Moderna Museet presents an exhibition of works by Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff

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Moderna Museet presents an exhibition of works by Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff
Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff, Oh Mother, What Have You Done #002, 2019 © Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff.

STOCKHOLM.- Moderna Museet opens its exhibition Alternative Secrecy with Annika von Hausswolff – who is now known as Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff. Her photographs has dazzled the international art scene since the 1990s, and Alternative Secrecy also features her sculptures and installations. A separate part of the exhibition is dedicated to works from the Moderna Museet collection selected by the artist.

Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff (b. 1967) belongs to a generation of Swedish artists who emerged in the early 1990s under the visual and theoretical influence of postmodernist art. Today, von Hausswolff’s practice is often associated with her early works inspired by crime scene photography, with immobile bodies in various situations. The mood and composition indicate that something atrocious has taken place, but what? The same questions are triggered in Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff’s latest series, Oh Mother, What Have You Done (2019-2020). These pictures of handcuffed women were found by the artist in news reports on the internet and UV printed on acrylic glass that she then painted. What have the arrested women – all portrayed in unclear circumstances – actually done? The works are puzzling and set our thoughts spinning.

Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff’s artistic output has been acknowledged and analysed in countless publications over more than thirty years – not least from a psychological angle. In her many projects, she has created new works and developed her ideas.

“Throughout her career, Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff has been acutely aware of what art does and can do for her and others. Her influence on younger generations as an artist and later as a teacher has been far-reaching,” says the exhibition’s curator, Anna Tellgren. “Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff’s exceedingly personal choice of works from the Moderna Museet collection add further insights into the art and images from different times and genres that have informed her own practice.”

Alternative Secrecy presents some hundred works covering Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff’s entire career, from her first exhibition and studies at Konstfack, University of Arts, Crafts and Design, in the early 1990s, via the Venice Biennale in 1999, to her enamel and acrylic glass series created in recent years. Several physical objects and installations are also presented, including Esoteric Forensic (2007), a locked “cabinet” made by the artist. On the inside of the glass door is a curtain that hides the content behind it. This object belongs to the Moderna Museet collection, along with several other key works by the artist.

For this exhibition, Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff has also made a few new works, and a wallpaper with pictures of holes that is displayed in the museum foyer. This work, titled Excerpt from Alternative Secrecy, will only exist until the end of the exhibition, when it will be destroyed. She has also selected some fifty works from the Moderna Museet collection by various artists, to be shown and presented in dialogue with her own. The chosen artists include Larry Clark, Lisa Jonasson, Maria Lindberg, Irving Penn and Francesca Woodman.

Alternative Secrecy was originally scheduled to open at Moderna Museet in summer 2020, but after being postponed twice due to the covid-19 pandemic, it is now time for the public to encounter this extensive exhibition with one of the most fascinating Nordic artists.

“We are delighted to open this exhibition at last,” says Gitte Ørskou, director of Moderna Museet. “Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff’s name is associated with photography, but her artistic practice extends beyond photography, as this exhibition proves. Alternative Secrecy shows an artist who, throughout her career, has challenged viewers with a question but never presents an answer. Visitors can expect a magnificent experience, which is also a walk through the innermost recesses of the human mind.”

Alternative Secrecy will be shown at Moderna Museet Malmö on 26 March – 4 September, 2022.

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