May 12, 2005 - Museum of National Antiquities, Sweden - Mats Hjelm’s video installation Deliverance
May 12, 2005

Mats Hjelm’s video installation Deliverance

Mats Hjelm: Deliverance
30 April - 19 September

Museum of National Antiquities, Sweden
Narvavägen 13-17
114 84 Stockholm
T 46 8 519 556 00
F 46 8 519 557 48
info [​at​]

History concerns us and our time. The Museum of National Antiquities in Sweden thus presents Celia Prados exhibition series vox in order to move closer to our mandate – to reflect the past as well as the present. The Museum of National Antiquities is an important space for collections of historically important artefacts and a space in which universal existential questions can be interpreted from a contemporary perspective in the light of an historical background. With vox, our contemporary-historical function is presented at the museum. The exhibition runs from 30 April to 19 September.

The Museum of National Antiquities in Sweden has for a long time been accused of neglecting its core mission. This is a further challenge to all conservative shoemaker, stick to your last-voices, because we want to move on, Director General Kristian Berg says. History gives our visitors an opportunity to reflect on the past, how it affects us and what it has to say about us and our time.

The 29 of April sees the presentation of artist Mats Hjelms work Deliverance. It is a monumental video installation consisting of a 20 metre long panoramic projection, specially produced for the Museum of National Antiquities. Without beginning or end, the film is structured as a loop running for 35 minutes.
Deliverance alludes to manipulations and catastrophes but also to freedom of expression and liberation. The work is a poetical and melancholy journey verging on recent history, memory, the human capacity for faith and the necessity of reconciliation. The flow of the narrative is slow and meditative, a mantra of moving images, which, among other things, expose urban fringe areas the ruptures of city planning. In the work, these real places become illusory spaces, cities, countries or moods, which express conditions of loneliness and exposure.

The image sequences are intertwined with historical sound recordings: John Lee Hookers Tupelo Blues, recorded in 1959, and Bertolt Brechts 1947 statement upon being called before the House Un-American Activities Committee during the McCarthy era, as well as an excerpt from a relaxation tape.

Mats Hjelm describes his work as a reflection on recent developments in the world that have increased the importance of religion, especially in relation to conflicts and politics, as well as a way of seeking reconciliation or concordance. The closer to our time the work moves the more difficult it becomes to describe it.

Celia Prado, curator for the exhibition and for contemporary art at the Museum of National Antiquities in Sweden, views the work as a story and a prayer for our desire for reconciliation and eternal presence; at the same time she points out that every viewers experience and interpretation of an artwork to some degree carries its own truth.

Mats Hjelm is represented at, among others, Nederlands Foto Instituut/Rotterdam Film Festival, PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, Museé de lArt Moderne de la ville de Paris, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and Yokohama Triennale, Japan. For further information, see

For press images, see

For further information
Curator Celia Prado, tel. 48 8 519 556 64, mobile 46 708 35 34 37,
Press Officer Jenny Fransson, tel. 46 8 519 557 31, mobile 46 70 601 45 07,
Head of Department Maria Perstedt, 48 8 519 557 23, mobile 46 70 483 37 99,

PO Box 5428
SE-114 84 Stockholm

Administration: Storgatan 41
Visiting address: Narvavägen 13-17
Telephone: 46 8 519 556 00
Fax: 46 8 519 557 48

Museum of National Antiquities, Sweden
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