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Johan Söderström

#336 Enterprise

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Johan Söderström

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#336 Enterprise by Johan Söderström
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#336 Enterprise

by

Johan Söderström

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$ 1,400

Or 3 payments of US$466.67 via instalments at 0% interest!IconInformation

Overview

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2021

Filler on board, oak frame

Unique Work

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

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

Artist Statement

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This work was done through a performative event where I lit 99 tealights placed to shape the word Open in the wet filler on a panel lying on the floor. During a short session, I sat still behind the panel with the burning candles.

The action was performed in my studio during Oslo Open, an annual event where the city's artists open their studios to the audience during a weekend. This edition was digital due to the covid-19 epidemic.

The word and its design are inspired by the modest yet flashy light signs you see at many local shops that sell inexpensive goods and services, often run by immigrants. Small businesses are typical in areas with weak finance and high unemployment. In neoliberal ideology, workers are increasingly being pushed over to temporary contracts where they act as self-employed without the security that employment usually entails. This forces the individual to be constantly available to the market. The boundary between life and work is dissolved. Labour as a commodity is shifted from limited amounts of time to occupying the body as a whole. The industry that goes the furthest in treating the body as a commodity is, as is well known, prostitution. It is perhaps no coincidence that the small open signs are often seen in the many shops that offer massage. In a society based on competition and disparity, vulnerable individuals are forced to transcend more and more barriers and incessantly be more "open" to persevere.

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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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