Gunilla Klingberg 
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Gunilla Klingberg, "Cosmic Matter"

Berlin, June 19th - July 26th, 2008
Image No. 1 of Gunilla Klingberg

Cosmic Matter, 2007-2008, detail, wall painting


Galerie Nordenhake is pleased to announce Cosmic Matter, an exhibition by Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg.

Cosmic Matter is an architecturally hermetic, mixed-media installation composed of icons and symbols from science and spiritualism reflecting on the colonization of the moon. In 2006 NASA, in collaboration with twelve other space agencies, announced the project The Global Exploration Strategy, which includes plans to construct a moon base and to sell the moon’s natural resources to private enterprises. This outsourcing compromises the almost thirty year old UN treaty that reaffirms the importance of a strictly peaceful use of the moon, asserting that it should be used solely for the benefit of the international community at large, not any individual actor. In addition the moon’s mythological and symbolic role is an important theme in this work. The lunar cycle has played a significant role in art history, spirituality, religion and science, and Klingberg has intentionally chosen a full moon night for her opening in Berlin.

Cosmic Matter was first realized at the Istanbul Biennial 2007. In the gallery a pre-fabricated scaffolding serves as a framework for a tape printed with a pattern of the moon’s phases, copyright signs, the Helium 3 symbol and a stylized motif from NASA’s web page. The tape is woven between the scaffolding in variable heights, lengths and widths, thus relating to cordoning-tape and the claming of territory. The hermetic hub created by the tape is reflected in steel-pictograms of dream catchers, a Native American folkloristic motif. The floor standing mirror text, Global Exploration Strategy, also reflects its environs and was produced by local sign-manufacturers in Istanbul in the standard style and font of signage used by banks and other commercial institutions.

The mirror text interplays with a wall painting based on the Apollo 11 eagle logo. As a mythical symbol for the sacred and solitary, the eagle has embodied the exploration as a well-intended bold venture. Multiplied and painted on the gallery wall as a graffiti stencil it implies more ominous intentions, juxtaposing exploration with exploitation and representing the unholy alliance of the spiritual and the commercial.

The hermetic architecture, the various media and the accumulation of symbols and icons create a dense psychedelic environment that is elated, visually spectacular and seductive. As in earlier works such as Mantric Mutation or Repeat Pattern, the accumulation, repetition and organization of symbols — be they mundane corporate logos or the image of the moon — give rise to a growing unease as their familiarity is distorted. In this way Klingberg’s works deal with the collective unconscious and the viral aspects of visual language.

Image No. 2 of Gunilla Klingberg

Cosmic Matter, 2007-2008, inst. view

Image No. 3 of Gunilla Klingberg

Cosmic Matter, 2007-2008, detail, Global Strategy Exploration

Image No. 4 of Gunilla Klingberg

Cosmic Matter, 2007-2008, inst. view

Image No. 5 of Gunilla Klingberg

Cosmic Matter, 2007-2008, detail, dream catchers

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