The Armory Show’s 2012 focus on the Nordic countries prompted Paddle8 to take a closer look at 14 artists who draw upon the region’s rich history, mythology, politics and landscape while making work that is global in its concerns. As a companion feature, Paddle8 has created an editorial feature with a Dossier for each Nordic country. These serve as visual and contextual entryways into Nordic visual culture and the works of these countries’ notable contemporary and modern artists. Below are small samplings from each country’s Dossiers in the Paddle8 Nordic Focus Editorial.
As event-based work, Gundmundsson’s photographic output remains a form of documentation of happenings carefully orchestrated by the artist; often featuring the artist standing in for a fictional character. Grappling with broad-based questions such as D’où venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-nous? (Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?). – Iceland Dossier.
“[Horizontal] is really about the moving image – about film and the tradition of showing things through the lens, about a way of recreating our reality and the world around us through the cinematic way of perceiving and the mechanics of film.” – Eija Liisa Ahtila, Finland Dossier.
“The title is not an explanation of the painting’s content, but an additional layer. A title has many depths and can mean various things all at once—even directly opposing things…” – Karin Maamma Andersson, Sweden Dossier.
“I could literally feel people in cars slowing down and there was this cloud, floating over the river like a layer of gas. When it came in contact with the water, all of a sudden the river turned green, it was like a shock wave.” – Olafur Eliasson, Denmark Dossier.
Ekblad scrounges various locales for materials. Drawing on William Legrand from Edgar Allen Poe’s The Gold Bug, Ekblad views herself as being bitten and drawn down a rabbit hole finding treasures in that which has been discarded and neglected. – Norway Dossier.
Artists featured in the Paddle8 Nordic Focus include Sigurdur Gundmunddson and Ragnar Kjartansson from Iceland; Eija Liisa Ahtila, Nina Roos and Maaria Wirkkala from Finland; Öyvind Fahlström, Karin Maamma Andersson and Fia Backström from Sweden; Olafur Eliasson, Bjorn Nørgaard, Jesper Just and Elmgreen & Dragset (Danish & Norwegian) from Denmark; and Bjarne Melgaard and Ida Ekblad from Norway. In the coming days, check out Paddle8.tumblr.com to see images and more outtakes from the Nordic Dossiers.