January 14, 2004 - Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art - Surasi Kusolwong
January 14, 2004

Surasi Kusolwong

Surasi Kusolwong
17 January – 21 March 2004

Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art
asverksgatan 22
Box 4097
203 12 Malmo, Sweden
Phone +46 (0) 40 12 17 16
Fax +46 (0) 40 30 45 61
info@rooseum.se

www.rooseum.se

image: Surasi Kusolwong: My Mother with her Umbrella (Ayutthaya), 1996, C-print.

Surasi Kusolwong

No Conclusion (Time Is The Answer)

Opening 17 January 2004, 7 – 9pm, artists talk 6pm

Rooseum is delighted to have the opportunity to present Surasi Kusolwong’s first one-person show in Europe, No Conclusion (Time Is The Answer). Born and living in Thailand, Kusolwong is one of the leading artists to emerge from the extension of the contemporary art field beyond its Western boundaries over the last 10 years. His work draws on Thai and Western art traditions as well as recent cultural and social changes in both situations.

For this first major solo-exhibition, Kusolwong will show new and existing works in a set up that partly suggests an indoor city. The exhibition includes a new version of his famous Emotional Machine, a VW Beetle turned upside down and converted into a swing that visitors can use. He will also stage a new 10 SEK market full of plastic Thai products that will be sold during the opening as ‘a retail performance with music action’. New works will include a scaffold stage for photos and performances and an electric scooter tour of a re-made modern classic sculpture by Richard Serra. A number of smaller sculptures and photographs will also be shown.

Kusolwong’s work bears a close relationship to western modernism. He draws on a stock of European and North American modernist aesthetics in ways that could be interpreted as homage to western success and appears to be done in a spirit of celebration. Yet by appro-priating and altering genres of modernist aesthetics he translates the legacy of the Western canon into his own language. Objects are given new functions (or their function is re-configured in the case of design products), thereby undermining the usually distinct categories of utility and fine art. The works seem to question the necessity and appropriate-ness of such meanings in a global economic and cultural context.

The artist is also deeply concerned with the experience of the visitor, seeking a different kind of engagement than the normally passive consumption of images in a museum. Many of the works require direct participation in order to fully grasp their intention, while others are activated by performers, including the artist himself. Another important element of his work is the act of hospitality, inspired by the mixing of European and Asian cultural expectation.

By presenting a substantial corpus of works by Kusolwong, No Conclusion (Time Is The Answer) offers testimony to the many-layered approaches in the artist’s work. His works move freely between analysis and experience, theory and physical presence, and bring about a sense of open-endedness and indeterminacy. The exhibition is an invitation to enjoy moments of entertainment and pleasurable situations that points beyond the here and now.

Mark Lewis

The Brass Rail

Micro Cinema, 17 January – 15 February 2004

In June 2003 the shooting of Mark Lewis’ new film, The Brass Rail, took place at Rooseum. Now the finished work can be seen in Rooseum’s Micro Cinema. The collaboration with Mark Lewis started in March 2003 when Rooseum presented his work, Imitation of Life (2002), and continued with the production of The Brass Rail, recorded on super-35mm film. Throughout the Spring we focused on projects on art and film in the programme Rooseum Universal Studios. We concluded this intense period by inviting our audience to follow the production of The Brass Rail, and introduced for the first time publically our main exhibition space as a production site. The aim with this project was twofold, to support the artist in the production of a new work and to invite our audience to gain access to the working processes through which a film is made.

The Brass Rail takes its location from a ‘lap dancing’ bar in Toronto, where we see one of the waitresses, Monique, serving, charging for the drinks and waiting for the evening to end. But the main focus for Mark Lewis in this work is the cinematic push-pull effect. This is known to many through Hitchcock’s use of it in films like Vertigo. The effect is created by combining a zoom shot, which moves towards the subject and a counter-prevailing tracking shot, which moves back from the subject. Lewis uses this distortion effect to investigate how two different times appear to occur simultaneously in one image. Lewis also takes his inspiration from painting and portraiture and in particular works that attempt to inscribe an anamorphic effect suggesting temporal displacement, for example in Manet’s Bar at the Folies-Bergere. In The Brass Rail Lewis continues his ongoing investigation of how to use the filmic space as a place for extending and exploring the genre of painting.

The Brass Rail has been supported by: Sala Rekalde, Bilbao; Musee d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada; British Council.

Fredrik Roos Artist fund, the holder of the grant 2003:

Ylva Westerlund

Open Forum, 17 januari – 21 mars

Ylva Westerlund has been granted the Fredrik Roos Artist fund award 2003 for her skillfulness in combining intelligent and witty thoughts on complex social issues with a sensual and unexpected visual form. Rooseum has the pleasure of, in conjunction with the distribution of the award, showing her work Exercises in Triangulation in the Open Forum.

Ylva Westerlund lives in Malmo and ended her studies at the Malmo Art Academy in spring 2003. She mainly works with video, installation and drawing. In her works she keeps coming back to a theme drawing from her own experiences and her relationship with political ideologies: “My not entirely uncomplicated relationship with the Left”, as she puts it. In the video Exercises in Triangulation Ylva Westerlund starts from a scientific method of putting light on the political rhetoric from a new perspective. The movie describes incompatible ideas being put together and creating a new, third variation. The theories are introduced very matter-of-factly in the video, which reminds of a scientific presentation. But the emblem of the constructed sender, which is exposed, to raise our doubts and make us question things questions the objectiveness of the movie.

For further information please contact Rooseum, +46 40 12 17 16, info@rooseum.se

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