Their Happiest Days were the Dark and Vast Days of Rain

Barbara Kozłowska Borderline, 1970-2008, performance and photography in Russia, Poland, Scotland & USA.

Barbara Kozłowska started her artistic practice in painting and drawing. She continued to explore issues of color and space in media such as photography, text, poetry and performance. The idea behind her Bordeline project was simple. Kozłowska wanted to draw a line from east to west over the globe and then continue to the moon. A gesture that connects the artist as well as all human beings with the nature, the elements, and space. Alone and together with her family, other artists and individuals she met at her travels all around the world, Kozłowska built cones and drew lines that they filled with colorful, natural pigments.

Barbara Kozłowska lived between 1940 and 2008. Based in Wrocław, in southwest Poland, where she also was trained at the art academy. She was part of a circle of artists that explored conceptual art. Between 1972 and 1982 she was running the independent Babel Gallery in her studio.

Nisrine Boukhari, An Act Without Words, 2019, video with sound, 03:41 mins.

Over a longer time Nisrine Boukhari has worked with issues caused by trauma. She keeps coming back to the activity of wandering and its mental counterpoint; mind wandering, which can both be caused by and heal traumatic experiences. Boukhari explains the background to her video An Act Without Words: ”There are things that we cannot describe in words, not because we lack the proficiency of a language, but because there are some events in life that happen aggressively silent without us being able to express them or even feeling forced not to—thus, we didn’t fail, nor the language failed us, but the ‘borders’ that the language drew to us in a strained peace are very limited to our free act and our right to be”. The video is an invitation to read a script written and performed without words, cutting the roots to everything you know or thought that you had known.  

Nisrine Boukhari is born 1980 in Syria. She is educated at the art academy in Damascus, lives and works in Vienna and Stockholm. Together with Abir Boukhari she co-founded AllArtNow, an independent gallery that started in Damascus and is now relocated to Stockholm.

Leif Elggren, Black: To paint myself back to Yellow, 2021,
acrylic on paper, 70 x 50 cm.

Leif Elggren tells the following about his series of paintings: ”In 1977 I started to do the yellow-black paintings. In 2015 I started to dissolve the sharp edges and paint what looked like ”islands”. Black on yellow or yellow on black. I covered the black with yellow paint, so they would mix, and then, a green ”border” appeared. This had never happened before. The sharp opposition between yellow and black dissolved and a third color came forth. An exhibition with this series was called ”Macula Lutea”. In 2020 I started with a new version that was called Yellow & Black: Where the Opposition is the Largest. Black-primed paper was painted several times with yellow paint. The result was a series with green paintings. The method is to let the black and yellow paint meet vertically and because the yellow paint can’t cover the black, green shimmering clouds appear. One could say I zoomed into the green borders. In 2021 I gradually stayed longer with every singular painting and they became more and more yellow. I called this series Black: To paint myself back to Yellow.

Leif Elggren is born 1950 in Linköping. He is educated at the Royal Institute of Art between 1975-80. He works with painting, drawing, sound, and performance.

Hillside Projects, Again and Again We Ask These Questions,
2022, artists’ book in an edition of three.
From Meadow to Hill to Sea We Went, 2022, performative walk with string, pigment, microphone, fabric and branch.

Hillside Projects explore tales of disappearances in the natural world. Prompted by current events in and around nature, they apply methods of storytelling and performative actions in a desire to talk about the stories of and between humans and more than humans. In their book Again and Again We Ask These Questions a selection of repeated questions and statements are printed on newsprint and bound together in an atlas-like format. The texts touch upon notions of life, death, the disappearance of species, and belonging. When the book is opened and read, the lignin in the newsprint paper is exposed to sunlight and air. Over time, the texts fade, and the pages turn yellow. When Hillside Projects invite spectator to walks, they wander fast and sometimes slow. They talk loudly but are practicing being quieter. They are amateurs in their walks. The artist duo use walking as a tool to listen collectively, think, see, converse, test, and fail. In dialogue with the landscape that surrounds Mörby gård, they have created a walk that proceeds in a criss-cross pattern, up and down, back and forth, inside and outside. Using natural pigments, sun, the sea, and antique photographic processes a collective map of an ephemeral walk is created.

Hillside Projects is Emily Berry Mennerdahl (b. 1980) and Jonas Böttern (b. 1977). They are based in Stockholm, Sweden and have been collaborating since 2011. Berry Mennerdahl completed her MFA in Studio Arts at Concordia University, Montréal, Canada in 2009 and Böttern received his MFA in Fine Arts from Konstfack 2016.

Astrid Svangren,
charismatic force and the ecstatic origins
a gift drawing
a case of drawers
a meetinghouse
a barn
and dances
, 2022, silk, aluminium foil and tread.

