2014 Is Here! Highlights of Upcoming Exhibitions in Scandinavia
Kraftwerk, Tacita Dean, Olafur Eliasson, Alfredo Jaar, Henrik Vibskov, and even the comfortingly crazy Hundertwasser. We've selected the most anticipated exhibitions of 2014 to take place in Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen. If you're one to plan ahead, then this guide will come in handy.
Jill Greenberg. Works 2001–2011 Fotografiska, Stockholm December 13, 2013 – February 9, 2014
Jill Greenberg (1965) is an American photographer whose 2006 project, End Times, brought her both great fame and a serious headache. Not everyone was so accepting of the photographer's methods of eliciting a wide range of stressful emotions from children, everything from whining to serious crying – one of Greenberg's methods was giving children candy and then taking it away. In any case, many children didn't even have to be specially provoked, and Greenberg points out that swift changes in emotional states is the language that small children use. Hysteria, mingling with the ability to be easily made to laugh. On a side note, the inspiration for the series End Times was Greenberg's anger at President Bush's politics and American Christian fundamentalists. The Stockholm museum Fotografiska is giving visitors the opportunity to see the works that Greenberg has created over a ten-year time period – starting with 2001, when digital photography first took a hold, to 2011. Although other photographers look upon extreme photo altering as practically taboo, manipulation of already taken photographs is Jill Greenberg's forte.
Tacita Dean's installation, Fatigues (2012) – white chalk on blackboard, on display at Documenta(13), in Kassel
Tacita Dean SMK, Copenhagen January 17 – May 18, 2014
Although British artist Tacita Dean (1965) is mostly known for her video works and films, her graphic works are also an integral part of her oeuvre. And it is these that are at the focus of the exhibition at the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK). Dean came to fame as a member of the YBA (Young British Artists group), along with the Chapman brothers, Gary Hume, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and others. They have all gone down divergent roads since then, and all that they have in common these days is their launch in the 90s. Tacita Dean's works focus on the memory, and she is fascinated with things that no longer exist. As fate would have it, she has also managed to capture on film several acclaimed artists shortly before their deaths – including Cy Twombly, the American abstract expressionist.
Dance Machines – From Léger to Kraftwerk Moderna Museet, Stockholm January 22 – April 27, 2014
Man and machine – this is the theme with which Stockholm's Moderna Musee will begin the new year, inspired, in large part, by the over four-decade-long career of German electronic music icons Kraftwerk. The group show, Dance Machines –From Léger to Kraftwerk, will serve as a bridge connecting the beginnings of modernism to the current day. Kraftwerk's ca. 2013, three-dimensional installation, 12345678, will hold a dialog with drawings, paintings and moving images created in the first three decades of the 20th century – the era during which Henry Ford introduced conveyor belts to the world, and during which Fernand Léger, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia and others were so inspired by this that they began to portray human bodies as machines. In characterizing the relationship between humans and machines, Ralf Hütter from Kraftwerk says: “It's a pleasant feeling – to be part of a machine. A feeling of being set free. We play machines, and machines play us.”
The exhibition will be supplemented with Kraftwerk concerts at Stockholm's Circus arena, on January 21 and 22.
From Henrik Vibskov's autumn/winter 2013 collection of clothing for women
Henrik Vibskov Design Museum, Helsinki January 24 – May 11, 2014
A lad from the country whose fashion label has taken on global heights – he is no other than Henrik Vibskov (1972), Denmark's pioneer in contemporary fashion design. Helsinki's Design Museum is starting the new year with a solo show of a Scandinavian firecracker; everyone who visits will be witness to Vibskov's originality, wildness, and even strangeness, which have brought him fame and, along with it, more than one prestigious award. Among these is the world's biggest monetary prize in the field of fashion – the Söderberg Prize, which is limited to Scandinavia. Vibskov's collections have always balanced on the edge between visual art and fashion, and a visit to the exhibition promises to be a burst of fresh air to anyone who strives to be creative by overstepping dust-covered boundaries. “Being thrown into the unknown gives me a high. It's the only way I can learn and adapt to something completely new. I use my eyes and my brain,” says the designer himself.
