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Johan Söderström

#303 Personality Test (Random Version)

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Johan Söderström

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#303 Personality Test (Random Version) by Johan Söderström
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#303 Personality Test (Random Version)

by

Johan Söderström

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$ 1,400

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Overview

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2020

Filler on board

Unique Work

Dimensions: 84cm (H) x 64cm (W) x 5cm (D) / 33.1" (H) x 25.2" (W) x 2" (D)

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

Artist Statement

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64x84 cm | Filler, oak frame

The placement and direction of the x's and squares on the surface are made using a random number generator.

Personality tests are becoming more and more common in employment recruiting. You no longer want to know only the candidates' experience and skills, but also their individual characteristics. In psychology, such tests have long been a standard tool. There is also a great deal of public interest in taking simple, popularly designed variants themselves. The purpose of all these tests is to find out who the subject is. To see inside the shell. But instead of really trying to approach the subject's mystery, the eternal question - Who am I - the survey is dismissed with a simplified categorisation as the only result. One then misses the lesson about the function of language from psychoanalytic theory.
stopping the introspection of the subject at the level of simple categorisation, the investigation semantically does not move out of the Imaginary field. Even if you fill the different categories with descriptions, their primary objective is a simple differentiation. That is, it matters less how they are described than what function they perform. The purpose is to sort, not to explain. For a semantic act to become real in a psychoanalytic sense, i.e. that it should give meaning to the subject on a deeper level, it must be put into practice. It must be given a physical material form. The materialisation of language in the physical always adds something unexpected and elusive. The encounter with the Real gives pure language its entry into the Symbolic field. The act simultaneously creates an un-symbolised remnant that is primordial to desire. Without this subtle dislocation within language, it becomes lifeless and empty, the description misses the very kernel of what it wishes to describe.
The economisation of language serves the purposes of neoliberalism. But the unresolved suspension in the Imaginary is an immature understanding of the subject's position. Only by taking into account the chaotic and boundless nature of physical material reality can a more profound understanding be achieved.

Tick ​​Boxes
This is a series of works that use squares and crosses as compositional elements. The very components that constitute so-called checkboxes on questionnaires with prepared answer options. It is a tool for different types of surveys and application forms—systems for sorting people into different categories, and for maintaining various types of boundaries and constraints.
They are an essential part of an expanding neoliberal organisational culture where measurable results are crucial. Efforts are analysed against predetermined standards to increase economic efficiency. Language is trimmed for aesthetic qualities in favour of a strictly rational understanding. These works want to illuminate and challenge this trend by deconstructing one of its primary forms.

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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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