17 December Ashik Zaman

Which were the most memorable exhibitions in 2020, according to Ashik Zaman, curator at Konstnärshuset in Stockholm?

Andrea Zittel, A-Z Wagon Station, mixed media, 2003. Photo: Christian Saltas.

The Experimental Field, Accelerator, Stockholm University, Stockholm

After a series of solo presentations following its inauguration in 2019, Accelerator presented its first group exhibition, which was based on the history of Stockholm University’s Frescati campus as the epicentre of Swedish nineteenth-century agricultural research. In an exhibition about how land has been utilised for basic needs, it was hard to imagine a more fitting work than Andra Zittel’s gesamtkunstwerk about self-sufficiency and communal living in Joshua Tree, California. One of the things that impressed me about the show was that everything seems to have been possible when putting it together, including the construction of an architectural work in the form of a rural farm by the artist groups O in collaboration with the non existent Center, a museum in the exhibition space based on furniture by Uglycute, and a number of supposedly ‘impossible’ loans from Sweden’s National Museum.

Hannes Ferm, Bloom, performance, 2020.

Hannes Ferm, Bloom, BA exhibition, Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm

Bloom, which was announced as a performance at Galleri Konstfack, in fact took the form of a bravura musical, which alternately evoked Anne Imhof and Billie Eilish. Over the course of forty minutes, Hannes Ferm staged with great sensitivity, a musical album with sound, choreography, and sculpture. It all felt like participating at arm’s length in a manic fantasy that really set the psyche in motion. Euphoria was triggered almost immediately, when Ferm’s constant collaborator Annie Hägg began singing hypnotically and moving ghost-like around the stroboscopic room while suggestive lines of text were projected on the wall.

Idun Baltzersen, Distance, woodcut on fabric, collage, 250×290 cm, installation view, 2020.

Idun Baltzersen, The Eyes of Others, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm 

Idun Baltzersen’s often large-scale material orchestrations of drawing and graphics have long been characterised by mysticism and melancholy in the intersection between figurative and abstract. But just when one thought it possible to predict the artist’s next step, her solo exhibition at Magnus Karlsson set a new direction that was genuinely surprising as well as a pleasure to look at. If it previously seemed as if Baltzersen had deliberately chosen a sombre colour scheme (in greyscale so as not to overshadow the narrative) her work now seems uninhibited by such considerations. The new pieces included self-portraits as well as male figures, and incorporated glossy epoxy plastics.

– Ashik Zaman is editor-in-chief of the online journal C-print, and curator at SKF/Konstnärshuset in Stockholm. Together with Hedwig Edsforth, Zaman recently co-curated the group show Analogue Funny Weather at Konstnärshuset’s satellite branch Eldhunden. 

For this year’s contributions to Kunstkritikk’s Advent Calendar, see here.