On display will be Vibskov's latest works, as well as his solo show, Neck Plus Ultra, which was shown in Copenhagen and Paris at the beginning of 2013. It's worth mentioning that Vibskov was the only representative from Scandinavia at the 2013 fashion shows in Paris.
Hundertwasser ARKEN, Copenhagen February 1 – June 1, 2014
An Austrian painter, architect, environmental activist, designer, poet and philosopher, Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) believed that the beauty of art would save the world, or at least, make it a bit better. Hundertwasser's utopia is filled with individual freedom, creativity and happiness. In his paintings, the world of humans and nature is one, huge organism in which every cell pulsates next to another, and there is no room for straight lines. He himself has said that “straight lines lead to the downfall of humanity”, and that they are “the tools of the devil”. He saw the root of all evil in rational, sterile and monotonous architecture. In its stead, the artist was fascinated with spirals. Trees grow right through the colorful houses that Hundertwasser designed, and instead of flat landscapes, there are waves of grassy hillocks. Even his floors – or, as Hundertwasser himself called them, “melodies for the feet” – are uneven. His philosophy on the harmony between humans and nature even went as far as defending the old-fashioned outhouse – about which he wrote the manifesto Holy Shit, and in which he included instructions on how everyone can make their own composting toilet. The text also served as a reprimand to today's reckless society – which not only buys food from half-way around the globe, but also sends its excrement far, far away.
From February to June, one of Copenhagen's most prestigious sanctuaries for contemporary art, the ARKEN Museum, will show the mind-spinning visions of Hundertwasser as seen in his paintings, architectural models, drawings and designs.
For the exhibition Natural Motion, which was first shown at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Gabriel Orozco created La DS Cornaline (2013), a new version of his 1993 piece, La DS
Gabriel Oroczo – Natural Motion Moderna Museet, Stockholm February 15 – May 14, 2014
Mexican-born artist Gabriel Orozco (1962) lives and works in Paris, New York and Mexico City. He is just as deft at traveling from one discipline to another, and is a skilled sculptor, photographer, graphic artist, and creator of installations. Although Orozco's name is well-known throughout the world, he has never had an exhibition in Scandinavia. Until 2014, that is – Stockholm's Moderna Musee will host a comprehensive exhibition of Orozco's creations in the solo show titled Natural Motion, which was first shown in Austria's Kunsthaus Bregenz in 2013. The few who do not recognize the name Orozco have, most likely, seen a picture of the wacky Citroën automobile (La DS, 1993) that looks as if it's gone through a fun-house mirror – Orozco achieved the psychedelic effect by deftly sawing out the middle part of the car, and then putting the remaining two sides together again. Another iconic piece that will be on view is Dark Wave (2006), an almost 15-foot-long, synthetic replica of a whale skeleton, covered in patterns made of graphite. The exhibition will feature both new and historical pieces created by the prolific artist.
Alfredo Jaar Kiasma, Helsinki April 11 – September 7, 2014
Before closing its doors for reconstruction at the end of 2014, Helsinki's contemporary art museum, Kiasma, will still manage to host the solo show of Alfredo Jaar (1956) – renown artist, architect and film director. Now based in New York, Jaar represented his home country of Chile by creating its national pavilion at the 55th Venice Art Biennale in 2013. His installation, Venezia, Venezia, in which a 1:60 scale model of the Venice Giardini repeatedly sunk into, and then re-surfaced, from dingy waters, garnered much attention. Jaar has always been interested in politically sensitive themes and with the ugliest parts of our world – war and the effects of globalization. Although this will be Jaar's fist solo show in Finland, it is not his first appearance at Kiasma – his works were part of the influential ARS 95 and ARS 11 exhibitions that were held there.
Olafur Eliasson Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk August 15, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Danish/Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (1967) has never had a solo show at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. As the summer of 2014 nears to an end, however, this situation will have changed, as the whole South Wing of the Museum will be devoted to an expansive solo project by Eliasson. The show promises to turn on its head the usual order of things – in which nature remains “out there”, while art stays inside. Sounds intriguing – a must-see for every cultural traveler in 2014!