Peter Hagdahl Energy, Mass, Gravitation

29 September 2018 2 December 2018

Main hall, Färgfabriken

In the autumn of 2018, Färgfabriken is exhibiting a monumental installation by the artist Peter Hagdahl. In a poetic way, the artwork represents the complex flows of contemporary society and also touches upon fundamental existential questions.

Throughout his artistic career, Hagdahl has explored contemporary phenomena, often utilizing new technology. His artistry raises many of the same questions that Färgfabriken are concerned with in the project Expanded Societies, which has been ongoing since 2016 and discusses how digital technology affects our lives.

This new installation unites the digital and physical worlds in a visually intricate weave. The installation Energy, Mass, Gravitation presented at Färgfabriken combines various media such as painting, moving images, text, sculpture and Readymade; generating a transference between different forms of representation and reality. In this manner, Hagdahl visualizes our world that is divided between a digital and physical reality. An associative chain of events represents the flow of information and images that bombards us constantly. Hagdahl describes his process as both intuitive and planned: ”The confluence of the different elements reveals connections and consistencies that I occasionally predicted, occasionally suspected but also ones that surprised me completely. I am interested in what happens when you create these meeting points between shapes, images and words.”

Photo Jean Baptiste Beranger

The artwork creates a room in the exhibition hall where two monumental panels of plexiglass are linked by a floating sculptural system. The structure of this installation makes it impossible to observe the work from one given location. It is however possible to move around the work and view it both from inside and outside of the room; the movements of the viewer can be described as a series of zoom-ins and zoom-outs. ”The specific processes and connections that are triggered by the work, and what effect this will have, depend entirely upon who the viewer is and the context in which the work is shown” says Hagdahl.

Hagdahl’s installation balances, both figuratively and literally, between various connections. These connections take the shape of associations and references, as well as physical wires forming a complex web of objects and images held in equilibrium by different weights.

About the artist

Peter Hagdahl (b.1956) is a Swedish artist based in Stockholm. He studied at the Valand School of Fine Arts in Gothenburg. Previously he taught at The Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, where he was Professor of Fine Arts with a specialization in New Media. Hagdahl has likewise performed research at The Department of Computer and Systems Sciences at Stockholm University and MejanLabs. Today he combines his artistic practice with a role as Curator at The Public Art Agency of Sweden. Hagdahl’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and he is also represented in the prestigious collection of Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Färgfabriken has previously shown works by Peter Hagdahl in the group shows Levitation (2009) in Östersund as well as The Expanded Book (2003) in Stockholm.

Further reading

On collages, flow charts, sign, symbols and seductions.
Joachim Granit, Creative Director Färgfabriken

Download the exhibition handout.

Färgfabriken’s ongoing project Expanded Societies hosts various seminars and exhibitions that discuss how digitization affects our lives.

Färgfabriken has previously presented works by Peter Hagdahl in the group exhibition Levitation (2009) in Östersund.