Josef Strau

Malmö Konsthall

The sheer quantity of language in Josef Strau’s installations generates a logorrheic din that could test the patience of even the most committed viewer. Yet his installations are by no means chaotic, but instead rather modest or even cozy: Floor lamps huddle near posters of type-written text, discreetly pinned up, strung on ribbons, or stacked in piles for distribution. A Dissidence Coincidence but W.H.C.T.L.J.S, 2008, created for the Malmö Konsthall, is another example of Strau’s typical narrative overload: Seven texts that revisit the artist’s biblical namesake go alongside writings from past installations. These are mounted inside temporary partitions that wind through the exhibition space, eccentric white corridors forming the seven letters of the title from a God’s-eye view. At the threshold of each is an account of the fratricidal envy provoked by Joseph, the ancient prototype for

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