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Pre-Easter Eggs In Havet

As grad season continues, we continue our watch of the solo exhibitions of MFA '23 candidates; this time at Konstfack. Now in our tenth year of run (2013-2023), we'll put the fifth gear in to extend coverage to these exhibitions that sometimes are omitted out from art media.

Kajsa Rönnholm, MFA solo, Havet, Konstfack, 2023

We first learnt about Kajsa Rönnholm as an artist while her time at HDK-Valand in Gothenburg, exhibiting then at one point with our friends at SEART in Stockholm. The back to basics picture of artistic craftsmanship that emphasizes meticulous skills and material sensibilities at the hand of an artist herself beyond the artist as a creative studio director will always bear universal appeal and continue to inspire awe. Looking at Kajsa’s MFA solo restores an order that quietly demure art can sometimes make the most impact. The figurative sculpture on view below is an aerially installed braid and image doesn’t quite do her arduous processing justice, so best go see for yourself this week. One has become so used to material unions between the industrially processed and organic that it’s so nice seeing Kajsa's concentration on processing one specific material at a time. You can’t tell on the image but she chose a semi-open, semi-closed disposition of the Havet space at Konstfack which really benefits the quiet but also aerial tone of her solo. There’s definitely a surprising breadth in the exhibition from the very earthy to ”the sexy”. While she might not see it herself; it’s a strong feat to on the one call to mind a ”lush” artist like Sylvie Fleury and on the other a polar opposite canon of artistry. Very interesting to discover!


Kajsa Rönnholm, MFA solo, Havet, Konstfack, 2023


Konstfack unlike the other major art school in Stockholm; The Royal Institute of Art (Mejan), is an interdisciplinary school with several other programs than Fine Art, among which the boundaries increasingly dissolve in terms of what the students show in their degree presentations. Curator groups of the final collective spring degree exhibitions have in recent years chosen to deal with this differently; some running with the overlaps by juxtaposing students of different disciplines together, while others have more traditionally been dividing school premises in class-by-class sections. If we were curating, we would surely have gone with the former direction which comes more down to curating and the other less and has more to do with producing an exhibition. Thinking out loud; this raises a concern on our end for an artist like Kajsa who's done an active journey from a crafts-based art school to a Fine arts program and would benefit from a "Fine Arts gaze" not being extracted away from her output in the upcoming degree exhibition seeing as she works with materials that are represented in other discplines at school. There's always been hierar(t)chies (hieartachies, geddit?) between disciplines at Konstfack and you can't however fault curators of being wary of this situation and trying to rebut such existing attitudes on school grounds.


William Reed, MFA solo, Havet, Konstfack, 2023


William Reed’s MFA solo Smooth operator, plz send help is a conceptual exhibition where title (the hillarity of the title is perfection) together with image representations tell a clear (at least in our mind it does) narrative that takes the heating temperature on a generation that is slammed with existential threats that prompt a confusion, pitting interests of self-gratification and endorsed saviour complexes against each other. The wryest painting speaks oceans about the crash-and-burn (pun intended) of the influencerville-ness of contemporary society when the male figure as life is coming to end needs to churn the Tiktok or Instagram content out, one last time for clout and likes. ”The reading” at hand that is inevitable but not necessarily supported by any apparent intent is that all the male figures are alter egos of William himself which as a viewer is a strong ”driver” for the exhibition. Would happily role with that.


William Reed, MFA solo, Havet, Konstfack, 2023


We’re a generation that grew up on discourse in the early 00s about ”masculinity in crisis” while William belongs to a generation for whom gender fluidity has been more commonplace. In light of this one of the most poignant work is seeing a seemingly more androgynous gender fluid figure looking at themselves and the mirror projecting back traditional hegemonic masculine body ideals (”beast mode”). It’s rare to see works that vocalize ”male” body dysmorphia; something we can personally relate to that is a fixture in gym culture.


The exhibition is a a spatial spectacle and should be said the works are stronger than the scenic set; which doesnt detract but also doesn’t necessarily enhance much. It serves a reminder to not neglect ”the edit” when proper substance is already there.


Adam Ytterberg, MFA solo, Pölen, Konstfack, 2023


Adam Ytterberg, whose transplanting before the eyes of the art community has been a fact just recently, sets with his solo a new certain precedent on what is possible. A precedent which stems both from practicalities and more so REALITIES. When you, as in Adam’s case, have already before your solo at school, gotten to do a substantial gallery solo (at CFHILL; exhibition just ended its run) and as such have obtained already what these solos partially are designed for; what do you then need the MFA solo for? When your recent artistic output was allocated to and sold through a gallery? Well, you can use the reverse order factor and play with it further and like Adam decide to show process sketches of your paintings!


Adam Ytterberg, MFA solo, Pölen, Konstfack, 2023


His recent suite of paintings connect to a personal story and he decided that his school solo could compliment his recent gallery exhibition at CFHILL by narrating that story through performance which sees him take to drag. One of many layers of humour, intended or unintended, is visualizing a symptomatic change in the art world in relation to art students. We've been reading John Waters lately and somehow this type of si tuation feels like one he'd have a field day writing about. For some it’ll beg some questions about why the gallery solo could not wait until after. Definitely, love however where Adam went with this solo which involves also a storytelling ”stage” complete with a sculptural book containing years' worth of work that we hope coud be turned into a publishing smash, should Adam ever choose it.



Ashik Zaman

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