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Johan Söderström

#208 Turned Table - Modum

by

Johan Söderström

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#208 Turned Table - Modum by Johan Söderström
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#208 Turned Table - Modum

by

Johan Söderström

US$ 2,200

Overview

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2019

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.

Artist Statement

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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 the Res Ipsa exhibition at Modum Kunstforening in 2019.

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.

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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 filler into the frame like intarsia, instead of on top of each other as in conventional painting. The result gives a graphic expression that at the same time has tactile materiality. I use some simple but clearly defined methods to apply the filler in the frame. These limit the expression of cognitively controlled processes, thus opening an opportunity to reveal something unknown.

They often take the form of series or installations that extend into the room.

I base my work on the notion of a primary alienation in the human subject. By using painting, I want to formulate something around this lack, or the desire, integrated into our perception of reality. I want to explore whether the problem can illuminate other forms of social and cultural alienation—for example, privileges, class, racism and xenophobia. In short, different types of distances between people.

I have previously shown works in Scandinavia at Konsthallen Trollhättan, Konsthallen Lokstallet, Konstepidemin, Kristiansands Konsthall, Akershus Kunstsenter, Trondheim Senter for Samtidskunst och Tenthaus Oslo. I am educated in Norway at Kunstakademiet in Trondheim and live and work in Oslo.

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