artists & participants


press release

John Skoog and Emanuel Röhss: MAD HORIZON
24.09.2016 - 04.12.2016

Index presents Mad Horizon, an exhibition by John Skoog in collaboration with Emanuel Röhss. The center of the exhibition is John Skoog’s most recent film Shadowland, screened within an installation developed together with Emanuel Röhss, and a selection of further works by other artists and related archival materials. The works serve as a background for a series of events that unfold over the course of the exhibition and explore its central themes, such as the relationship between landscape and identity and the role of moving images in creating and mediating places. The exhibition is the first major presentation of the artists in an institution in their native country Sweden.

Shadowland was filmed on original locations in California, places that have been used in seminal Hollywood films to represent other places in the world, from Switzerland to Afghanistan. The film is carefully constructed, each scene re-stages the camera work of the initial film in the contemporary setting. The resulting montage presents an atmospheric portrait of California as an actor that has appeared on screen as nearly any part of the world. The film creates an ambivalent reading of landscape as an image that resonates in film history as well as with the current politics and economy of place.

The film will be presented together with an installation that brings together material from Emanuel Röhss’ extensive project about the Ennis House (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1924) in Los Angeles. The house has been featured in countless movies, it was used as a location for numerous shoots and even more so as a reference in production design, like a placeholder onto which imaginary environments have been projected. For his project, Röhss used movie-set elements that reference parts of the building – vacuum formed plastic reliefs fabricated by the Hollywood studios through conveyor belt production methods. These elements were used in two recent installations by Röhss to create complex and immersive environments. For the exhibition at Index, the set pieces will be installed in a new configuration to suggest a framework for the film by John Skoog, both spatially and thematically.

The exhibition includes a number of works by artists Daniel R. Small, Buck Ellison, Bjarke Hvass Kure, Studio für Propositional Cinema and Anne Gry Friis Kristensen, as well as additional documents and reference materials, and performances, film screenings and talks with Lucy Raven, Phil Solomon, Carl-Michael von Hausswolff, ThomAndersen, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Heksesolan (Olga Ravn, Johanne Lykke Holm). A book, published after the end of the exhibition, will document the project and include further texts by participants and additional contributors.

John Skoog (born 1985 in Malmö, lives and works in Copenhagen) studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. He was awarded the Baloise Art Prize in 2014 and the ars viva prize in 2013. Recent exibitions and screenings include Värn, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (MUMOK, 2015), Slow Return, Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (2015), Shadowland, Pilar Corrias, London (2015), Berlin International Film Festival (2015) and Federsee, Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö (2013). Skoog is currently the professor of the film class at the Art Academy in Mainz.

Emanuel Röhss (born 1985 in Gothenburg, lives and works in Los Angeles) graduated from the Royal College of Art in London. Recent exhibitions include Invitation to Love, Thomas Duncan Gallery, Los Angeles (2016), Swedish Art: Now!, Sven Harry’s Konstmuseum, Stockholm (2016), The Night Holds Terror, SALTS Basel (2015), Boutique Litigation, T293, Rome (2015), Tomorrow London, South London Gallery (2014), and Soft Jazz, Carl Kostyál, Stockholm (2014).