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Sofia Hultén speculates on the multiple possible stories of found objects at the Fundació Joan Miró
Sofia Hultén, Trucking, 2015. Videostill. Courtesy of the artist. Daniel Marzona, Berlin; Galeria Nordenhake, Stockholm/Berlin; and Raebervon Stenglin, Zurich.

BARCELONA.- Industrial processes seek to optimise the creation of products with a particular design and a predetermined functionality. However, beyond the initial consumer chain, all objects contain the possibility of parallel, alternative or even divergent lives. Sofia Hulten’s gaze frees them from their original logic and de-programmes them by means of erroneous use and lateral approximation, so that a network of potential fictions can be unleashed.

In the words of Martí Manen, curator of the exhibition programme When Lines Are Time, Hultén’s work ‘implies experimenting, from a narrative perspective, with everything around us, so other realities and poetics, other contacts and relations, can be imagined’. Hultén’s videos and sculptures at Espai 13 offer a variety of stories based on found objects. Shoes, chains, trolleys and shutters become, according to Manen, ‘detonators of speculation on the meaning of our relation with the environment’.

Moving objects to unexpected places or situations enables new readings, in the same way as the theories of quantum physics foresee the possibility of parallel universes. Moreover, Hultén’s exhibition represents a pause in the objects’ natural cycle, since, confronted with their motionlessness, we are able to pinpoint a particular moment or imagine new temporal lines.

In one of the works in the exhibition, Hultén gathers discarded materials from a skip and modifies them slightly, only to return them to the rubbish tip without the possibility of continuity. The artist’s intervention adds a narrative density to these elements, which in turn disappears with the discarded object in a kind of loop where work ceases to have any finality and becomes a mere gesture or moment.

In another video, shoes abandoned in the street become a new urban system of navigation in which every stage of the way is marked by a pair of shoes found in the city. The user finds them, takes off his or her shoes, puts on the new ones and continues to the next pair of shoes. The process of finding the shoes is an invitation to look at the space in different ways, since new itineraries are created that leave a narrative trace.

The exhibition ends with a series of intervened objects that incorporate new layers of time and gestuality within the gallery space. Trolleys that don’t work and seem to be in the wrong place. Crane chains, metal shutters or bicycles telling stories about what they might have been but aren’t, all those possible derivations, all those uncontrolled uses.

Sofia Hultén (Sweden, 1972) lives and works in Berlin. Her work has been exhibited at numerous museums and galleries including Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall (Stockholm), RaebervonStenglin (Zurich), KAI 10, Arthena Foundation (Düsseldorf), Aargauer Kunsthaus (Aarau), Mead Gallery (Warwick), Konrad Fischer Galerie (Düsseldorf), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Meessen De Clercq (Brussels), Konrad Fischer Galerie (Berlin), Ikon Gallery (Birmingham), Ludwig Forum (Aachen), Kunstverein (Nuremberg), Gagosian Gallery (Berlin) and Berlinische Galerie (Berlin). In 2011, she was awarded the Moderna Museets Vanners Skulpturpris.

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