Of Kurdish descent, video artist Fikret Atay (b. 1976, Batman, Turkey. Lives and works in Örebro, Sweden) highlights the tensions that arise from permanent opposition between the West and the East, civilians and military, tradition and experimentation: a situation he lived in his hometown, Batman, located in Turkey on the Iraqi border. Atay’s simple, unaffected artistic expression lends a straightforward authenticity to the footage, yet the meanings of the performers’ actions remain mysterious to viewers unfamiliar with the local culture. It is likely to see music as a form of rebellion and youthfulness as a symbol of hope.
His work has been shown extensively in international museums and art centres including Örebro Konsthall, Örebro, Sweden (2019); Gislaveds Konsthall, Sweden (2018); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy; MAXXI, Rome, Italy; Pinchuk Art Center, Kiev, Ukraine; Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, U.S.A.; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, U.S.A.; New Museum, New York, U.S.A.; MoMA PS1, New York, U.S.A. He has been invited to participate in biennials such as the Biennale of Sydney, Australia; Lyon Biennial, France; Istanbul Biennial, Turkey.
Visual artist Valeria Montti Colque (b. 1978, Stockholm. Lives and works in Stockholm) works in a range of expressions and media, often with collage-based sculptural installations assembled by paintings, drawings, photos, ceramics, textiles and objects. Her artistic approach is based on narratives. She builds worlds of imagery inspired by everyday life, along with myths, religions, society, heritage and popular culture. Her works often feature symbols and metaphors from various origins. Collaborations with other people are central to Montti Colque’s practice – other artists, musicians, performance artists, family and friends become part of creating her artistic world. During her stay at Iaspis, she will explore the collage technique further and collage murals to expand on the works Molnskogen, Horisontens Fåglar and Det Svarta Vilda Molnet (Cloud Forest, Birds of the Horizon and The Black, Wild Cloud).
Montti Colque graduated from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm in 2004. She has exhibited extensively in Sweden and internationally, as well as in public space.
Alexis Destoop (b. 1971 Kortrijk, Belgium, Lives and works in Sydney, Australia and Brussels, Belgium) is an artist whose work explores the workings of the image and narrative, the experience of time, and the processes of identification and memory. His practice originates from photography but has been influenced by his experience in the performing arts as well as his studies in art history and philosophy. In recent years, landscape has become his primary subject matter, which he treats with all its stratified meanings and histories. Destoop is particularly interested in the artificiality of landscape: rather than treating it as a sublime natural object, he approaches it as a thoroughly human construct – with stratified meanings and histories. This explains the decision to attend to contentious zones where global and local processes and interests collide and intertwine, and where it becomes possible to rethink notions of centre and periphery, self and other.
Recent solo shows and presentations include: Northern Drift at IFFR – Bright Future (2020), Field Meeting at Concrete, Dubai (2019), Plouton at Chauffeur, Sydney (2018).
Dan Halter (b. 1977 Harare, Zimbabwe, Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa) is a visual artist who has travelled and worked in different contexts. In recent years he has been focusing on working with craft methods, such as weaving, and for his use of materials, such as woven plastic bags from China. The latter material is a common feature of migratory life on the continent of Africa, and a recurring theme in his work. Halter also has an interest in maps, which he has used in various works to highlight issues of displacement and the legacies of colonialism. Partly inspired by the anti‑industrial and anti‑consumerist arte povera movement of Italian artists in the 1960s, his work takes objects from everyday life and uses them as a means of commenting on issues of identity and immigration. Another important theme in his work is the economic relationships which have sprung up across the African continent in the post‑Cold War era of economic development.
Halter graduated from the University of Cape Town, South Africa with a BAFA in 2001, and has since then exhibited extensively throughout South Africa and Europe as well as in North and Central America.
Maja Hammarén (b. 1978, Stockholm. Lives and works in Göteborg and Stockholm) works with editorial, curatorial and artistic work departing from language forms, movements and organizing in the broad sense. She is interested in political movements and public spaces, historiography, types of narrative and knowledge and their politics, institutional history and the organization of work. Hammarén assumes various roles in projects and alternates collective, editorial, pedagogical and choreographic approaches. During her stay at Iaspis, she will focus on investigating what an editorial practice can comprise – on the (semi-)public art project Botandets iver in Uppsala (Frenzy to Cure). The project looks at historical sites of mental health asylums and knowledge institutions to explore the contemporary zeal for curing, improving and developing.
Hammarén teaches at the HDK-Valand – Academy of Art and Design, at the University of Gothenburg, and runs the art organization Konstarbete KAS. She is one of three editors for Stockholmstidningen and involved in the editorial group for Paletten Art Journal.
Niklas Holmgren (b. 1974, Lycksele, Sweden. Lives and works in Stockholm) is a visual artist working with painting, with a background within the film industry. His artistic expression which is characterized by hyper-realistic rendition alludes to years as a film director and scriptwriter. Holmgren’s evocative canvases derive as a series of momentary fragments from everyday life. They depict the inherent tensions of social interactions and hint at the transient states of mind of ordinary people. His meticulous approach with light and colour becomes a focal point in his practice, which sets out with the feat of unveiling what is generally concealed within.
Holmgren finished his MFA at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm in 2001. During his stay at Iaspis, he will continue working on a new series of paintings depicting his closest relationships, and through this also hoping to connect with the past.
