En tyst vår vandrar genom lägenheten

Absalon, Idun Baltzersen, Miriam Bäckström, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Rune Hagberg, Siobhán Hapaska, Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff, Kimsooja, Maria Lindberg, LG Lundberg, Truls Melin, Jockum Nordström, Primus Mortimer Pettersson, Pipilotti Rist, Peter Schuyff, Sam Taylor-Johnson (formerly known as Sam Taylor-Wood), Marijke van Warmerdam, Jordan Wolfson, Rémy Zaugg, Johan Zetterquist
May 7 - December 18, 2021
Curator: Tessa Praun, Olga Krzeszowiec Malmsten

Truls Melin

Born 1958, in Malmö, Sweden. Lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Truls Melin’s work is characterized by a poetic and subtly playful expression. The motifs in Melin’s art are based in a retained sense of childish fantasy and an interest in model building and fabrication, which he has turned into several series of works. The sculptures are often painted in limited color palettes, giving the impression of a monochrome unity. Similar to minimalist art, Melin often returns to shapes that are part of a serial system, but what sets his work apart from that of the minimalists is the way in which the works are rooted in personal memories and references.

The sculpture Mentalt sällskap (Mental Company) (2009) was created specifically for the site in front of Magasin III and is Melin’s first work to be installed in an outdoor location in Stockholm. The more than five-meter tall sculpture consists of an intricate system of pipes with several parallels to the surrounding harbor. The work is painted in a green shade thought to have a calming effect and which Melin has often returned to in his works. The color is familiar from interiors at psychiatric clinics, but is also used in tight crew spaces on submarines and airplanes. Two figures are incorporated into this labyrinthine structure. Hopelessly caught up in the system, they appear to have melded with the pipes and their static form. The two figures are outsiders, but keep each other company in an imagined and desired community. Melin himself has referred to his works as sculptures of silence. To him, the work on them is a way of tuning out the noise of the outside world.

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Peter Schuyff

Born 1958, in Baarn, Netherlands. Lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Peter Schuyff is best known as a painter, but he also works with carved sculptures and is a professional musician. In the 1980s, Schuyff established himself on the art scene in New York primarily through his painting. During a difficult period in his life he traveled to New Guinea and set out hiking with only one change of clothes and a pocket knife. In the evenings he occupied himself with carving. Nearly asleep he would hold his pocketknife still and rotate a stick around into different angles. In this way patterns were created, which he came to see as algorithms or formulas. Back in New York, Schuyff moved out of the Chelsea Hotel where he had lived for 16 years and got rid of most of his belongings. Without any plan for the future he began to carve pens, in the same manner as during his journeys. The carving became a sort of temporary task in life, a meditation that he still practices today when he needs to take a break from painting. Through carving he has found a mode of creating that is free from expectations—both his own and those of the outside world.

The eight sculptures in the work Eight small totems (2006) were created out of logs that the artist found outside Vancouver. When Schuyff moved there in 2003 he began to work with logs instead of sticks or pens. No longer in darkness, but in the same meditative state and with similar techniques, they take shape like totem poles. The sculptures are formed based on being strongly anchored in the present, while also being disconnected from the distractions of the outside world.

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Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff

Born 1967, in Gothenburg, Sweden. Lives and works in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Annika von Hausswolff’s photographs, which are often psychologically charged and ambiguous, allude to the liminal space between fiction and reality. Her practice spans many areas, but some recurring subjects in her artistic work are social power structures, psychoanalysis and violence. von Hausswolff’s expression is closely associated with carefully staged photographs, the aesthetic of which brings to mind photo documentary material from criminological investigations. She also investigates and depicts the domestic sphere according to the same premises. The carefully arranged photographs, where seemingly quotidian objects and environments in the home are portrayed as psychologically loaded, are multi-faceted and suggestive.

The work Forced Entry by Proxy (2004) is a close study of battered blinds. In the work there are details that reveal an activity that has taken place. The human absence is nevertheless palpable.

