Category Archives: Positive notes on exhibits

Art Basel 2017 No. 10 – “Unlimited”

This is my 10th short video from Art Basel 2017.
It gives me joy to share with people what most of you do not have an opportunity to experience.
And if some here feel that – “woowww, these videos that I see at Jan Oberg/Oberg PhotoGraphics are interesting, wish I had been there” – no one will happier than I.
I’ll share many more. The world’s largest art fair is not over and should not be forgotten just because it is physically closed. Right?

Anita Christoffersson, artist friend

“By what does a line drawn on a piece of paper become art?”

Lund, June 9, 2017

As readers of this blog will know, I am not an art critic; I’m an art recommender and write only about what I like and want, therefore, to share with others. There is enough of negative energy in this world…

I’ve known Anita Christoffersson for over 3 decades, she’s a friend of the house and I am – bear with me – happily biased in what follows.

Today I went to see Anita’s studio in the small idyllic Swedish town of Landskrona, located in a huge, almost empty factory building full of spooky rooms and corridors but hosting a collective of artists and their studios.

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They do their creative work here because the municipality of Lund 30 kilometres south of Landskrona where they used to have their studios for years didn’t see the obvious benefits of supporting their rent with a few thousand dollars per month – while it goes out of its way to brand Lund as the new high-tech centre of Sweden, if not all of Scandinavia. Catchwords: Ideon Science Park, ESS and Max IV.

It’s a huge development in Lund, a picturesque historical and green university town in the south of Sweden. Over the next couple of decades its population may increase from the present 110,000 to 160,000 or more because of the inflow of researchers and their families from all around the world.

Aiming at such branding without any sense of the role of art and culture in a broad sense – and investing seriously in it – will likely end Lund up as a cultural desert and all the internationals it will attract to its science parks will flock instead to culture and art-filled places like Malmoe, Copenhagen, Berlin, Basel…Bilbao.

What an opportunity lost!

But fortunately, little Landskrona saw the light – as it has with its investment in branding itself as the new centre of photography in Scandinavia. It’s started out, boldly, with the Landskrona Photo Festival that you may read more about here.

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Anita Christoffersson – Photo Ulf Gertz

Anita is one of those artists who struggles with her subject.
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A French blog about Oberg’s art photography

One day in 2016 a French 22-year old student of international management, finance and sustainability wrote to me and explained that, as part of her studies as an exchange student at our local Lund University, she was obliged to create a blog on a theme quite apart from the core of her studies.

What a brilliant idea it was! She should, as part of her French university requirement, create a blog about a local artist and, thereby, get some insights into a world different from international economics.

I was reminded that about 30 years ago when I was the head of the university’s peace research institute there was something called ‘core curriculum,’ a kind of civic, cultural and philosophical intro to the later academic studies.

Those were the days! – when students did not study to just get an exam and a job in the ‘marketplace’ but received a general, diverse education for life.

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Héloïse Dumont

Héloïse Dumont came around my studio and presented her task – and would I please be her ‘object’. I didn’t hesitate. She had a keen interest in art herself and the way she presented her blog idea were pleasantly challenging for me too.
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The Photo Festival in Landskrona, Sweden

Landskrona – a town of 30,000 inhabitants situated at the south-eastern coast of Sweden – has a vision:

“To become the home of photography in Scandinavia with a history museum and research facilities in co-operation with Lund University (a 30 min train ride south of it); it will arrange unique exhibitions of contemporary photography as well as the largest photo festival in Sweden.”

One wonders whether Landskrona’s cultural pioneers have been inspired by Marrakech in Morocco that has about the same vision?

 

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The Citadel in Landskrona – photos being on display around and inside it
The Landskrona Photo Festival 2016 ran from August 19 to 28 – and if you couldn’t go there, there is both a fine website and an app.

It’s a remarkable and very welcome initiative of a rather small town; it proves that size is not of importance. It’s the vision and the investment and the synergy among enthusiasts that drive it all – something my town Lund, 4 times bigger, has no sense of.

This Festival is neither Photo London nor Photo Basel in terms of sophistication or quality. It is not a fair where works are sold. It’s very different – it’s about passion and giving various buildings, parks and even a citadel a new life, a new function. It’s about Landskrona’s vision that may lead to comerce, of course, but is not driven by a commercial motive. But there is all reason to believe that Landskrona will soon be on the international art photography map for real.

And it’s pleasantly down-to-earth and filled with talents from rather many corners of the world. A day pass is US $ 12 and the exhibitions take place in the Museum, the Japan-inspired Art Hall, at majestic Citadel, in parks, squares and local gallery spaces – all within some 600-800 metres of walk.

Landskrona is definitely what you’d call charming. The environment in which the exhibitions take place is a great asset that the Festival people exploit to its limit.

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I usually start out these blog articles by stating that I am not an art critic but an art recommender. It means that I choose to tell my readers what I like, convey positive energy, inspire other photographers/artists and art lovers and make them want to go and see what I’ve seen. And – of course – what I mention below is only a selection of the places, artists and impressions.

Konsthallen – the Town Art Hall – hosted two young female artists allegedly dialoguing with each other, Elina Brotherus and Dorothée Smith. The text on this link offers an explanation and background but I just did not quite feel that dialogue – except for the identity dimension. In my view, Smith is by far the most interesting of the two; Brotherus somehow too self-focused for my taste. Brilliant photography for sure, but just did not speak to me.

Smith’s so-called Spectographie seemed abstract, intriguing and more explorative of the bigger world out there than Brotherus’ images in which, with few exceptions, she herself is the central object/subject.

IMG_8908Two works by Smith

IMG_8913Two works by Brotherus
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