Wetterling Gallery proudly presents the group exhibition On The Verge. Curated by Jeanette Gunnarsson and Lauren Johnson, the exhibition present nine contemporary artists: Jaana Kristiina Alakoski, Michael Fink, Linnéa Gad, Adele Kosman, Abigail Lucien, Noa Sköldin, Kelsey Shwetz, Yevgen Samborsky and Erik Thörnqvist. Opening Reception will take place on October 6, 5 - 8 pm with a performance by Adele Kosman at 7 pm. Welcome!
Our contemporary Zeitgeist holds infinite information and imagery. We collectively doom scroll through social media in a state of communal hypnosis, our feeds filled with life hacks, climate emergencies, cat videos, the war in Ukraine and celebrity gossip. The horror of man-made chaos and brutality mingles with mindless escapism. Somewhere in the breakdown of all we thought we knew, the eerie stillness of the world shutting down in 2020 was exit-ed to the burning hot and deadly flames of wildfires that rage all over the world. Dark rain clouds finally brought long awaited rain, but they were filled with black soot and didn’t last long. While the heavens opened up, water swallowed a whole country on the other side of the planet. The state of our world feels dark and desperate, but is there still hope? Does utopia unfold somewhere? What does our imaginative collective conscience reach for?
On the Verge brings together a group of diverse and multidisciplinary artists asking urgent questions. The exhibition presents artists as myth builders and storytellers of our time, imagining and re-imagining our relationships with each other, death and mortality, digital realms and our ecological habitats. We find ourselves and our planet in a liminal space, a threshold between one destination and the next, in a period of ambiguity, disorientation and transformation. Where will we end up? Perhaps if we learn to re-evaluate our hierarchies and priorities, caring about a wildflower as much as our mother, making room for all kinds of lives and thinking through deep time, our current purgatory will lead to a bright and sustainable future. It’s up to us.
Jaana Kristiina Alakoski
Jaana-Kristiina Alakoski is a Swedish cross-disciplinary artist working in installation, drawing, digital drawing, photography and fictive writing under the umbrella of performance. Her performances as well as static work, employ imaginative strategies from the realm of sci-fi and fantasy. Centering methods influenced by play, collective rituals and citizenconsumer participation, Alakoski builds on the encounter between the performer and the audience but also on the encounter between the audience and installation to investigate the philosophic potential of participatory performance and performance. Participation is the outcome as well as research method in her practice, generating reflections that in turn generate methodologies aimed at breaking blockages between art and audience, audience and artist, artist and art. Experimenting with rules, instructions and scores and different media to frame the universes, Alakoski communicates with the audience through drawing, writing, speech, gaze and movement. The rules and instructions facilitate a shared attention, and participatory performance is where she finds the reason for her interest in performance as research for affect, play, fiction and sociality.
Jaana-Kristiina Alakoski (b. Sweden, 1992), lives and works between Stockholm, Sweden and London, UK. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins, London (2018). Recent exhibitions and performances include NAHCO at Močvara Gallery, Zagreb (2022) and Hotel Selection at Celsius Projects, Malmö (2022). She participated in group exhibitions Peter Piper Pigged A Pickled Pepper at Fitzrovia Gallery, London (2022), curated by Jeanette Gunnarsson and Hagazussa, curated by off-site curatorial project Kruger. Her upcoming exhibitions include two yet unnamed group exhibitions with 11 Newel Gallery, NewYork.
Michael Fink is an Italian painter based in Berlin. Through his work, Fink develops questions about the human species, its impact on our planet and on non-human life. In doing so, he pursues an anti-speciesist ideology that rejects the arbitrary categorization of living beings and, in particular, the separation of humans from the rest of the animal kingdom. Fink follows this approach in his paintings, freeing himself as far as possible from the development of a particular style to counteract categorization. To achieve this, painterly claims and gestures are used "context-specifically" and vary from series to series.
Michael Fink (b. Northern Italy, 1993), lives and works in Berlin. Fink studied at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee Berlin in 2018. Currently, he is studying in the painting classes of Friederike Feldmann and Nader Ahriman. In 2022 he was longlisted for the Berlin Art Prize and is currently nominated for the Federal Prize for Art Students.
