February 15, 2005 - Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art - New exhibitions
February 15, 2005

New exhibitions

Matts Leiderstam: Grand Tour
From the Magasin 3 Stockholm Konthall Collection
February 19 – June 5, 2005


Matts Leiderstam: Grand Tour
Curatorial team: David Neuman with Tessa Praun and Elisabeth Millqvist

From the seventeenth century until the middle of the nineteenth century, the Grand Tour to Italy was de rigueur for European upper classes and artists. Matts Leiderstam’s work Grand Tour offers an alternative understanding of art history by mirroring it within a contemporary homoerotic context.

Leiderstam’s work on Grand Tour began with an exhibition catalogue (Grand Tour – The Lure of Italy in the Eighteenth Century, Tate Gallery, 1996) and a guide for gay men (Spartacus International Gay Guide, 1996). The work was exhibited in an earlier version at the Venice Biennial in 1997 and has since been continually augmented into an extensive archive.

Today, the work consists of paintings and related books that are complemented in the exhibition with different instruments for seeing, such as binoculars, magnifying glasses, and lightboxes. When the paintings are presented together with their references, it results in a temporal and spatial field of tension, as well as creating tension between the viewer, the work, and what is represented in the work.

Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall has supported the development and further elaboration of this monumental work, and it has collaborated with Matts Leiderstam to produce an exhibition design that can be adapted to different spaces and contexts.

“It is an unparalleled feeling knowing that Magasin 3 has had the opportunity to follow Grand Tour for all these years, and that now the results will finally be displayed here in a complex installation. Matts Leiderstam is a unique artist in international contemporary art. By coupling his deep sense of history with an investigative relationship, Leiderstam creates a universal and entirely new visual language,” says David Neuman, the director of the Konsthall.

Matts Leiderstam plays both the artist and viewer in his art. In Grand Tour, his point of departure is art historical insofar as he copies, or paraphrases, paintings as a way of both further investigating and fantasizing about the historical work. By pointing out the differences between the original and the copy, he scrutinizes his own thoughts about these paintings and offers the viewer an alternative way of seeing art history. He illuminates something in the original that is perhaps only intimated or even disregarded and he reveals the hidden erotics of older landscape paintings. At the same time, Leiderstam’s work challenges us to reflect on the very process of seeing and on the viewer’s role in this process – our own fantasy is decisive in the encounter between an artwork and the production of meaning.

DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland) is coproducer of Grand Tour and will host the exhibition from July 30 – September 25, 2005.

From the Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall Collection
Curators: David Neuman and Richard Julin

Magasin 3 will be exhibiting works from the collection, coinciding with the exhibition Grand Tour by Matts Leiderstam. Magasin 3 has been collecting works from its exhibition program since 1987, as well as acquisitions made outside the scheduled exhibitions. Today, Magasin 3 is considered to have one of Europe’s finest collections of contemporary art.

The first exhibition room presents photographs from the collection that have not previously been shown at Magasin 3: a Swedish icon, the large version of Dan Wolgers’ Har slutar allman vag IV from 1995-1998; a recent monumental work by American artist Anna Gaskell (Untitled #111, 2004), a singular photographic self-portrait by Jonathan Meese from Berlin (Sankt Ich V, 2002), new images by Annika von Hausswolff (The Third Position in between Two Worlds Where One Is Called Infidelity and the Other One Decay, 2004 and The 21st Century Transitional Object, 2004), and a work by Cindy Sherman (Untitled #352, 2000).

The second room displays Pedro Cabrita Reis’ magnificent installation True Gardens #2 (Stockholm) from 2001, created specifically for Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall for the exhibition The Silence Within. The Portuguese artist used painting to approach architecture, building an enormous landscape of transparent and painted glass sheets, which are illuminated from below with neon strip lighting.

The exhibition ends with the Romanian artist Mircea Cantor’s video work The Landscape Is Changing from 2003 (22 min.), in which a group of protestors march silently through the Albanian capital Tirana, carrying mirror placards that reflect and distort the cityscape around them.

Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art
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