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The Moderna Exhibition

Moderna Museet, Malmo

Society Acts. The focus is not only on Swedish, but contemporary art from six other Baltic countries; Finland, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. With 38 artists and artist groups, the big social questions are juxtaposed with personal reflections and historical comments.

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Curator: Andreas Nilsson
Co-curator: Maija Rudovska
Assistant curator: Julia Björnberg

Every four years, the Moderna Exhibition presents an inventory of Swedish contemporary art. Previously held twice at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, this year’s exhibition will differ in two ways geographically. First, the exhibition moves to Malmö, secondly, the focus is not only on Swedish, but contemporary art from six other Baltic countries; Finland, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In total, 38 artists and artist groups will participate in the Moderna Exhibition, which is subtitled Society Acts.

The title refers both to “acts” as in actions and to the verb to act. Several of the featured artists and works discuss or engage in performative practices where the distance between viewing and interacting is essential, and where issues of private and collective identities, political expressions and personal reflections are materialised. Language and migration, the boundary between private and public, and between fact and fiction, are other subjects that occur frequently in the exhibition.

The Moderna Exhibition 2014 – Society Acts will fill the entire Moderna Museet Malmö building and spaces beyond the Museum. Lea Porsager (DK), for instance, lets her recent work The Golden Insider – 81 Inflated Facets spread across the square outside of the museum, and Johanna Gustafsson Fürst (SE) will show her site-specific work White Pillars at Möllevångstorget, in a commentary on the social structure and the boundary between the public and private domain.

– In this exhibition the big social questions are juxtaposed with personal reflections and historical comments. We will see several examples of artists who discuss outlooks in both the public sphere and within the confines of the exhibition space. The artists move between concrete political themes and activism and more abstract, philosophical approaches to society and the contemporary era, says Andreas Nilsson, curator of the Moderna Exhibition.

–The two previous Moderna Exhibitions have been both praised and debated. We are delighted that the exhibition is presented in Malmö for the first time. It also coincides with the centennial of The Baltic Exhibition that in 1914 introduced the art avant-garde in Sweden and the other Baltic countries. It is interesting to contemplate on the concept of art one hundred years later, says John Peter Nilsson, Museum Director at Moderna Museet Malmö.

Several of the works were created specifically for this exhibition. As a historical backdrop, older works by artists such as Tadeusz Kantor and Björn Lövin from the Moderna Museet collection will be shown, to emphasise the complexity of the exhibition. In the same way that society interacts on the basis of historic experiences and contemporary demands, the artists in the exhibition operate between their own experiences and hopes.

A version of the exhibition will be presented av kim? – Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 6 March-19 April, 2015.

Participating artists:
AaBbPp, Patrik Aarnivaara, Emanuel Almborg, Cezary Bodzianowski, Maja Borg, Eglė Budvytytė & Bart Groenendaal, Zenta Dzividzinska, Ugnius Gelguda & Neringa Černiauskaitė, Johanna Gustafsson Fürst, Joachim Hamou, Maj Hasager, Łukasz Jastrubczak, Laura Kaminskaitė, Tadeusz Kantor, Essi Kausalainen, Agnieszka Kurant, Anna Lundh, Henning Lundkvist, Maija Luutonen, Björn Lövin, J.O. Mallander, Jonas Mekas, Miks Mitrēvics & Kristīne Kursiša, Kristina Norman, Michala Paludan, Lea Porsager, Emily Roysdon, Imri Sandström, Algirdas Šeškus, Janek Simon, Ola Ståhl & Terje Östling, Mika Taanila, Anna-Stina Treumund & Marju Mutsu, Ola Vasiljeva, Visible Solutions LLC, Tris Vonna-Michell, Mette Winckelmann.

With support from: E.ON

With contributions from:
Skåne Regional Council
The Polish Institute in Stockholm
The Danish Arts Foundation
The Latvian Culture Capital Fund
The International Cultural Programme Centre, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania & the Lithuanian Council for Culture
Centre for Contemporary Arts, Estonia
Cultural Endowment of Estonia

The catalogue is sponsored by:
Letterstedska Föreningen

Since the exhibition aims to discuss social conditions, admission to the museum will be free during the opening weekend, 20-21 September.
On Saturday at 3 pm, the curators Andreas Nilsson, Maija Rudovska and Julia Björnberg will hold a talk. On Sunday at 3 pm, the artists EvaMarie Lindahl and Lisa Nyberg invite you to A revelation that must be heard. This is a discussion between political activists, organisations and the audience, about the issues and facts that desperately need to be brought to the fore in society. Does art have the power to bring about change? Parts of the exhibition are also available via several social media, where some of the works will be represented under #societyacts.

Image: Essi Kausalainen, Film still from Orchard, 2013 © Essi Kausalainen

For more information on the exhibitions at Moderna Museet Malmö, please contact:
Madelene Holm, marketing and PR,, +4673-422 87 39

Invitation to the press preview on 18 September, 2014, at 10 am
You are invited to a press preview of The Moderna Exhibition 2014 – Society Acts, on Thursday, 18 September, at 10 am, at Moderna Museet Malmö. John Peter Nilsson, director of Moderna Museet Malmö, will hold a welcoming address, followed by an introduction to the exhibition by its curator, Andreas Nilsson, and co-curator Maija Rudovska. Several of the participating artists will also be present. The press preview will be in English.

Moderna Museet
Gasverksgatan 22, Malmö
Hours: Tue-Sun 11-18
Admission: 70/50 SEK

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