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Primus Mortimer Pettersson

Born 1895, in Östersund, Sweden. Lived and worked on Frösön, Sweden, until his death in 1975.

Primus Mortimer Pettersson’s body of work includes painting, sculpture and tapestry. As a teenager he went to work as a sailor in order to avoid military service in Sweden which took him across the seas to countless places around the world. After many years at sea, Primus Mortimer Petterson developed mental health problems which came to affect the rest of his life. He returned to Sweden and was admitted to what at that time was the Frösö mental institution in Östersund. He spent most of the remaining 45 years of his life at the hospital. That was where his intensive art production began. He carved and painted sculptures and created paintings, primarily aquarelles and oils, in clear, brilliant colors. If his existence at Frösön was hemmed in and limited, his motifs reached far away, out into the world and into his past, memories and fantasies. Among the subjects in Pettersson’s vast production are trees, landscapes, buildings, ships, cities, and occasionally people.

The three sculptures in the exhibition are likely from the 1950s and consist of depictions of a church structure and a house, as well as an abstract composition. The sculptures are painted in pastel colors and muted shades with just a few details. The sturdy, unpolished pieces of wood and softboard have been joined in structures that are at times crude, at times delicate and small. They might be based on actual memories, or created to gain control over a restless interiority and split identity.

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Idun Baltzersen

Born 1987, in Trondheim, Norway. Lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.

Idun Baltzersen’s work is characterized by an experimental approach to graphics and the possibilities of print technologies and manifests as woodcuts and assemblages of paper, fabric and wood. The repetitive function of graphics, which makes possible production of many editions of the same image, is used as a way to explore identities and contemporary myths. The perspective of the girl and the young woman are often in focus. In Baltzersen’s work characters are depicted with their faces turned away, or their backs turned to the viewer. The subjects contain a number of details and markers that can be traced to contemporary youth culture. Through monumental depictions, and shifting positions, Baltzersen lets the observed occupy space in relation to their observer, thus giving the motifs authority.

The term “the blue hour,” which is also the title of Baltzersen’s work, refers to the time of day between dusk and nightfall, often described as melancholy and anxiety-filled. It is an ambivalent interstice between two states, that might also be likened to the teenage years, depicted in the work Blå timmen (Blue Hour) (2018). It is a period during which young people seek out physical as well as existential free spaces and retreats to avoid surveillance and control. In the work a space is established for those young people who imitate the gestures of adult society, but have not yet been given, or don’t wish to have, a place in their world.

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Jordan Wolfson

Born 1980, in New York, USA. Lives and works in New York and Los Angeles, USA.

Jordan Wolfson’s technologically advanced sculpture projects and animations gather inspiration from popular culture, particularly the function and esthetics of the Internet. In Wolfson’s work, which alludes to seemingly familiar media imagery, our understanding of images that we are used to decoding according to a certain ethical compass is manipulated and dislocated. Through these dislocations questions of ethics and morals are revealed, as is the precarious relationship between sender and recipient.

Wolfson’s early video work Over Desensitize (2001) contains none of the high-tech elements that are typical of Wolfson’s present practice—in this case the depicted event has been filmed using a simple camcorder. In the film we take part of an intimate festive gathering. A group of people have superficial conversations about consumption that quickly turn into equally easy-going thoughts on vices. Initially the gaze of the camera is that of a silent participant. Over the course of the conversation the perspective is dislocated further and in the end it becomes that of the chocolate cake—centrally placed on the table, a centerpiece able to observe its surroundings as well as the conversations. The intimate social situation allows for easy-going and slightly neurotic conversations about life’s big and small questions.

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Pipilotti Rist

Born 1962, in Grabs, Switzerland. Lives and works in Zurich and the Swiss Alps.

In her colorful visual language, Pipilotti Rist examines physical as well as mental spaces. She works mainly with moving images and dreamlike installations. The body, our senses, rituals and taboos are explored in ways that are just as playfully entertaining as they are poetic and intimate. Rist aims to include us in a specific environment and to place us “in the film” with the desire that we open our minds to complex themes.

