Hör här! Mats B. at Index
J.O. Mallander and Mats B.
In A Headmuseum for the Eighties. En post-konceptuell utställning, 1974.
Behind Mallander: Douglas Huebler Variable Piece # 111.In connection with J.O. Mallander’s exhibition In Short, Index collaborates with the magazine OEI on a series of events on Swedish conceptual art leading up to the release of the new issue OEI #52 SV KONC KONS. Wednesday 16 February will present the late conceptual artist and pataphysicist Mats B.
Introduction by Frans Josef Petersson
Mats B. in Cut Piece (Yoko Ono), 2003 (1964)
Lecture by Anders Nilson: Towards a late reception of Mats B.s´ conceptual art
Martin Högström reads Easter in Paris. Investigation of the Public Houses of Boulevard Saint-Germain, April 20-21, 1973.
OEI #52 SV KONC features an essay on Mats B. by Anders Nilsson, the books Easter in Paris, För en idébaserad konst and the self-published journal Grisalda #1–2, as well as excerpts from Vet snut hut? Vett snutt hutt! and an extensive presentation of Mats B.s´ photographic and textual work from the 1970´s.
Mats B. was one of few taking an interest in conceptual art in Sweden in the early 1970´s. Like his dear friend and colleague J.O. Mallander, he was internationally minded, and worked both as an artist, writer, editor and curator. His first book, Vet snut hut? Vett snutt hutt!, was published in 1973, and in 1975 he published a collection of essays, För en idébaserad konst [“Towards an art of ideas”] on Ad Reinhardt, Piero Manzoni and Lawrence Weiner.
Mats B. also took an extensive interest in the work of Daniel Buren and Gilbert & George, who were featured in his journal Grisalda 1974 together with contributions by J.O. Mallander, Per Kirkeby, Bengt af Klintberg, Sune Nordgren, Bo Cavefors, Carl-Erik Ström, Gabor Attalai, Ken Friedman, Ray Johnson and John Baldessari. The same year he took part in J.O. Mallander’s A Headmuseum for the Eighties. A post-conceptual exhibition shown at Cheap Thrills in Helsinki, at The Museum of Sketches in Lund and Moderna Museet in Stockholm.
The year before he published Easter in Paris (1973), a conceptual investigation of the public houses of Boulevard Saint-Germain. The book was printed in 6 copies and distributed to Mats B.’s artist-friends Gilbert & George, Ragnar von Holten, Claes Hylinger and J.O. Mallander, as well as to his publisher Bo Cavefors. The last copy was sold for the same amount as the production costs for the work.
During the second half of the 1970´s Mats B. collaborated with Sune Nordgren, and edited some issues of his journal Kalejdoskop. # 4 1976 deals with Nordic conceptual art, and has the form of one long, winding, conversation between Mats B. and the artists Bengt af Klintberg, Per Wåhlström, Bård Breivik, Håkan Rehnberg, Margareta Åsberg, Jan Håfström, Keiji Uematsu, Masaru Takahashi, Takahashi Naraha, Gudbergur Bergsson, Tom Krøjer, Record Singers, J.O. Mallander and Carl-Erik Ström.
1981–1983 Mats B. was editor of the magazine Tidskriften Moderna Museet, and in 1986 he curated the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Towards the end of the 1980´s he withdrew from public life, but remained in contact with colleagues and friends through telephone conversations and mail correspondence. His last publications include the calendar Ditt och Datt, with Anders Ljungman, and Förra seklets kulturhistorier, both 2009.
Mats B. was born in Ludvika in 1951, and died in 2009.
Special thanks to SAAB, The Swedish Archive of Artists´ Books for the possibility to include Easter in Paris in the programme. Thanks also to Moderna Museet for the documentation of Cut Piece.
Next event will take place 16 March, and feature the artist Leif Eriksson and his publishing venture Wedgepress & Cheese as well as the conceptual poet Bengt Adlers. Since the start in 1978 Wedgepress & Cheese has published some 80 books by Swedish and foreign artists, including nine collections of poetry by Bengt Adlers: The Poetry of Mickey Spillane (1980), The Hits of T.S. Eliot (1980), Poetry Try Poe & Verse Vica (1982), La Poésie de Donzy (1983), Rock Age Poetry (1986), Dix Poèmes (1986), TRIX (2000), SEX KEX, (2000) and Jagumaj (2006). Leif Eriksson himself has published some 130 artists´ books, from En Smekning in 1965 to 977 ord in 2010. Participants will be Leif Eriksson, Bengt Adlers, Jonas (J) Magnusson, Frans Josef Petersson.