press release

The autumn's major exhibition, Life Forms, invites us to a discussion about how nature is viewed in contemporary art. The exhibition brings together 11 noted, internationally active artists who depict the relationship between nature and culture, the artificial and the organic, art and landscape. The exhibition includes a series of seminars, a film programme and an extensive anthology.

In a time of environmental pollution and climate change, Life Forms is intended to reveal the way contemporary art imagine our life on earth. Is it an unmitigated apocalyptic landscape, trashed and exploited, that contemporary art travels through? Or is there, in art, room for new utopias, in which art can contribute to the discovery of new life forms? A desire to find a way back to an imagined, more original state, or does it present images of completely new worlds and life forms in which the centre stage is not occupied by human beings?

Life Forms has links with the land art and installation art of the 60s and 70s. The participating artists and their predecessors share an interest in the time spans of the universe, the Earth's geological movements and the slow development and destruction of organisms. The exhibition includes painting, drawing, installation, photography, video and large-scale sculpture. On display are Charles Avery's project The Islanders, in which the artist has created his own world of unique flora and fauna, and Katie Paterson's map of the 27,000 dead stars that people have discovered in the universe. Henrik Håkansson's hundreds of orchids cover the Konsthall from floor to ceiling. There is also a contribution from Jani Ruscica, whose video installation samples sounds made by bats with beatboxers from New York.

In the exhibition architecture Klas Ruin and Ola Broms Wessel from the Spridd architectural practice have made a sun screen powered by solar energy. The heat of the sun unfurls a balloon of spinnaker cloth that, when needed, will cover the Konsthall's southern façade. The sun's powers visibly influence the exhibition's architecture and give it a living, moving aspect that responds to the fluctuations of the day and to the intensity of the sun.

Curator Sara Arrhenius

Participating artists Micol Assaël, Charles Avery, Rosa Barba, Andreas Eriksson, Ane Graff, Tue Greenfort, Henrik Håkansson, Helen Mirra, Katie Paterson, Jani Ruscica and Tomas Saraceno.

Film programme Bruce Conner, Nancy Holt, Gordon Matta-Clark, Ana Mendieta and Robert Smithson.

Publication The exhibition is accompanied by the production, in collaboration with publishers Albert Bonniers Förlag, of an extensive anthology, the contributors being Swedish and international authors, theorists and the participating artists. Contributors: Donna J. Haraway, Lars Jakobson, Åsa-Maria Kraft, Tuija Nieminen Kristofersson, Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Pynchon, W.G. Sebald and Robert Smithson. Editors: Sara Arrhenius and Magnus Bergh.

only in german

Life Forms

Künstler: Micol Assael, Charles Avery, Rosa Barba, Andreas Eriksson, Ane Graff, Tue Greenfort, Henrik Håkansson, Helen Mirra, Katie Paterson, Jani Ruscica, Tomas Saraceno