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Grad season, at the Dot at Konstfack

Notes on the BA'23 degree exhibition of Konstfack Curated by DotDotDot May 6 - May 12, 2023

Nikita Elfström, Flippa (Flip), Indstrusial Design, BA'23, Konstfack

The BA 2023 exhibition of Konstfack is up and running since yesterday’s vernissage and this year is curated by the trio behind the nomadic art platform DotDotDot which is run by three crafts art grads of said school: Petter Rhodiner, Lisa Juntunen Roos and Amy Worrall. Remember all three of them from their own time as students and love their platform which has been so important for the visibility of crafts-based art in Stockholm which is generally omitted out from institutional display around these local shores. They generally have a visual and formal voice and language that reminds me of how late and present “trailblazing” galleries like Limoncello and Frutta operated/operates with playful and art form and with artists such as Cornelia Baltes, Stefano Calligaro and Yonatan Vinitsky. Beyond the deliberate choice of not separating the various artistic disciplines at Konstfack in sectional displays their imprints on the exhibition are not always or necessarily even often entirely evident, in relation to Fine Art almost impossible to find, but a sense of their presence echoes through the presentations of the Interior architecture and furniture design and Industrial design cohorts that are often elegant and spatially well-orchestrated – and playful and on par with the DDD “brand”. Covering contemporary arts, these disciplines might usually not be a primary target from our end and watchtower, but it definitely has to be said a lot of the interesting and inspiring positions this year come from there. Interestingly, it differs so much from year to year with Ädellab/Corpus some years having been what bowled you over. The textile-based grads have been known to serve up the awe in the past years too.

Jenny Öhlander, The Pearl in the Well: History and future of Folkets Hus in Hedesunda, BA'23 Interior architecture and furniture design, Konstfack

Maria Halling, Bevara genom förnyelse, BA'23 Interior archiecture and furniture design, Konstfack

Emilia Aarna, Bind: An armchair for Stockholm's common livingroom, Industrial design, BA'23, Konstfack

Kristín Erlendsdóttir, Lóa: Spatial element from the child's perspective, BA'23 Interior architecture and furniture design, Konstfack

Luise Kanein, Hi, Nice to Sense You, BA'23 Industrial design, Konstfack

Fanny Saga Hallgren, BFA'23, Konstfack

As for the Fine Art cohort this time around, said it on occasion before but Fanny Saga Hallgren work contains lightning in a bottle; so much epic potential here. I really liked her BFA solo at Galleri Konstfack a while back but if in the past she has used or appeared to have used painterly heroines as studies to hone her skills and command; Tala Madani, Chantal Joffe, Maria Lassnig and Marlene Dumas et. alia, her output again comes across as accomplished but much more distinctively her own. This work on view above here is a power stomp and tour-de-force position. There’s generally a lot of emphasis on painting this year from the cohort. Potent painters Klara Wikström Regan, Vera Salmson and Tim Drougge all flex showing each in their presentation one or several paintings that latch on from the offset and each appearing to vibe with senior masterful painters; Vera Salmonsson with Anna Bjerger, Klara Wikström Regan with Marlene Dumas and Michaël Borremans and Tim Drougge with Sanya Kantarovsky.

Klara Wikström Regan, BFA'23, Konstfack, 2023

Vera Salmson, BFA'23, Konstfack, 2023

Tim Drougge, BFA'23, Konstfack, 2023

Palle Ankersen, BFA'23, Konstfack

Palle Ankersen from Fine Art too makes an impression with intriguing drawings which resonate as fractioned “stills” from animations and bear something inherently retro about them; liaising with Marie-Louise Ekman or Magnus Carlsson’s Paranoid Android for Radiohead in ’97. If not quite, thought certainly runs along those lines and in this degree exhibition context, it really pops as fresh. Loved it. Ailin Mirlashari’s blackbox stands in contrast to others in Fine Art with a that circles in on community building, exercising community and sharing stories that bind diasporic individuals together as common denominators is for me a touching one. Improvisation theatre that finds itself as an axis of the work is a notion that both symbolically and socially is interesting when bringing strangers who are each linked to her together, the way she appears to do.

Ailin Mirlashari, BFA'23, Konstfack

In the textile realm, Rokko Bengts’s Romance at the Blue Moon Resort in the Havet space individually stands out as that wow-moment that won’t go unnoticed by anyone visiting. The ornamented glitchy-looking work which juxtaposes digital imagery with intricate hand-stitching supposedly considers two of the artist’s favourite activities: time before the screen and needlework. Dispensing slow art and fast digital and visual consumption at once! Its allure, whether before the queer gaze or not, is something that just has to be seen on site.

Rokko Bengts, Romance at the Blue Moon Resort, BA'23 Textile, Konstfack

Scott Huber, Ingen brist på tankar, BA'23 Graphic design & illustration The Graphic design and illustration cohort is one that has a special place in our hearts having worked with the class for our The Sports Issue in print that was put to sea last year. Scott Huber in the class whose work previously has graced the cover of the seminal Galago presents for the exhibition the graphic novel Ingen brist på tankar which looks very promising and lets on some promise of following in the footsteps of last year’s grad (from the same discipline) Iris Hautaniemi, whose graphic novel presented in the '22 BA exhibition was picked up and reworked for publisher Kaunitz-Olsson as Ensam ung kvinna söker, with her hailed recently in Dagens Nyheter as one of the literary luminaries of the future. Browsing through Scott Huber’s novel certainly makes you want to own an early copy; boxed in by what is more than just a little sizable wall-based presentation in the exhibition, blowing strips up to command the attention it deserves.

Ashik Zaman


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