Artist talk, Wednesday 26 February, 7 p.m.
This February, Index is exhibiting work by Markus Degerman and Lisa Torell, two Stockholm-based artists with common personal and political attitudes in their artistic endeavours. Their conceptual works do not primarily begin with what is private, but instead a wish to comprehend and report on tendencies in society and, through factual reflection, describe our era on a more general level.
In the lower gallery, Markus Degerman shows a sequence of images in his DVD-installation "Leftovers" (2002), portraying various episodes occurring in indeterminate public spaces: part of an urban construction, as it appears in the often undefined suburban areas which we consider ugly or badly planned. By modifying and defining these environments, the artist wishes to suggest another, more unprejudiced view that at the same time leaves the door open for a possible transformation. In his work Markus Degerman poses questions about the hierarchies that affect our attitudes towards concepts such as beauty, quality and value. His initial inspiration also came from political issues regarding who the city belongs to. Could one practical scenario in the future be to allow certain areas of the urban environment, whose function is presently unclear to be utilised by those parties interested in it? Markus Degerman went to art school in Umeå, 1993 - 1998. Recently, his work was shown at the Life Gallery, Stockholm, Artgenda in Hamburg and Eskilstuna's Art Museum (2002). Markus Degerman is a member of the design group Uglycute, who are participating in this year's Venice Biennial.
In the upper gallery, Lisa Torell has produced a new work, ŒKamouflerad vardagsterror' (Camoflaged terror on a daily basis), (2003), a series of fictive narratives presented as posters. These posters are further incorporated into a mural, designed to suit the upper gallery's character. In her text-based works, Lisa Torell comments on current behaviour, fragments from the present that we ourselves are part of and therefore, in equal parts, it is easy to accept, yet difficult to oversee and obtain a better understanding of. For example, work from her graduation show at Konstfack 2001, 'Mot en vackrare värld. -Vaddå emot?!' ('Meet a more beautiful world - what do you mean, you don't want to?!') works as a comment about labour market regulations in general, and the attitudes of the IT world in particular. ŒKamouflerad vardagsterror' constructs a series of episodic scenes where a subtle contempt for low-status work suddenly makes itself apparent. Lisa Torell went to art school in Umeå, 1996 - 1999 and Konstfack 1999 - 2001. Her work can currently be seen in the touring exhibition "Allt hör ihop" (Everything Belongs Together) at the Växsjö Arthall, as well as in the exhibition "Existens och Engagemang" (Existence and Engagement) at Cityhuset, Gubbängen.
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