josef Petersson.

Index would like to extend our gratitude to the lenders of work in this exhibition, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Mrs Maya Eizin Öijer, Mr Bengt af Klintberg and Mrs Ann Smith Hodell.

only in german

Jan-Olof Mallander
In Short