Sterling Ruby. Photo: Martin Argyroglo

What exhibitions to see this winter? 0

Exhibitions in Vilnius, Malmö, Stockholm and Copenhagen

American artist Sterling Ruby – professional skateboarder and 1980's punk – in Bonniers Konsthall, the recipients of the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Grant in Copenhagen's Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, an impressive film program in Vilnius and Paris-born Brazilian contemporary artist, Pablo Pijnappel, in Malmö.

Sterling Ruby
Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm
December 15, 2012 – March 17, 2013

The New York Times has deemed American artist Sterling Ruby (1972) – professional skateboarder and 1980's punk – as one of the most interesting artists of the current day. His works study the psychological arena in which individual forms of expression come into confrontation with societal stereotypes. Bonniers Konsthall is hosting Ruby's first solo show to be held in Sweden, from December 15 through March 17, 2013. The “soft work” installations in the show have been made from cloth and soft stuffing, and their gigantic size fools the viewer with an illusion of comfort – usually associated with things like pillows and bean bags. Only when you take a closer look, do you realize that an American flag has been fashioned into the mouth of a huge vampire, and that the stuffed animals hanging from the ceiling actually look like bloated animal carcasses.

Torsgatan 19
Stockholm, Sweden

Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen's Grant, 2012
Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen
December 1, 2012 – January 6, 2013

Four radical contemporary artists have been assembled in Copenhagen's Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, where they make up the exhibition featuring the recipients of the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Grant for 2012. This year's winners include the clever duo of Elmgreen & Dragset; the “designer of a different sort”, Nina Saunders (1958); and the modern-day “extreme” artist, Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen (1970). The Scandinavian tandem, Elmgreen & Dragset, is made up of Michael Elmgreen (1961, Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (1969, Norway). Working together since 1995, the pair not only tests the boundaries that separate art, architecture and design, but also combines meaningful conceptual content with a good dose of witty humor. Nina Saunders uses established furniture designs in her work – which she then slightly alters, thereby creating new stories and changing our preconceived notions about what we think that we know. And last, but not least, Filipino artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen creates her pieces with the passion of an anthropologist as she studies the various aspects of identity, gender and social relationships through performances and video works; Rasmussen literally challenges the endurance of the viewer, of art, and of her own physical stamina.

The aim of the prestigious award is to present new artworks and to build upon the rich tradition of the Nielsen Family in Denmark's cultural history. The grant, in the amount of 56,665 EUR, has been awarded biannually for fifty years now.

Oslo Plads 1
Copenhagen, Denmark

Pablo Pijnappel “Fontenay-aux-Roses”
Malmö Konsthall, Malmö
December 20, 2012 – January 20, 2013 

The Paris-born Brazilian contemporary artist, Pablo Pijnappel (1979), has a special relationship to the past. In creating his installations, he uses a technique borrowed from childhood, as well as photographs that were taken back then; as Pijnappel points out, why take new photographs if there already are photographs about the subject at hand? So it is from these images that the artist creates his peculiar collages which, changing from one to the next – much like a film, conjure up a cohesive story. Malmö Konsthall, in Malmö, Sweden, will be presenting Pijnappel's 2010 video work, “Fontenay-aux-Roses”, from December 20 through January 20, 2013. Having the same name as the Parisian suburb in which Pijnappel was born, the piece takes the viewer back to the Fontenay-aux-Roses of the 1980's. Pijnappel likens his works to a criminal investigation: information is studied, proof is sought, and stories and images are archived in order to show what has happened in a certain period of time. Whether or not the story has been precisely restored, how much of it is fiction and how much – truth, remain open questions; as Pijnappel likes to reminds us: “That, which we remember, is closely linked to that which we are.”

Johannesgatan 7
Malmö, Sweden

Contemporary Art Centre CAC, Vilnius

November 30, 2012 – January 20, 2013

When electronic devices interact, do people also interact? What are the differences between a visitor and a complete stranger? Between a participant and a breaker of boundaries? How does one link the documentation of reality to the act of “peeping through a keyhole”? These are questions that the Vilnius Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) asked in its 1997 exhibition, “Ground Control”, and has now returned to once again in the new exhibition, “Panorama 14”, which is currently going on through January 20, 2013. The exhibition is a selection of works from the yearly display of projects created at France's Le Fresnoy art center and school (est. 1997). Answers to the above questions will be given by video works, photographs, animated films, and sound and music installations produced by more than twenty French artists. Included in the show is an impressive film program, specially assembled for the show; among other artists, it features the work of Anri Sala, who is set to represent France at the 55th Venice Art Biennial in 2013.

Vokieciu 2
Vilnius, Lithuania