To experience Deine Raumkapsel (Your Space Capsule) the viewer must come close and lean over the seemingly humble transportation crate to discover a miniature bedroom. Every carefully staged detail contributes to bringing the room to life. The unmade bed, the open pizza box, and the lit lamp give the impression that the person who lives there has just left the room temporarily.

Rist’s miniature bedroom contains innumerable personal references to her work as well as to her private life. Slow-motion video sequences slide across the walls, guide the gaze and dial down the pace. The sparse use of music and the faint sound of galactic winds convey a sense of being adrift—floating in time and space. The room has collided with a moon that has torn up the floor and is now exposing a surrounding universe in which rest and sleep, but also insomnia, dreams and intimacy can take place. A space for privacy, introspection and the subconscious.

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Sam Taylor-Johnson (formerly known as Sam Taylor-Wood)

Born 1967, in London, UK. Lives and works in London, UK.

Sam Taylor-Johnson is a filmmaker and photographer with roots in feature film and the documentary tradition. Her work often portrays characters in seemingly mundane environments that convey a sense of isolation and emotional crisis. In the work Method in Madness from 1994, Taylor-Johnson filmed a method actor who was staging a nervous breakdown. The film explores the boundaries between life and theatre, reality and fiction, but also between public and private space.

In Brontosaurus (1995) we see a naked man dancing in his bedroom to what was originally fast techno music. Taylor-Johnson has slowed down the speed of the film and replaced the original soundtrack with classical music (Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings from 1936). The man is dancing to techno—an action that often takes place in public contexts. Brontosaurus, on the other hand, relays a scene in the private realm, in which the viewer is forced to inhabit the voyeuristic gaze of the camera. The naked man is observed, but is in a state of mind that is not noticeably affected by the fact that he is being filmed. He has established a context of his own—a safe space inside his home, but perhaps more importantly a mental space in which he can abandon himself to the music. The film, which is intentionally low-resolution, recorded with a Hi8 video recorder, also alludes to classic themes in art, such as the fleeting nature of life and the strength and vulnerability of the body.

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Jockum Nordström

Born 1963, in Stockholm, Sweden. Lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.

Jockum Nordström has worked interdisciplinary with art, books and music since the late 1980s. He has been drawing since he was a child, and naivist expression remains in his practice as an adult. He works with techniques such as drawing, painting and collage. Relationships and sexuality, as well as the exploration of memories and the subconscious are recurring themes throughout his practice. In order to depict that which he can’t reach or grasp on a flat surface, Nordstöm also works with paper and cardboard sculpture. He describes the restrictions that the medium places on scale, along with the fragility of the material, as an important aspect of his work with architectural objects.

The exhibition borrows its title from Nordström’s sculpture, En tyst vår vandrar genom lägenheten (2015), which is presented alongside eleven additional objects by the artist, created during the same period. Nordström’s naivist constructions can be described as architectural puzzles for our inner and personal experiences. The fragile sculptures unite components into new arrangements. The objects bring to mind children’s drawings as well as modernist architecture, and the socialized Swedish housing projects of the 1960s and ’70s. They depict physical spaces, established for continued exploration of emotions, relationships and memories.

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Siobhán Hapaska

Born 1963, in Belfast, Ireland. Lives and works in London, England.

At the core of Siobhán Hapaska’s work is her interest in human relationships, which finds expression in materially complex and multifaceted sculptural projects. Her practice contains social and ideological aspects—but also questions surrounding nature and technology. Hapaska’s works are frequently enigmatic in form and reveal an objective exploration of feelings such as loneliness, alienation, and humor.

