press release

About the opening exhibitions:

SWETLANA HEGER: Smoke (Liberté Toujours) Heger who was born in the Czech Republic in 1968, studied in Vienna and now lives in Berlin. Since the 1990s she has been a prominent name in contemporary art, posing questions on topics such as capitalism and ideology and investigating how these are manifest in visual communication. The exhibition Smoke contem-plates the practice of smoking, a custom with a very symbolic meaning. Smoking has been synonymous with status and independence and still is in many parts of the world. Hollywood films, fashion magazines and advertising have all assisted in cementing this status. During the last decade smoking has been banned in many places in the Western world as endorsed by the medical establishment, simultaneously the economic, social and ideological aspects of this practice have lost their importance.

GUY BEN-NER: Stealing Beauty Guy Ben-Ner, from Israel, has received world-wide attention for his films. He takes on political and ideological questions concerning globalism with a large dose of humour. Stealing Beauty is a sitcom- inspired film where the artist's own family are the actors. It is filmed with a hidden camera in IKEA stores around the world. The homely settings of the stores are used as the stage and the props. The scenes and the dialogue between the family members are carried out while other IKEA customers look at prices and products; the blurred boundaries between fact and fiction have a great comedic effect.

In the park: DANIEL SEGERBERG Daniel Segerberg belongs to a young generation of Swedish artists. He was born in Växjö but nowadays lives in Berlin. Segerberg explores physical space and the ephemeral quality of materials. As he explains, "I work in Berlin and the streets here are a continuous source of ideas. I frequently see piles of torn out interiors on the streets. A stereo unit, a wardrobe, cupboard doors from someone's kitchen, I carry these materials with me to the studio, here I transform and layer the material, and links between different places appears. New stories take form."

R E T R O - a romantic perspective This exhibition offers a personal view of Swedish art over the last twohundred years. A prominent feature of this period is romanticism with different signs such as the sublime, the historical, and nationalistic, thereof the title. Such reflections are part of the foundations of the museum. Further many of the artists in the exhibition have also themselves been objects of a romantic view of the artist as the lonely, unhappy genius. It is interesting to view these artists in the context of the contemporary art scene, characterised by its ambivalent relationship with grand narratives, artistic traditions and the power of the market.

Martin Schibli Curator

only in german

Swetlana Heger / Guy Ben-Ner / Daniel Segerberg
Kurator: Martin Schibli