Linnéa Gad’s practice springs from collaboration with materials that are animated and surrender to processes beyond her control. She currently works with limestone, oysters, cardboard, bark, and other shell materials that she happens upon. Through sculpture, printmaking, and installation, Gad creates unexpected conversations that awaken empathy and curiosity for the ongoing vibrant “lives” of these materials. Her antidote to the uncertainty of our future is to elevate things that change quietly over a long time span. Gad anchors her approach to climate change in the tactile, as a counterpoint to the invisible and abstract visualizations of this global issue. Focusing on deep time allows for quieter and more powerful emotions about our place in the ecosystem to emerge. Since last year, Gad has immersed herself in the investigation of the life cycle of lime, a calcium-containing compound which takes a number of forms – from oyster shells to lapis lazuli. To conceptualize her research, she makes sculpture out of only lime, utilizing its shapeshifting tendencies and its willingness to bind with different versions of itself.
Linnéa Gad (b. Sweden, 1990), lives and works in Woodstock, USA. She received her MFA from Columbia University (2022). Recent exhibitions include: Erratics, (solo), Spencer Brownstone Gallery, (New York, 2019), Mound Remover (solo) - New Release Gallery (New York, 2018), IN RESPONSE: Jonas Mekas, The Jewish Museum, (New York, 2022), Visual Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition, Lenfest Center for the Arts, (New York 2022), Biting The Nest, curated by Rebekka Anker-Moller SixtyEight Art Institute, (Copenhagen 2021), Downtown Issues, Issues Gallery, (Stockholm 2021). Gad is a recipient of grants from The Swedish Arts Grants Committee and was shortlisted for the Frankenthaler Climate Art Awards in 2022. In 2023, she will publish an artist-research book, by RSS Press.
Adele Marcia Kosman is an Electroacoustic composer, performer and computer developer who explores sound and space through field recordings, synthesis, algorithmic composition and vocals, along with careful audio editing. Their work is often presented as acousmatic pieces for surround sound, but also in performances with live coding and sound installations. Recently they have found themselves caught in the fragility of their own voice. A closely miked crackle in the seams of their register or the explosive gasp of air when having pushed too hard. The voice remains centered while the arpeggios of their Moog travels the room. As it tries to disappear beyond the corners, but abruptly gains presence yet again, they cut and release it time and time again with the amplitude of singing. Intertwining sounds by gating, they find new voices, with such pleasure and such ease. The organ crumbles their system with its inevitable acoustic force, urging the listener to lean in. Marcia will perform alongside Arvid Kraft at the opening of ‘On The Verge’. Her performance will be recorded and installed in a sound sculpture by Noa Sköldin.
Adele Marcia Kosman (b. Sweden, 1993), lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. They received a BA in electro-acoustic composition, Royal College of Music Stockholm and Universität der Künste Berlin (2020). Recent exhibitions include Matter of Art Biennale (Prague, 2022), Silent Green (Berlin, 2020), EKKO festival (Bergen, 2020), Norbergfestival (Norberg, 2019) and Moderna Museet (Stockholm, 2017). Kosman is involved in various projects within contemporary music via the network Konstmusiksystrar, in which they currently serve as chair.
Abigail Lucien (b. USA, 1992) is a Haitian- American interdisciplinary artist. Working in sculpture, literature, and time-based media, Lucien’s practice addresses themes of (be)longing, futurity, myth, and place by considering our relationship to inherited colonial structures and systems of belief/care.
Lucien was named to the 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 list, is a recipient of a 2021 VMFA Fellowship and the 2020 Harpo Emerging Artist Fellow. Past exhibitions include Sculpture Center (NY), MoMA PS1 (NY), MAC Panamá (Panamá), Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, GA), UICA (Grand Rapids, MI), and The Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia, PA). Residencies include Amant Studio & Research Residency in New York, the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts (Wrocław, Poland), The Luminary (St. Louis, MO), Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM), ACRE (Steuben, WI), and Ox-Bow School of Art & Artist Residency (Saugatuck, MI). Lucien is currently based in Baltimore, MD where they teach sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Noa is a visual artist based in London and Stockholm. He works mainly with sculpture using traditional techniques and expressions mixed with contemporary ones to examine his own sculptural vocabulary – an intuitive and process based practice focusing on that which has no words, language itself. Usually using rebar and clay for plasticity as the starting point to then process it further using any given technique. Noa is enrolled in the BA Fine Art programme at Goldsmiths in London, graduating in 2023.
