Kim West

  • Sean Snyder, Aparatna (35 mm Projection Room), Former Military Educational Facility, Kyiv, 2007, digital C-print, 23 x 31". From the series “Index,” 2007–2009.
    picks October 07, 2009

    Sean Snyder

    Sean Snyder’s recent work seems to represent a moment of pause and methodological reflection in his practice. Of the two sections constituting this exhibition, this is perhaps more evident in “Index,” 2007–2009: a series of black-and-white photographs of his working tools and media-storage facilities, including digital cameras, a USB drive, a pencil, and a microscope. Here, Snyder’s project—to digitize his own archive—seems to have prompted him to carry out an archaeological investigation of the media technologies of past decades. In a sense, “Index” becomes a monument to our rapidly aging means

  • View of “Rummaging,” 2009. From left: Suzanna Asp, Hall of Mirrors, 2008; Christin Wahlström, Wall of Flax, 2008; Johanna Gustafsson Fürst, Lost Counter-Story, Neither Man of Science, nor Man of Faith, 2008.
    picks May 06, 2009

    “Rummaging”

    The third installment of this art center’s yearly salon de jeunesse, “Rummaging” focuses on artworks that reshape and reconfigure space. With the stated ambition of linking the work of an emerging generation of Swedish artists to certain practices in the country’s art world of the 1980s, this exhibition offers installations, sculptures, and interactive pieces that propose disparate spatial experiences and relations. The idea of basing an exhibition of contemporary practices on a locally defined historiography certainly has great potential and could be used to examine new perspectives on the

  • Left: Pedro Costa, In Vanda's Room, 2000, still from a color digital video, 170 minutes. Zita Duarte. Right: The Capricci DVD edition of In Vanda's Room.
    film November 02, 2008

    Spare Room

    IN VANDA’S ROOM (2000) is the second of the three remarkable films Pedro Costa has devoted to the Lisbon slum suburb of Fontainhas. While the enigmatic and beautiful Bones (1997), shot on 35-mm film by a proper crew and featuring (a few) professional actors and a (fragmentary) plot, remains an art-house film in the classic sense, In Vanda’s Room is something altogether different. A “documentary fiction,” the nearly three-hour film was shot on digital video over a period of two years by a crew essentially consisting of one person—Pedro Costa. It depicts the reality of the destitute neighborhood

  • Chu Yun, Constellation No 2, 2006, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks October 03, 2008

    “Sprout from White Nights”

    “Sprout from White Nights” does not want to be an ordinary group show of Chinese contemporary art. Instead, as curator Zhang Wei explains, it aims to be “an exhibition about artists’ experiences of their social space in contemporary China.” Looking at the exhibition’s collection of installations, multichannel video works, garden/lounge dwelling areas, and interactive new-media pieces, a malevolent visitor could point out that living in the social space of contemporary China must be very much like visiting an exhibition of globalized—hence Western—contemporary art. Be that as it may, this is an

  • Christian Boltanski, The Heart Archive, 2008, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks September 19, 2008

    Christian Boltanski

    The works in “Les Archives” (The Archives) are new and recent, but the general project remains the same: For approximately four decades, Christian Boltanski has recorded, collected, and displayed the ephemeral traces of life, creating memory and history from the minor elements of human existence. The centerpiece of this show is The Heart Archive, 2008, in which visitors are invited to enter a lablike space and donate their heartbeats to the artist; the resulting archive of digital recordings will be installed permanently on the Japanese island of Ejima. While the heart archive itself is not at

  • Vacation Lane, 2007, color photograph, 70 x 65".
    picks June 19, 2008

    Clay Ketter

    In Brändström & Stene’s main gallery, six large, high-resolution photographs from Clay Ketter’s series “Gulf Coast Slabs,” 2007, are on view. Measuring from roughly three to thirteen feet in width and around three to seven feet in height, the photographs depict foundations of houses on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi that were ravaged by Hurricane Katrina from a bird’s-eye view. Remarkable in detail, the images show the few remnants of the habitations that once stood on the grounds, including tiles, slabs, outlines of walls, and sewage-system parts. When one steps back from the photographs, these

