press release

You are kindly invited to attend the opening of exhibition on Wednesday, December 19th at 8 p.m. at Galerija Škuc.

Galerija Škuc is the first venue to show the Ola Pehrson. Retrospective. Ljubljana. Belgrade. Stockholm., an exhibition that brings together several of Ola Pehrson’s key works and presents his artistic practice in Slovenia for the first time.

Ola Pehrson’s oeuvre is permeated by a strong interest in media, in technology and in the large scale systems that both form our behavioural patterns and register our lives. He plays with metaphors and makes audible and visible powerful forces and structures that govern us and our societies. Ola Pehrson gained considerable international recognition for his latest work, Hunt for the Unabomber, a bizarre recreation of an American 30-minute documentary about the terrorist Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber. A doctor and former professor in mathematics, Kaczynski carried out a bomb campaign with the aim to attract attention to what he saw as the erosion of human freedom, caused by modern technology and large-scale organization. Alluding to the thinking and methods of Kaczynski, Ola Pehrson re-created each scene in the documentary by hand, using play dough, paint, pieces of cardboard and trash. He personally acted out all the included interviews and carefully re-filmed each scene in the right order. The result is surprisingly close to the original and as Ola have stated in earlier interviews, “it is no less authentic”. Amongst Ola Pehrson’s earlier works is Desktop, a 10:1 scale model of a Windows 95 screenshot. Dating from the same year is Yucca Invest Trading Plant, where the energy field of a yucca palm tree generated signals to a computer to buy and sell shares on the stock market. With the attempt to stimulate a market-adapted habitat, the Yucca palm tree was watered and exposed to sunlight in accordance with how well it did on the market. For a later piece, NASDAQ Vocal Index, a computer software was developed to turn the movements on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange into musical scores. Ola Pehrson performed the piece in different countries where he hired local choirs. Each choir member was requested to represent one of the top listed companies, basses were selected for the largest companies and sopranos for the smaller. Together the choir members sung the fast moving world economy in real time.

While engaging with global capital and the virtual world, Ola Pehrson regularly returned to the seemingly more tangible, small scale and local perspective. In fact several of his works take as their point of departure the suburban villa where he once grew up with his father, a stock broker, and his mother, a housewife. A work entitled Cookbook is based on menus and notes that the artist’s mother wrote down for every dinner she gave during 45 years and Birthday Party is a reconstruction of her 65th birthday party, held in her home on March 16, 2000. At first glace these works appear quite different from his other works, however, compelling connections are to be found through the artist's interest in behavioural patterns, routines and in accumulated information and data.

Ola Pehrson was born in Sweden in 1964; he gained considerable international recognition and was featured in the Istanbul-, Tirana- and Sao Paulo biennial before he tragically died in a car accident in 2006. Pehrson's solo exhibitions include those at Galleri Lars Bohman, Stockholm; Galeria Noua, Bucharest; Collective Gallery, Edinburgh and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. His work has been included in group exhibitions in Sweden at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, at the Malmö Konsthall and in Japan at the Yamaguchi Museum of Art.

Ola Pehrson. Retrospective. Ljubljana. Belgrade. Stockholm. is co-produced with Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, where it will open on 1st of February 2008, and with Färgfabriken in Stockholm, where the opening and publishing of an extensive catalogue is scheduled for October 2008. .

Curators: Saša Nabergoj, Joa Ljungberg Project Manager: Anneli Bäckman

The exhibition project is organized in collaboration with Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade (Serbia) and Färgfabriken in Stocholm (Sweden).

The programme of Galerija Škuc is supported by Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and Cultural Department of the City of Ljubljana.

Ola Pehrson. Retrospective.
Ljubljana. Belgrade. Stockholm.

19.12.07 - 20.01.07 Skuc Gallery, Ljubljana
01.02.08 Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrad
Okt. 2008 Färgfabriken, Stockholm