press release

In 2015, Magasin III has the pleasure of presenting the first major solo exhibition of the Austrian artist Markus Schinwald in Sweden. Through a wide range of interests that includes psychology, literature, dance and the history of fashion, he explores the idea of the human body as a cultural construct.

In the exhibition, visitors encounter sculptures of curved table legs, distorted 19th-century portraits, mannequins, and site-specific installations containing films without beginning or end.

"By making small shifts in the familiar, Markus Schinwald has a unique ability to pinpoint certain aspects of our inner lives—desires, motivations, fears and inhibitions. For me, his art is a place where bodily memories are triggered, and where even the unpleasant or absurd can seduce and entertain. In our fast-paced world, where tensions only seem to mount, this exhibition provides an opportunity to reflect and to look at ourselves and others with greater openness and humility." –Tessa Praun, exhibition curator

New productions In particular focus are the major new productions Stage Complex (2015), created especially for the exhibition at Magasin III, and Actuator 1-6 (2015), a series of niches in which sculptures and turning gears create an idiosyncratic dance. Installed across from the red theater drapes of Curtain (2006), Actuator 1-6 acts as a lifesize cabinet of curiosities.

Stage Complex, which fills the entire lower floor of Magasin III, consists of six new films recorded in the artist's studio in Vienna in January 2015. In the installation, the films are projected on custom-built walls that reconstruct certain details from the films. Solitary characters perform a series of movements: they climb, hide and open and close doors, cabinets, and drawers. These actions evolve into a kind of choreography that explores the possibilities and limitations of the human body. The installation also functions as a framework to display a selection of other individual works by the artist. In May, Stage Complex will expand with the help of a group of dancers from the Royal Swedish Ballet.

Schinwald’s Gesamtkunstwerk treads a fine line between dysfunction and elegance, the terrifying and the seductive, where it is often unclear whether actions are driven by play or manipulation. The artist describes his work as a sort of introspective experience that tries to give form to our complex relationship with ourselves.

A unique collaboration with the Royal Swedish Ballet In May 2015, a unique collaboration between Magasin III and the Royal Swedish Ballet will be presented. The work Stage Complex (2015) will be activated by a choreography related to the installation’s physical possibilities. The choreography will be created by Markus Schinwald for and with modern dancers from the Royal Swedish Ballet. Schinwald's practice includes a strong interest in dance and in the physical exploration of our constructed environment, and this has provided a key access point for this collaboration. Here, two art forms step outside of their familiar bounds and meet in a new context based on unique premises.

The Royal Swedish Ballet was established in 1773 and is one of the world's oldest dance companies. Under the leadership of ballet director Johannes Öhman, the company has expanded to include some of the foremost modern dancers of today.

About the artist Markus Schinwald was born in 1973 in Salzburg, Austria, and lives and works in Vienna and New York. Schinwald represented Austria in the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011. Recent major solo exhibitions include the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, jointly organized with SFMOMA, the M – Museum Leuven in Belgium (2014), CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (2013), Lentos Museum, Linz (2011), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2009), and Migros Museum, Zürich (2008).

The exhibition is the artist’s first solo presentation in Sweden.