Avesta Art 2016

Crocheted rooms. Indefinable figures under lock and key. The home of memory. Fire-ravaged chaos. Group photos of the community of women.
Different expressions, different stories, yet all depicting a common theme of structure. This will be the focal point when Avesta Art opens this summer. Structure is also the title of the exhibition opening the 28th of May, where 16 artists from around the world will present their work.

“Structure can be so many things. It can be related to the social, to the societal, to language, technology, power and gender. The works – in their diverse styles and expressions and approaches – fit in well in the structure of The Works,” says art expert Caroline Gustafsson.

At The Works in Avesta, the old industrial building was in its time an example of structure in the form of clear roles, hierarchy, order and rhythm in operations and implementation. This provides a contrast to how artists such as Magnus Alexandersson, Petra Bauer and Alexandra Carr depict the concept of structure. While Magnus Alexandersson paints horizontal lines that in themselves create architectonic landscapes, Petra Bauer presents photographic portraits and posters from the socialist women’s movement in Sweden, forming an image of a common struggle that eventually won individual rights.

Alexandra Carr has found her example of structure in her work Black Matter, where magnetism creates structure and form.

Four of the installations are created by duos. Melissa Hederson has interpreted Hanna Hallgren’s literary work Välfärdsstaten (The Welfare State) in contrasts of white and flashing colour. Sirous Namazi and Raha Rastifard, both from Iran and living in Sweden, present their new project and work Nahavand, where they let architecture serve as a political action based on location, design and content.

Karen Oetling from Mexico, and Erik Ravbelo, Cuba, have created a series of portraits using acid to create beauty as a contrast to how women are attacked with acid for declining marriage proposals or sexual advances. Swedish artists Håkan Lidbo and Tom Waldton, in turn, breathe fresh life into Copper Dale’s old blower from 1884 through audio and video mapping, thus expanding the artistic space of Avesta Art even physically.

Other participating artists include Helene Hortlund, who orchestrates and animates line drawings with linen thread around different structures. Jakub Napras from the Czech Republic shows a video work projected on plexiglass sheets where a sort of society – in a micro (or macro) environment – constantly reminds us of the relationship of all things to each other.

Helene Schmitz’s photo series Livingrooms is a reflection through a camera lens on the remains of a fire-ravaged childhood home.

One artist who is bound to attract attention is “Crochet Queen” Olek (Agata Oleksiak) from Poland, who now lives in New York. She will exhibit her version of a Swedish turn-of-the-century home, modelled on Avesta Bison Park’s Stubbsveden and created with yarn and a crochet hook. The aim is to combine past epochs’ ways of living with today’s housing policy and where the woman stands in this environment.

“We also hope this year, with Olek’s help, to bring Avesta Art into the urban space. To offer a summer workshop by involving people and associations in her artistic creation. It should be a colossal work,” hopes Kenneth Linder, Director of The Works.


Avesta Art opens 28 May.