Sissel M. Berg. Saraahka/Ruota • Åalan Gorrijh Gujne, 2019.


6 junE – 25 oCtober 2020


An exhibition about language; about the power of language and language as power. About communication and language barriers, about who can speak, what one can speak about and how to do it. About mother tongues, about language as identity creator, as a fundamental part of who we are and how we are perceived by others. About body language, digital languages and the tones of music. About the languages that can be used when words are not enough and all the other things that exist beyond words.

The artists participating in the exhibition are: Meira Ahmemulic, Sissel M. Bergh, Sara Edström, Carola Grahn, Johanna Gustafsson Fürst, Susan Hiller, Bernardo Ortíz, Carla Zaccagnini and Erkan Özgen.

More information can be found in the Folder (available only in Swedish).

Participating artists

Meira Ahmemulic (f. 1974) is an artist and writer. She holds a master’s degree in Contemporary Art from Valand Academy in Gothenburg, and she has also studied art at the University of Kelaniya in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Displacement, migration, class, and language are central themes in her work. In many of her artworks, she focuses on the first generation of immigrants, their children, and grandchildren, i.e., the second and third generations of immigrants. She often draws inspiration from her upbringing in the suburb of Angered in Gothenburg and the contradictions in Swedish society regarding class, language, immigration, work and racism.

Sissel M. Bergh (f.1974) is a Trondheim-based visual artist and researcher who works with various techniques and materials in relation to different knowledge systems. Through film, objects, painting and drawing as tools, Bergh explores the understanding of the world and uses her artistic practice to reinterpret land and territory, memory, power, magic, relationships, and the history of representation. Sissel M. Bergh is educated at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts and at the University of Technology in Durban, South Africa. She has recently participated in exhibitions at the Gothenburg International Art Biennial – GIBCA (2019), Telemark Kunstsent-er (2019), Sámi Dáiddáguovdas/Samisk senter for samtidskunst (2018), and Kunsthall Trondheim (2017).

Sara Edström was born in 1968 in Luleå, where she lives and works. She primarily works with sculpture in long processes, oscillating between detailed studies of people and abstracted excerpts of bodies, skin, and hair. In order to cope with living and residing in Norrbotten, she co-founded the artist-run Gallery Syster in Luleå in 2006, which showcases Swedish and international contemporary art. She and her colleagues felt the need for the kind of art that interested them and believed that as residents of the geographical periphery, they had to create their own center.

Carola Grahn (1982) is of Southern Sami descent, born and raised in the Lule Sami region of Jokkmokk, and currently resides and works in Malmö. She graduated from the Royal Institute of Art in 2013 and has also studied at Beckmans College of Design and Fotoskolan in Gamleby. Carola Grahn has been actively exhibiting her work in recent years, including at Röda Sten Konsthall in Gothenburg (2020), Onsite Gallery, OCADU in Toronto, Canada (2019), and IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) in Santa Fe, USA (2019) among others. She has written about Sami art for the magazine Afterall and served as the editor for an issue of Hjärnstorm with a Sami theme. Grahn is one of the founders of Sámi Girl Gang along with Silje Figenschou Thoresen.

Johanna Gustafsson Fürst (B.1973) is an artist based in Stockholm. She utilizes a range of media including sculpture, performance and site-specific installations in works that often explore conflicts between social systems and individuals. Johanna Gustafsson Fürst has exhibited both in Sweden and internationally and is represented by Galler Belenius. Previous exhibitions include “Not That Cloud” at Moderna Museet in Stockholm (2017), where she was awarded the Moderna Museet Friends’ Sculpture Prize. In her ongoing exhibition “Graft the Words, Whip My Tongue” at Accelerator in Stockholm (15/1-15/10), the focus is on the conflict between the nation-state and language, as well as the relationship between language and the body.

Susan Hiller (1940-2019) grew up in Florida, USA. After a year as a film and photography student at Cooper Union in New York and studies in archaeology and linguistics at Hunter College, Hiller pursued post-graduate studies at Tulane University in New Orleans with the support of a National Science Foundation scholarship. She conducted fieldwork in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, but gradually became uncomfortable with the academic anthropology’s claim to objectivity, stating that she did not want her research to become part of anthropology’s “objectification of resistant living events”. During a lecture on African art, she made the decision to leave anthropology and become an artist instead. Since the early 1960s, Susan Hiller was primarily based in London. After several exhibitions featuring her painting and a series of collaborative “group investigations”, she began in the early 1980s to work with innovative and new ways of using sound and image technologies.

Bernardo Ortiz is an artist and writer. He received his BFA after studying at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and his MA from Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia. Some of his recent solo exhibitions include “Low Resolution” at Casas Riegner in Bogotá, “Friction” at Luisa Strina in São Paulo, Brazil, and “To Erase” at the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A selection of his recent group exhibitions includes the 30th São Paulo Biennial, the XI Lyon Biennial, and the 20th Sydney Biennial. Bernardo Ortiz’s works can be found in public collections such as Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and CNAP in Paris.

Carla Zaccagnini completed her Masters in Poéticas Visuais at the Universidade de São Paulo in 2004 and currently holds the position of Professor of Conceptual and Contextual Practices at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as LACMA (Los Angeles, USA), Guggenheim Museum (New York, USA), Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid, Spain), Malmö Konstmuseum (Malmö, Sweden), and MAM (São Paulo, Brazil). She has also had recent solo exhibitions at Van Abbemuseum (Eindoven, Netherlands), FirstSite (Colchester, UK), and MASP (São Paulo, Brazil). Carla Zaccagnini has participated in residencies at 18th Street (Santa Monica, USA), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin, Germany), IASPIS (Stockholm, Sweden), among others. Her work has been featured in compendiums such as Cream 3 and Art Cities of the Future, and she is represented by Galeria Vermelho in São Paulo. Carla Zaccagnini currently lives and works in Malmö and São Paulo.

Erkan Özgen completed his studies in 2000, graduating from the Department of Art Education at Cukurova University in Turkey. Since 1998, he has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions in various countries, including Albania, Croatia, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Israel, Lebanon, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey, Austria, UK, USA, Cyprus, Estonia, Slovenia, and Montenegro. Özgen has also participated in artist residencies such as Safe Haven in Helsinki, Finland, IASPIS in Malmö, Sweden and the Can Xalant artist exchange program at the Center for Creating and Contemporary Thought in Mataró, Barcelona, Spain. In 2008, he received the “Prix Meuly” from the Kunstmuseum in Thun, Switzerland. Additionally, Erkan Özgen has organized workshops in Beirut, Damascus, Diyarbakir and Enschede. Alongside his artistic practice, he is actively involved in the Mesopotamian Ecology Movement. Erkan Özgen currently lives and works in Diyarbakir, Turkey.

Sissel M. Bergh. Saraahka / Ruota / Sáráhkká, 2020. Acrylic on sailcloth