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#172 Turned Table - StudioBy Johan Söderström

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US$ 2,200



Construction Filler, Filler on board, oak frame

Unique Work

Dimensions: 124cm (H) x 84cm (W) x 5cm (D) / 48.8" (H) x 33.1" (W) x 2" (D)

Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.


This item ships from Norway

Please note that this item is framed and requires crating for shipment

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Artist Statement

84 (W) x124 (H) cm | Filler, oak frame

TABLES is a tri-parted art project. First, it is a participatory art event where I invite the public to do a mark or imprint of their choice in the wet filler inside a frame with legs attached, placed on the floor like a table. The table functions as a kind of recording device documenting any movement transcending its surface. Second, I exhibit the table and its surface-document of the event as it is. Finally, the legs are detached, I finish the work, tilt it, and turn it into a painting with the title Turned Table.

This work was produced during Oslo Open 2019, an annual art event where the artists of Oslo open their studios to the public.

Table-turning is a metaphor for change in power. But it can also relate to a spiritual seans where a group of people holding hands around a table and by mysterious ways making it move. The seans was popular at the end of the nineteenth century, and Karl Marx refers to it in a passage in Capital about the commodity:

"A commodity appears, at first sight, an extremely obvious, trivial thing. But its analysis brings out that it is a very strange thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties. So far as it is a use-value, there is nothing mysterious about it, whether we consider it from the point of view that by its properties it satisfies human needs, or that it first takes on these properties as the product of human labour. It is absolutely clear that, by his activity, man changes the forms of the materials of nature in such a way as to make them useful to him. The form of wood, for instance, is altered if a table is made out of it. Nevertheless, the table continues to be wood, an ordinary sensuous thing. But as soon as it emerges as a commodity, it changes into a thing which transcends sensuousness. It not only stands with its feet on the ground, but, in relation to all other commodities, it stands on its head, and evolves out of its wooden brain grotesque ideas, far more wonderful than if it were to begin dancing of its own free will."

Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, vol 1., trans. Ben Fowkes (New York: Vintage, 1977), pp. 163f.


Artist Profile

Born: 1969
Hometown: Stockholm
Based in: Oslo

I am interested in process-based painting and the profound human solitude. While exploring one thing, I sometimes try to formulate something about the other.

My work is made from construction filler in oak frames. I have developed a unique technique, where I insert 6 mm thick layers of grey and white …


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