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|Step out of my intention and fall|
How do you become a human being? Mikael Lundberg appears to point to the courage of being human, the courage of not shying away from the unbearable or the inexplicable if one is to find a solid base within oneself. The most subjective is also the most universal. When Mikael Lundberg depicts issues of being, randomness and the time span that every human being has to relate to – life’s beginning and end – they may spring from seemingly dry statements, through documentation of his own movements or a statistically calculated end time for his own life.
The exhibition Kliver ur min avsikt och faller / Step out of my intention and fall, whose title is borrowed from a poem by Magnus William-Olsson, is a large presentation of Mikael Lundberg’s work from 1994 to the present. The artist works slowly, and his pieces are time-consuming and often technically advanced. Based on an idea, he selects a method, material and a manner of execution, which is why his art is multi-faceted but still explicit in the sense that he never deviates from his exploration of life’s innermost issues. Mikael Lundberg covers topics that are elusive, frustrating and fascinating. His works create a singular presence, elucidate the subject as a field of investigation in order to simultaneously confront the viewer with questions of responsibility, courage and choice.
Stepping out of one’s intention – does it mean stepping out of the imagined regulations that various conventional systems such as creeds, rule systems and market forces inscribe the individual into, and realise the power in one’s own actions and decisions? To allow oneself to fall? Humans try to organise their lives, on all levels, make it comprehensible, understandable, but Mikael Lundberg discusses entropy, that is, the tendency in a system to change in the direction of its most probable and thus most disordered state. Everything falls apart, all matter is in a state of decay. Among other things, Mikael Lundberg’s art deals with how randomness contributes to form our world. In his explorations of our conditions and vital necessities, he chooses to approach the issues from different angles, which, from a concentrated focus, accelerate and move into a vertiginous space – every human being’s existential choice. A section of the exhibition comprises works that, in a sense, could be called self-portraits: Lifetimer. Lifeline, Kapsel s, Kapsel m, and Marsyas. The first work, from 1995, is composed of a printed circuit board with a digital counter that counts down the artist’s statistically calculated remaining lifetime in seconds. Marsyas is a silicone cast of the artist’s body, depicted as a skin hung on the wall. In Greek mythology, Marsyas is a Frygian satyr who found a double flute which he learnt to play so well that, in a moment of hubris, he challenged the god Apollo to a contest of music, on the terms that the winner could treat the defeated party in any way he wished. The god won and chose to flay Marsyas alive as a warning to others. Ovid writes about how fauns, satyrs, nymphs and shepherd boys cried over Marsyas’ fate and their tears were the source of the river which today bears the name of the unhappy satyr. Mikael Lundberg situates us next to the one who challenged authority, the one who challenged his own fate. To see one’s death is to relate to life.
|© Mikael Lundberg|