The tumbleweed is considered a symbol of the mythical American West with wide-open planes that are the perfect stage for escape and reinvention. Detached from its roots and blown by the wind, it disperses seeds in order to reproduce while gradually destroying itself in the process. In Ecstatic (1999) an actual tumbleweed circumnavigates the perimeter of a low podium with a stuttering motion. Its normally random movement through open landscape is here contained and controlled, though not entirely stilled. Siobhán Hapaska offers us a juxtaposition of natural and artificial, of the free and constrained. But the work’s title leads us beyond these simple oppositions, underscoring the artist’s ongoing interest in travel, rootlessness, and yearning. In a state of ecstasy—of being outside of yourself—you accomplish a form of escape in which no physical travel is required. Siobhán Hapaska believes she has saved the tumbleweed from its fate—to travel aimlessly until it is destroyed—by limiting its rampaging.

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Rune Hagberg

Born 1924, in Uppsala, Sweden. Active in Härnösand, Sweden until his death in 2015.

In Rune Hagberg’s artistic work there is a persistent and consistent exploration of silence and introspection. In his practice he approached these conditions through a number of techniques rooted in painting and drawing. Deeply influenced by Zen Buddhism and the calligraphic currents of his time, he worked in the 1950s using ink on paper in large-scale works. Hagberg, who was an autodidact, was active in the Scandinavian art movement referred to as spontanismen. The actual execution, especially the random way in which the paint and ink took shape on the paper, was an important part of the creation of the works. Over time Hagberg’s practice came to focus on a gradual dissolving of the surface, a sort of elimination of the sheet of paper, as if to approach the idea of nothingness. This investigation later found expression in sculptural objects.

The works I tystnaden (2005) and Avsiktslös rörelse (2003), presented in the exhibition, are two of these. The sculptures consist of sheets of paper of varying sizes, that have been painted, rolled up, and carefully sealed with string. Hagberg’s sculptures, which he called refuser (refuses), shroud the surface of the image. They refuse to be deconstructed and imbue a feeling that we cannot access their innermost. The sculptures can be compared to the psychological state of reserve, but in the case of the artist, also personal freedom. They give expression to his intention: to explore the intangible in our existence.

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Pedro Cabrita Reis

Born 1956, in Lisbon, Portugal. Lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.

Throughout Pedro Cabrita Reis’ practice there is an interest in perception and how we experience our existence in relation to it. He works with painting, as well as architectural and sculptural installations based on his personal and philosophical perspective. They are often made out of industrial and overflow material with prior histories and areas of use, deconstructed to once again be joined into new objects. Contrary to an older approach to painting—as a way of gazing out into the world—Cabrita Reis uses the qualities of painting to turn the gaze on the viewer. The works often have high-gloss components (painted surfaces, glass, mirrors and lighting elements), which reflect us and make us conscious of our own part in viewing.

True Gardens is a project that includes a number of site-specific works, or “Gardens”. Cabrita Reis created the installation True Gardens #2 (Stockholm) specifically for his solo exhibition The Silence Within at Magasin III in 2001. Based on painting he has approached the architectural and built an enormous landscape of shining, transparent, and painted sheets of glass. According to him the garden is nature’s geometry, a space for thought and contemplation. With his works he aims to turn the gaze inward, away from power gestures in the high, into the human being itself.

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Rémy Zaugg

Born 1943, in Courgenay, Switzerland. Lived and worked in Pfastatt, France and Basel, Switzerland, until his death in 2005.

Rémy Zaugg worked with the meaning of text and words as subjects in his paintings, in which our seeing and our perception are recurring themes. His works used language in a fragmented way to convey that which is most critical for a human, being seen by the Other. Zaugg was of the opinion that seeing and consciousness are closely linked and that our understanding of the world is shaped through the overlaps between them. Throughout his practice there was a desire to make the viewer aware of the perceptive tools that each person possesses. He put great emphasis on the space that emerges between the work of art, the receiver and the context. Zaugg also took a strong interest in language and its power to deconstruct and reconstruct new contexts. Early on in his practice he found a position between painting and text (between what we see and what we read)—and it was in this liminal space that he worked with his comprehensive series. Zaugg was active in a number of different mediums, among others painting, text, sculpture and architectural models.

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Marijke van Warmerdam

Born 1959, in Nieuwer Amstel, Netherlands. Lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands and Karlsruhe, Germany.

