MALMO.- Moderna Museet Malmö
starts the year with an exhibition of the Malmö-based artist Christian Andersson. His largest solo show so far From Lucy with love fills the entire Turbine Hall with several new works, presenting visitors with one of the most complex oeuvres in Swedish contemporary art.
In his works, the artist Christian Andersson speculates about possible events, undiscovered opportunities or hidden discoveries, often based on historical or less known material, where his own additions or shifts in interpretation aim to emphasise the already known or allude to the existence of something that has been overlooked. Many of his works are based on legendary objects or references that are on the verge of being forgotten, such as a battery, a book, a conspiracy theory, or a frame from a well-known comic strip. These objects or references may not have an obvious place in sanctioned history, but in the artists interpretation they contribute to testing an alternative perspective.
From Lucy with love is Christian Anderssons (b. 1973) largest solo exhibition to date, featuring several new works in the turbine hall of Moderna Museet Malmö. Visitors are invited into a limbo, between a modernist utopia and a surrealist dream in the form of a monumental sculpture.
The title of the exhibition From Lucy with love refers to one of his new works. This work also serves partly as a key to many of the other works, but also more generally as a key to his entire oeuvre. In the middle of the exhibition space is a sort of incomplete timeline, a contemporary curiosity cabinet, where the artist destabilises the museums power and role as upholder of the truth. Andersson triggers fleeting doubts in order to put our powers of perception to the test, juxtaposing sense and sensibility. Christian Andersson often refers to historic material or events, adding elements or inserting them in a new context in order to try a different interpretation. Occasionally to ridicule our kneejerk perception of something, so as to disturb our circles.
Christian Andersson presents a panoply of references. Specific art historic references to Magritte and surrealism in the exhibition's largest work are interspersed with more implicit allusions to conspiracy theories and literature. The clearest link is perhaps the one to the architect Mies van der Rohe and his Barcelona pavilion, which was demolished in 1930 and reconstructed in 1980 on the exact same site in Barcelona. Christian Andersson, in turn, has constructed an abstract replica of part of the pavilion for his exhibition at Moderna Museet Malmö. History, the modernist utopian dream, is consciously repeated a third time.
And in the middle of Anderson's version of the pavilion is the famous Barcelona chair, in a new, virtually unrecognizable form. The sculpture, titled Angel of the Hearth, nature has taken its grip on the modern era and a transformation into something unknown has begun.