Astrid Svangren explores classical painter’s questions, such as flatness, depth, the materiality of the paint, figuration and abstraction. Color plays an exceptional role, used as language, metaphor, and material. Text and literature also plays an important role, as a source of inspiration as well as being part of the works as written sentences used as longer poetic titles or fragments that are displayed in conjunction with the actual paintings. Svangren’s paintings are characterized by their spatial extensions where sculptural elements and objects find their way into the space of the beholder. TITLE can be described as a response to the studio and surrounding of Mörby gård.

Astrid Svangren is born 1972. She lives and works in Copenhagen and she is educated at Malmö Art Academy.

Simon Blanck
Karelian Isthmus, August, 2019, video without sound, 8.21 mins.
Memorial Plaques, 2022, five engraved composite stone plaques, 37,5 x 22,5 cm.

Simon Blanck describes his video as a short roadmovie about a trip between two graves. The poets Edith Södergran and Anna Akhmatova are both buried on the Karelian Isthmus, only twenty kilometers apart. The video is shot with a dashboard camera and at some point the two journeys blend into each other and your are on your way to both graves at the same time. During the course of the film poetry fragments from both poets pop up on the screen, all of the fragments refer to death in different ways. The fragments are written in Swedish, Finnish, and Russian. The area where the film is set has been a part of both Sweden and Finland, but now it is a part of Russia. The piece Memorial Plaques is a continuation of Karelian Isthmus, August where fragments of poetry are presented in a more direct, physical form. Inspired by the mentioning of Akhmatova’s grave in Duras’ book Summer 80 Blanck has chosen five poetry fragments of Akhmatova and had them engraved on stone plaques. The fragments refer to nature and death and are presented in Russian to give the memorial plaques a sense of something mysterious and insoluble (translations to Swedish and English is available).

Simon Blanck is born 1986 in Trollhättan. He is educated at The School of Photography at Gothenburg University and at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Apart from making exhibitions he publishes his work in the self published zine Nekrofilt läckage (Necrophiliac Leakage), a zine on death culture.

Lotta Törnroth
The Lunar Suite, 2017-2021, 5 archival pigment prints, framed, 28x31 cm.

Lotta Törnroth describes the background of The Lunar Suite: ”When I found out that my father was dying I was on a residency in Kökar, as far out as you can go in the archipelago of Åland. I had to leave the island hastily the day after. During the night before the full moon was shining so bright over the island and I decided to photograph the moon as a way to get away from the thoughts of my father. He died two days later and since then I have photographed the full moon around the time of his death every year. During the five years I have been photographing the moon, it feels like my father comes back for a short moment”.

Lotta Törnroth is born 1981 in Solna and is educated at the School of Photography at Gothenburg university and at Aalto University in Helsinki. She has published two books with the publishing house Blackbook Publications.

Éva Mag
The Gut Feeling, 2021, glazed ceramic.

For some time now, Éva Mag has worked with unburnt clay, lumps shaped as human body parts. Sometimes they have been pushed together formed as human figures. Held together with textile as a skin. Other times they have been part of performances where Mag, together with dancers in a collective work, have kneaded and shaped the soft parts to images of themselves. Sometimes the lumps have been put in a water basin and returned to the shapeless state of wet clay. These works share a common denominator, besides the clay; they all play with and keep coming back to the tension between figuration and abstraction. In The Gut Feeling the clay lumps have been pulled together brutally to an entire figure. Coloured glaze has been used in a quick and forceful manner to finalize and bind the parts together. Under the beautifully enclosing surface, traces of previous work are now fixed. Imprints of textiles and the hands and body of the artist can be seen together with unsuspected combinations of colors.

Éva Mag is born 1979 in Transylvania, Romania. She lives and works in Stockholm. Mag is educated at the Royal Institute of Art and in photography, and gradually she extended her photographic practice into sculpture and performance.

Ida Idaida
Autonomy, 2021, installation, wood and metal.

Ida Idaida works with installations and explores bodily memory, that is how previous experiences that we want to repress still exist as physical feelings. About Autonomy she says: ”I have physically produced a piece made out of metal and wood, an instrument, a tool, and a machine, constructed out of found construction material. Violence undermines existence and makes life strange to itself. While violence deforms bodies to mere instruments, the pain deforms the actual contours of reality. My installation is an anti-monument over the immaterial kingdom that is created by pain and when you dissociate in order to stay alive. When I created the piece I thought about the book Våld mot kvinnor [Violence Against Women], by Eva Ekselius from 1982”. 

Ida Idaida is born 1990 in Mora. She is educated at the Royal Institute of Art and she lives and works in Stockholm.