Marijke van Warmerdam’s work often involves repetitive and slow processes, seemingly without an impelling force. She works with film, photography, and sculpture. van Warmerdam’s films can be described as contemplations of mundane situations and environments. In contrast to the classic narrative structure of film, that propels the story to a final resolution, van Warmerdam’s interest lies in depicting the present. Thus, her films create looping mediative sequences. Through repeating details of every-day observations the works can be seen as an attempt to break with our linear perception of time.

The video work Wind (2010) shows particles swept up in a spontaneous gust of wind traveling aimlessly across a seemingly unpopulated industrial landscape. The camera closely follows the path of the wind across the asphalt as it gathers up leaves, garbage and a lone feather that accompanies the unfettered drifting. The video depicts nature’s relationship to a given context—the free state of the wind, when it has the opportunity to travel aimlessly—but also how vegetation can adapt to a new environment.

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Johan Zetterquist

Born 1968, in Arvika, Sweden. Lives and works in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Johan Zetterquist’s practice finds expression in utopian ideas and self-initiated design suggestions for public spaces. His absurdist approach to design and urban planning challenges our understanding of social conventions and norms. Zetterquist’s ambitious projects can take the form of texts, photos, sculptures and large-scale installations adapted to the context of an exhibition, as well as to public space. He frequently explores subjects in an urban context, confronting our moralizing attitude to the artificial.

Make-out Tower – tower solution for flat cities (2003) is a design proposal for a skyscraper, specifically adapted to flat cities. Every floor can be reached by car and at the top there is a lookout for physical interaction. The expression of the model alludes to shapes and design elements from Brutalist as well as Futurist architecture. In contrast to the classic architectural model, that typically describes a functional concept, Zetterquist’s project contains a desire to depart from the utilitarian in favor of the utopian. The work shows the need for a place in the city to which people can retire for physical intimacy. A work of art which in a quietly humorous way addresses questions around our need for different types of public space in a city.

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Miriam Bäckström

Born 1967, in Stockholm, Sweden. Lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.

Miriam Bäckström’s work features a pervading interest in characters and roles. Through photography, video, text, performative practices and textile installations, she explores our relationship to the acting and social mimicry that provides the foundation on which our identities are formed. Bäckström’s practice has also highlighted the private and public spaces we create to affirm and establish our roles, as seen in the work Set Constructions (1995–2002). During her work with the comprehensive photographic series (of which seven photographs are presented in the exhibition), Bäckström made use of the esthetic and methods of documentary photography. Over the course of five years she documented scenographies that had been used in film, television and commercials. The photos could be documentations of actual homes, offices and public spaces, but details such as camera tripods and abruptly interrupted architecture reveal them to be elaborate sets. By drawing attention to staged versions of reality, Miriam Bäckström indicates that all environments in our society might be regarded as constructed.

Set Constructions depicts public environments, workplaces, as well as seemingly private spaces. The definition of a home has gained further relevance today, as the outside world has moved into our homes and the line between domestic space and workspace, private sphere and public sphere, has been blurred even further.

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Absalon

Born 1964, in Ashdod, Israel. Lived and worked in Paris, France (from 1987) until his death in 1993.

Absalon’s work comprises white architectural structures and models, films and drawings that explore issues of living, safety, and self-selected isolation from a personal perspective. His most comprehensive project is ascetically minimalist interiors that he called Cellules (cells). Adapted to only one person and designed according to Absalon’s own measurements, they were intended as a space for seclusion, isolation and introspection, while maintaining proximity to the city.

The presented video works deal with two important aspects of Absalon’s investigative practice; the relationship between body and functional objects, as well as the limitations of body and psyche. Proposition d’Habitation (1990) shows a spatial environment with objects without clear functions that Absalon is seen using. The movements and actions that the objects elicit control and determine his pattern of movement. The work displays Absalon’s own needs—thus it is hinted that the functional object is not entirely objective, but associated with personal interests.

