Galerie Nordenhake is pleased to present Gunilla Klingberg’s second solo exhibition at the gallery in Berlin. The Swedish artist has gained international recognition for her large-scale installations, often appropriating omnipresent-yet largely disregarded-signs and logos from the visual language of consumer culture and fusing these with forms or symbols from religious and esoteric sources. For this exhibition, Klingberg presents new and recent work, which extends the artists interest in the spiritual dimension inherent within contemporary life as shaped through everyday consumerism.
‘Repeat Pattern’, 2002-2014, a site-specific installation conceived for the Nordenhake gallery space, emphasises the interconnectedness of consumer critique and spiritualism. Here, supermarket logos are turned into a mandala-like pattern, the resulting mantric chant covering three walls of the gallery space from floor to ceiling. A spiritual or ritual symbol in Hinduism or Buddhism, the Mandala represents the universe and its cycles of life, death, and rebirth and is traditionally employed as a spiritual teaching tool and as an aid to meditation and trance induction. In this case its inherent religious symbols and signs have been replaced with various reappropriated logotypes made to revolve around a single point in a seemingly infinite act of expansion, thus bestowing the mundane visual signifiers with an ethereal dimension.
Klingberg’s work draws inspiration from the ordinary and her language is often informed by a sense of sampling and recycling, chosing to combine and re-cast pre-existing forms of expression. ‘The Doors’, 2010 has the artist altering an every day object to become a symbolical manifestation of a parallel reality. The sculpture presents a single doorframe cut into sequential diminishing sections, suggesting a metaphysical portal and augmenting the kaleidoscopic sense of the exhibition. Repeated almost endlessly and isolated from function, the doorframe develops meditative qualities similar to the mandala while simultaneously hinting at an alternative concept of space.
‘A Sign in Space’, a site-specific installation first realized 2012 at Laga Beach in Spain, shows a graphic star sequence imprinted upon the entire strip of sand. The relief is made with a cylindrical press, its matrix pattern shaped from truck tyres, continuously pulled over the beach at low tide. While its imagery playfully mimicks the night sky and thus alludes to an alternative spatial structure, the demarcation of open land through an ideogram such as the five-pointed star also opens up associations with the processes of territorialisation and urbanisation. Conceptually, the work is tied to the fundamental forces of the universe—in this case gravity and planetary motion—as well as the act of repetition. With the rising sea level, the pattern is gradually erased by the ocean water and consistently remade by the beach attendants during low tide, synchronizing the worker’s schedule with the lunar calendar. Here, the artist presents the original cylindrical press, used on-site at Laga Beach, and employed on a single stretch of sand. Alongside the installation, a calendar describes the work’s intrinsic relation to the celestial motions of the moon, earth and sun and with that its cyclical nature. Furthermore, it makes apparent how different concepts of time are unified in this land-art project; time as experienced by the human—as manifest in the workers timetable and the beachgoers day—and in relation to the vastness of the universe.
Gunilla Klingberg was born in 1966 in Stockholm where she currently lives and works. A solo exhibition of her work will be on view at Malmö Konsthall this July.
In 2003 she participated in the Venice Biennial (with Peter Geschwind) and 2007 in the Istanbul Biennial and was recently included in the Curitiba Biennial, Brazil (2013), the 1st Biennial of Art, Nature and Urbanism, Gernika, Bermeo, Spain (2012) and the Biennale for International Light Art, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany (2010). She has had solo presentations at Rice Gallery, Houston (2013), Eastside Projects, Birmingham (both 2013), Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen (2009), Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (both 2009) and Kiasma, Helsinki (2004) among others. Her works have been on view in group exhibitions at CAN - Centre d'art Neuchâtel (2012), Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Museo Tamayo Mexico City (both 2011), The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo (2009), Turner Contemporary, Margate, Arnolfini, Bristol (both 2008) and were included in Philagraphika, The Graphic Unconscious, Philadelphia (2010).
In 2001-2002 Klingberg participated in the IASPIS residency programme at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin. This is her fourth solo exhibtion at Nordenhake.
The artist and the gallery would like to thank DELTA OF SWEDEN AB for their kind support. deutsch