Noa Sköldin (b.1989 Sweden), lives and works between Stockholm, Sweden and London, UK. He has exhibited at Färgfabriken, Kl. 9, Bångska våningen, Orb Collective, Stora Nygatan 31, and Misshumasshu among others and regularly curates exhibitions with friends and collaborators.
Kelsey Shwetz’s practice is concerned with nature, climate, the weather, and mythology. Situated in the lineage of landscape painting, her canvases are spaces of modified or accelerated growth, uncanny perspective, and architectural folly. Recognizing that a wholly imaginary or fantastical landscape allows a cool distance between the image pictured and our feelings about the real world, Shwetz weaves passages of nature -including those human made- that are recognizable, reminding us of the tender parts of our world that we stand to lose by ecological indifference. Transformation figures heavily in her work, spaces made of disparate material and time blend into each other and geological forms create portals and shifts in the space of the canvas itself. Drawing from Cathedral Architecture, kitsch, sci-fi illustration and, recently, 16th/17th century Netherlandish painting, Shwetz describes a mythology where geological forms, flora, and weather are protagonists.
Kelsey Shwetz (b. Canada, 1986), lives and works in New York City, USA. She received an MFA from Columbia University (2022) and was an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Columbia University (2022). She is a two-time recipient of the The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, grant from Canada Council for the Arts and the Mayer Foundation. Shwetz was awarded a fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center, The Choy Family, Ellen Gelmen, Columbia University and CanSerrat Residency in Barcelona. She has exhibited in the United States, Canada, and Mexico and has an upcoming solo exhibition in Paris in 2023.
Yevgen Samborsky is a multidisciplinary artist, painter and curator whose work investigates a wide range of issues from the Post-Soviet period, investigating wastelands, the rethinking of landscape, computer graphics and digitalisation. Samborsky’s practise is influenced by graffiti and visual interventions in abandoned spaces, while using a meditative and methodical approach to painting which results in paintings which visually reference both the man-made and machine production. Introversion, exclusion and escapism all feature as themes within his work.
Yevgen Samborsky (b. Ukraine, 1984), lives and works in Kyiv, Ukraine. MFA from Art Institute of the Carpathian National University (2005). Samborsky received a scholarship from the Polish Ministry of Culture (2009,2012). He was the winner of the MUHi Competition (2012), the First PinchukArtCentre Special Prize in the Open Group (2013), and the Dymchuk Gallery Open Call for Young Ukrainian Artists (2017). He was nominated for the PinchukArtCentre Award (2018). He was the curator of the Residence for Artists in Ivano-Frankivsk (2015) and the International Festival of Contemporary Art Porto Franko (2018).
Erik Thörnqvist works with sculpture and installation, drawing from personal, historical and fictional narratives to approach how idea-based systems materialize and effect bodies. His practice takes its point of departure within ready-mades and found objects such as pipe fittings, parts of scaffolding and architectural details. Influenced by his experiences of growing up in the North of Sweden and the conflict between those who live and use the area and the extraction of natural resources for economic gain, Thörnqvist wants his works to communicate as a spectrum and a gradient of experiences - rather than polarizing opposites.
Erik Thörnqvist (b. Sweden, 1994), lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. He is currently working towards his MFA from the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm (2023). Exhibitions include: Final Hot Desert (Utah, US), Konstnärshuset (SE), Konstmuséet i norr (SE), KOMASK, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts Antwerp (BE), K4 Gallery (NOR), Gävle Konstcentrum (SE) and Örebro County Museum (SE). Thörnqvist’s work was presented in the Luleå Biennial (2020-2021). He will exhibit at Lunds Konsthall (February 2023).