In the video Bataille (1993) Absalon is seen in an intensive shadow boxing sequence against an invisible enemy. Absalon’s repeated strikes into thin air lead to moments of exhaustion, but the aggression in his body never finds a final resolution. Throughout his artistic practice there is a desire to find peace in his isolated ascetic environments—in Bataille he attempts to seize control of his situation, which appears to constantly elude him.

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LG Lundberg

Born 1938, in Malmö, Sweden. Lives and works in Stockholm and on Smådalarö, Sweden.

LG Lundberg’s practice is characterized by investigation of motifs that allow him to dwell on the subjects and expressions that catch his interest. He made his debut in the 1960s with painting that borrowed from mass media, advertising and popular culture; in the 1970s his focus turned to the concrete details of everyday life and his gaze became increasingly introspective. During this time he begun a series of paintings with repeated depictions of the hospital screen and its psychological charge. His next step involved an immersion into fences.

The fences in LG Lundberg’s paintings surround and delimit. The paintings originally came out of a commission to illustrate four poems by the Swedish poet Werner Aspenström (1918–1997), but evolved into an immersion in a subject that LG Lundberg explored in the years 1973–79. The subject has no beginning or end—the depicted galvanized iron-wire mesh covers the entire surface of the work and contrasts against a pitch-black background. The technique in the paintings has varied between coal, oil and acrylic, as well as combinations thereof, on canvas. We can understand the motif of the fence according to a number of different perspectives. Are we looking at a safe childhood memory—the fence that divides the illuminated soccer field from the surrounding darkness—or is this a context to which we do not have access?

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Maria Lindberg

Born 1958, in Ljushult, Sweden. Lives and works in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Maria Lindberg’s work is manifested in the observation of the seemingly unassuming events and happenings of every-day life. Language and an underlying humor—alternately dark and subtle—play a central role in Lindberg’s art. She works mainly with drawing and painting, but also with photography, collage and performance with parallels to the Fluxus movement of the 1960s. Lindberg’s expression is characterized by a paired-down minimalist approach, her works are often multi-faceted and touch upon social norms and structures, as well as on feelings such as intimacy, loneliness and longing. The work En om dan/One a day (1997) shows a young woman resting on an unmade bed in a bedroom full of daylight. The text “en om dan” is written across the picture in black marker. We can only guess to what this text is referring. Is the scene harmonious and restful or anxiety-laden? Lindberg gives no further explanation. Rest is also present in the painting Resting Monument (1999), in which the Eiffel Tower has laid down. A monument, erected in the memory of an important person or event, is the very symbol of stability. Perhaps even the most stable monuments need time to recuperate?

Lindberg’s four works in the exhibition are set in our most private spaces and in public environments in which we are expected to interact with others according to established social norms.

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Kimsooja

Born 1957, in Taegu, South Korea. Lives and works in NYC, USA; Paris, France; Seoul, South Korea.

Kimsooja’s work explores themes such as interpersonal relationships, migration and textile folk crafts. Her multi-media practice involves performance, film, sculpture and site-specific installations. A recurring theme in Kimsooja’s performance works is the question of non-doing as an act of resistance. She frequently uses elements of Korean culture that carry traces of life, memories and history. During the early 1990s Kimsooja began using so called bottaris in her work. The bottari is a fabric bundle, historically used in Korea as a simple way of carrying personal belongings in times of sudden relocation.

Bottari Zocalo (2000) depicts a crowd on the Plaza del Zócalo in Mexico City. At dusk the crowd becomes a sea (of people). The individuals comprising the whole must remain physically close to each other in order to move forward, continue to listen, and participate in the social situation. Generally the crowd is compliant, but differences and schisms also become visible—like waves that follow one another, or break each other against the flow. Bottari Zocalo came about through a fleeting observation of a group of people that Kimsooja caught in a video clip. For Kimsooja the film sequence has the same function as the bottari. It gathers up and captures the whole, to allow for a closer look at individuals and courses of actions.

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