Oona Nelson (b. 1961 San Francisco, CA, USA. Lives and works in San Francisco Bay Area) is an artist mostly working with collage, paintings, photography and interactive gestures. Since 2014, her practice has focused on exploring and critiquing aspects of consumption, abundance, and decay. Within her work, she blends art history, the contemporary cult of convenience and abundance, along with the corresponding environmental threats and distorted value systems – trying to balance the grotesque and the beautiful. Often she works with photography and Photoshop resulting in original photographic-based assemblages (collage paintings) or digital prints. She also hosts gatherings with her interactive gestures – creating champagne towers, drinks on fire, live insect centrepieces, food chandeliers and burning paintings.
Nelson has a Bachelor’s Degree in Film from the San Francisco Art Institute, and a Masters Degree in Time Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Over the years she has exhibited extensively in the US and internationally. Currently, she is working on building up a body of work for a larger exhibition or series of exhibitions.
Josefin Tingvall (b. 1993, Arvika, Sweden. Lives and works in Göteborg, Sweden) is a textile and crafts-based artist employing a variety of media to pose poetic and material questions. She explores concepts by approaching materials nostalgically, Tingvall examines the dynamics of landscape, including manipulating its effects and boundaries. The themes processed are environments, fragility and change; the role of human beings in our self-fabricated world. In Tingvall’s practice, crafts become actions that include the potential to learn and destroy. She is in quest of a dewdrop aesthetics by collecting and emulating natural ephemeral processes. Through a poetic and often metaphorical language, she creates works through repetitive narratives, where time and memory are key elements. Play, crafts, movement and plot, are serious matters: other rules apply in games than in everyday life, yet they both contain each other.
Tingvall finished her MFA from the Craft program at the Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in 2017, and was a guest student at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm 2017-2018
Ūla Tornau (b. 1979, Vilnius, Lithuania. Lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania) is an exhibition curator and researcher that has founded several independent artist initiatives. Currently, she is the Head of Department at the CAC Vilnius. In the last years, she has curated, and co-curated projects including the Lithuanian pavilion in the 22nd Milan Design Triennale (2019); 57th Venice Biennale (2017 and 2011), solo exhibitions of Kipras Dubauskas (2020), Koenraad Dedobeleer, Mindaugas Navakas (2019), Maria Loboda (2017), Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at CAC Vilnius (2016), group shows “Head with Many Thoughts” (2020); “Words aren’t the thing” (2015) at CAC Vilnius, and “Waiting for Another Coming” at Zamek Ujazdowski CCA Warsaw and Vilnius (2018).
Tornau defended her PhD dissertation Soviet postwar urban discourses and in 2016, and has worked on different projects focusing on historical and current urban change, including a series of events and a collection of articles and an international lecture series on Anthropology of Space (Architecture Fund and National Gallery of Art, Vilnius 2012).
João Felipe Wallig (b.1987, São Paulo, Brasil. Lives and works in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil.) is an architect and urbanist interested in participative multidisciplinary works and exchange of knowledge through collaboration between differences. Processes which are a fundamental part of learning, experimentation as research and learning by prototyping. His work is somewhere in between art and architecture, process and project, making and managing – having the complexity of contemporary cities as sustenance to reflection.
During his time at Iaspis, in residence at home, he plans to research multidisciplinary arrangements of people to achieve their social objectives. This process contains art as a language, architecture as an intention. In essence, it is about the diversity of people and thoughts on cities, to caption the understanding of these relations. Aiming to share the results with local citizens and other interested parts through an art intervention or exposition in which the research is related to other globally alike experiences that instigates the connection of individuals and cities around the world.
Adéle Essle Zeiss (b. 1983, Stockholm. Lives and works in Stockholm) is an artist creating performance works and installations based on fundamental aspects of the body. Graduated from the Royal Swedish Ballet School in 2002, her artistic practice originates in dance and choreography. She develops new ideas through physical experimentation, often together with dancers. In her practice, she uses objects to clarify what happens inside the bodies. In her two most recent works, she has explored weight and equilibrium in installations, where dancers balance on suspended planks with sacks of concrete as counterweights to their bodies or limbs. Such work is also a study of the human balance – a fully automatic system that is learned and stored in the body and cannot be controlled by willpower.
Essle Zeiss graduated with an MFA from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm in 2018. At Iaspis, she will try out ideas and develop a new, major performance work in which dancers share each other’s weight by using ropes and pulleys.
Johan Österholm (b. 1983, Borås, Sweden. Lives and works in Stockholm) is a visual artist using photography as a medium for reflecting on evolving conceptions of what constitutes a nightscape and what counts as “darkness.” In his practice, he approaches the subject of light pollution and nocturnal illumination as a kind of historian of light. Carefully he combines archival material and archaic photographic processes with the glare of present-day city lights. During his time at Iaspis, Österholm has combed through the material that he has amassed during the past few years around the topic of utopias of light and the history of public street lighting. The aim is to develop a new body of photo-sculptural works as well as book paper collages.
Österholm received his MFA from Malmö Art Academy in 2016. He has exhibited in Sweden and as well as internationally. Recent exhibitions include Space Works at Tampere Art Museum in Finland (2020) and Vista Point: Re-Connecting Nature at Kunstverein KunstHaus Potsdam in Germany (2020).