  • False Future, 2007, still from a 16-mm color film with sound, 10 minutes.
    picks February 28, 2008

    Matthew Buckingham

    With the two works that make up this exhibition, Matthew Buckingham engages in a subtle meditation on reproductive media and history. Image of Absalon to Be Projected Until It Vanishes, 2001, is a simple yet conceptually rich photo installation. A slide show presents a single image of the 1902 monument to Copenhagen’s founder, Absalon, a twelfth-century bishop and warlord. As the title of the work suggests, the light and the heat from the projector lamp will wear out the slide, ultimately effacing the image. The gradual disappearance sets in contrast two forms of mnemotechnology, two forms of

  • 1950 (1984), 2008, paper, transparent film, paint, light box, vitrine, and Plexiglas, 44 3/8 x 19 5/8 x 19 5/8".
    picks January 16, 2008

    Christian Andersson

    Christian Andersson is among a number of artists currently reviving the themes and motifs of Op art. Like artists Olafur Eliasson, Jeppe Hein, and Carsten Höller, Andersson works with traditional Op concerns of perception and optical illusion, while adapting them to an art scene in which multimedia installation is the norm. But while Eliasson revels in grandiose scientific statements and Höller moves between conceptual complexity and mindless play, Andersson opts for investigating special effects and fakes. At Nordenhake, he shows three works. In a Plexiglas box sits 1950 (1984), 2008, a copy

  • Lina Selander, The Hours That Hold the Form (A Couple of Days in Portbou), 2007, black-and-white video, 15 minutes; sound loop, 14 minutes; projection screen, reel-to-reel recorder, loudspeakers, chairs, and rack, dimensions variable.
    picks September 14, 2007

    “Against Time”

    This is the first group exhibition curated by director Sara Arrhenius at this art center since it opened one year ago. While previous programs have been promising, this show really delivers. “Against Time” gathers twenty artists and writers to reflect on narrative modes in contemporary artistic and literary practices, focusing on models for anachronistic history writing. It is a slow exhibition, with works that demand careful reading. Artists in the show use different media, but there is an emphasis on works that combine photography, film, or other image material with texts in ways that counter

  • View of “Monument to Transformation 1989–1968–2009: Installation model—Fragment #4.”
    picks May 25, 2007

    “Monument to Transformation . . .”

    The two projects in “Monument to Transformation 1989–1968–2009: Installation model—Fragment #4,” curated by Vit Havranek, present contrasting ways of using the archives aesthetically. Vangelis Vlanos’s installation is a study of the political and economic relations between Bosnia and Greece, documenting the Greek-funded reconstruction of the parliamentary building in Sarajevo, partially destroyed in 1992. It is a piece of investigative journalism rendered spatial: The research material is presented in files, illustrated with two models of the building in question. To use the “archive” as an

  • Isolario, 2005, print on synthetic fabric, polysterol hangers, dimensions variable. Installation view, Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden, 2005.
    picks May 15, 2007

    Sophie Tottie

    Do you betray the singularity of historical events by inserting them into the narrative of History? If so, is there a possible form for presenting them that does not reduce their heterogeneity to sameness? High-caliber philosophical questions like these form the background to Sophie Tottie’s midcareer retrospective, an ambitious exhibition collecting works made between 1993 and 2007. The show includes a number of Tottie’s signature pieces: installations that employ text, video, and painting to evoke past events, forgotten sciences, and abandoned utopias without revealing their sources or

  • Lighthouse, 2006, Kodak carousel projector and eighty-one slides. Installation view.
    picks February 17, 2007

    Alexander Gutke

    The photographic work 9 ways to say it’s over, 2006, provides the key to this exhibition, Alexander Gutke’s first solo show in Stockholm. The piece consists of nine film stills of credits from different movies and in different languages, all announcing THE END. Even the very end, it seems, holds open certain possibilities. Gutke’s work, usually cinematic in some sense, revolves around this theme, and more specifically around the well-known idea of the engagement with an artwork’s material conditions as the endpoint of formalist exploration. Since 2001, Gutke has made a series of works that