MALMO.- Moderna Museet Malmö
is presenting a comprehensive solo exhibition on Annika Eriksson. With subdued matter-of-factness and humour, Annika Eriksson explores everyday places and situations, portraying the effects of social transformation, interpersonal relations and the interaction between humans and other animals. The exhibition The Social focuses on the last few years of her artistic practice and is structured around a new series of works.
In the center of the Turbine Hall at Moderna Museet Malmö, visitors encounter an enlarged replica of Axel Nordells play sculpture The Apple that has been permanently placed in Pildammsparken in Malmö since 1972. Among the new works are also objects made in papier-maché, a number of LEDsigns, and a blown-up photograph of an anarchistically oriented childrens workshop. While together forming an installation, these new pieces also create an environment, imbued with memories and associations, for the other works on display.
Throughout the exhibition, there is a predominant sensation of a gliding movement in time between a past that is somehow still present and a future that already lurks in our consciousness. In one of Annika Erikssons most recent videos, Past Lives Selector (2016), we encounter two cosplayers that have been commissioned by the artist to create personas in relation to an open-air history museum. Though they are both dressed in historical costumes, they appear oddly futuristic like two medieval cyborgs.
A number of the exhibited works place themselves in the gaps that are created when social models fade into history before new ideas and visions have materialized. One example is the video In Preparation for a Psychodrama (2015), set in Folkets Park (The Peoples Park) in the Swedish town Grängesberg which used to be a thriving mining community before its industries closed down. Here we encounter a group of local amateur actors who are trying in various ways to create new contexts, in an environment shaped by ideals and visions of the past.
Annika Erikssons works move with elusive rapidity between memories and visions of the future. Together, they create a melting pot of different time zones, mixing utopian promises from the past with dystopian fantasies, and glimpses of potential new futures, says Joa Ljungberg, curator of the exhibition.
Annika Erikssons long-running investigation into different forms of social interaction and organization also includes that between humans and other animals. This interestingly aligns her practice to the expanding field of Animal Studies. Works such as I am the dog that was always here (loop) (2013), and The Community (2010), address the gentrification and associated sanitation of our cities, while also focusing on the emergence of informal social sites that in turn generate new modes of existence. The animals portrayed here are very much present in their own right, but also function as anthropomorphic protagonists in narratives on social change.
Annika Eriksson was born in Malmö, and has been living in Berlin since 2002. She is one of Swedens most acclaimed artists internationally, and her works have been shown around the world, for example at the Hayward Gallery in London, Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, SALT in Istanbul, Hamburger Bahnhof and Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in San Francisco, as well as the biennials in Istanbul, Shanghai, São Paulo, Dakar, Vienna and Venice.