artists & participants
Doing What You Want focuses on Marie-Louise Ekman's work from the late 1960s to the late 1980s and also includes work from the same period by Sister Corita Kent, Mladen Stilinovic and Martha Wilson. Now a key figure of cultural life in Sweden, Ekman, born in Stockholm in 1944 and currently the director of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, has embraced art, film and theatre in her own non-conformist ways. For the first time, Tensta konsthall will present Ekman's early work together with contemporary international artists with kindred interests and spirits. The exhibition is a collaboration with Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Oslo where it will be shown during spring 2013.
"One should do what one wants" is a line used by the eight-year old girl in Ekman's theatrical film Mother, father, child (1977) when she has had enough of her distracted and stressed parents and frustrated grandmother. Relations and encounters between people are central in Ekman's art. In banal everyday scenes, often in bourgeois domestic milieus, political, erotic and artistic taboos are transgressed, the artist employing a playful naivety that often slides into the absurd. Ekman was one of the first artists in Sweden to respond to the popular culture of "the people's home" and she did this from the perspective of the child, as well as from a young woman's perspective. The role of the artist is often explored in her work. Ekman's repertoire encompasses serigraphy, painting, cartoon graphics, textile appliqués, objects, films, TV series and, later, writing plays and directing theatre performances.
Sister Corita Kent (1918–1986) was a "rebellious modern nun" who became known as a print maker and charismatic teacher at the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. Learning silkscreen and serigraphy techniques in the 50s, it is her bold visual style of the 60s, inspired by the languages of commercial culture and producing spiritual, poetic and social messages, which gave her a reputation as an artist.
Mladen Stilinovic is based in Zagreb (born in Belgrade in 1947) where, since the late 1960s, he has made a distinctive mark with his humorous and subversive poetry, experimental films and visual art works. Self-taught and in other ways non-conformist, he has continuously engaged with language. The role of the artist and the function of work are recurring themes in Stilinovic's oeuvre, for instance in the 1978 photographic piece Artist at Work (for Nesa Paripovic) showing the artist at sleep in a bed in broad daylight.
Martha Wilson (born in Philadelphia in 1947, lives in New York City) shares Ekman's interest in gender formations and the performative. Since the early 70s she has pioneered negotiations, contestations and new imaginations of identity through conceptual text work, performance, staged photography and video. Often appearing in the work herself, she has a keen eye for parody and the burlesque, as expressed in her founding of the women-only punk band Disband and the Guerilla Girls of which she is a seminal member.
Dream and Reality: A Series of Seminars Based on the Work of Marie-Louise Ekman Tensta konsthall in collaboration with the Institution for Culture and Communication at Södertörn University and ABF (the Workers' Educational Association).
19 October, 15–18h On changing roles, cross-over dressing and the artist as joker, with the artist Martha Wilson and the curator/art historian Silvia Eibelmayr
16 November, 15–17h The Living Room: Marie-Louise Ekman, Art and politics in 1970s Swedish art, with art historian Katarina Wadstein Macleod
21 November, 18.30h Much Less Talking: Maria-Louise Ekman in conversation with Maria Lind, director of Tensta konsthall
30 November, 15–17h Women and P/pop Before the "Theoretical" and the "Bad Girls," with the art historian Kalliopi Minioudaki
13 January, 13–15h Stockholm at the Moment of Pop, with art historian Annika Öhrner
Doing What You Want:
Künstler: Marie-Louise Ekman, Sister Corita Kent, Mladen Stilinovic, Martha Wilson