The hour of meeting evil spirits, 2022, HD video, 19:45 min, variable dimensions, edition of 3 + 1AP

Johan Thurfjell »The Thin Veil«

Stockholm , February 24, 2022 - March 26, 2022

Johan Thurfjell's work combines everyday observations with myths and mysticism with which he builds up his own distinctive poetic symbolism. Regardless of his choice of material or technique Thurfjell’s sculptures, paintings, video works and installations show a visible enjoyment and dexterity in his handcraft.

The narrative that permeates Thurfjell's new exhibition The Thin Veil, touches on the universal appeal of that we cannot see, that we cannot touch. The most existential musings, such as those about life and death, are manifested in different cultures and eras in various forms as myths, rituals and symbols. These ruminations could be seen as an attempt to reach from our reality to a possible other, that which can be jointly described as the afterlife.

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Time and light play important roles in Thurfjell's exhibition. The glow of blue light evokes what in Japanese folklore is called the Hour of the Ox, the time when the boundary between the world of the living and the dead is at its most delicate. In the work The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits, various Japanese woodcuts have been brought together into a seamless animation where the viewer travels through a foggy landscape towards dusk. Projected onto a thin, blue fabric, the animation floats ghost-like in the center of the room.

In Ascent we can, as if spying through a peephole, study the symbolism of candlelight. A flame extinguishes, becomes smoke and rises. In the work Gates images are projected onto the wall from the dim light of a candle flame through panes of etched glass. Like icons, they are at once visually tangible yet elusive. Other works embrace the prosaic character of passing time. This very phenomenon is described on the four sides of a series of lanterns in the work Dusk: through a window a bird is seen leaving its perch on a branch; the lights of a house fade to dark, room by room, at the end of the day.

The work A Possibility reminds us of how small shifts can make something seemingly familiar seem alien. An acorn falling from nowhere becomes a message from an unknown place. The sound of an acorn dropping mysteriously into a bucket creates a soundscape whose rhythm, like a metronome, like a pulse, marks the passing of time.

Johan Thurfjell was born in 1970 in Solna. He currently lives and works in Tullgarn, Sweden. He has had solo shows at Kunstverein Springhornhof, Neuenkirchen (2020), Konstnärshuset, Stockholm (2019), Judiska Museet c/o Tyska kyrkan, Stockholm (2017), Uppsala Konstmuseum and Eskilstuna Konstmuseum (2011), Magasin III Stockholm Konsthall (2007), Färgfabriken in Stockholm (2004) and Index in Stockholm (2001). Recent group exhibitions include the 14th Small Sculpture Triennial, Fellbach (2019), Borås International Sculpture Biennale, Borås (2018), Traces of Existence, Jewish Museum c/o German Church, Stockholm (2017), If you tell me a story you add more, Galerie der Künstler, München and Espace Mira, Porto (2016, 2015), Suecia Contemporare, Uppsala Konstmuseum (2015), OSL Contemporary, Oslo (2013) and Thrice upon a time, Magasin 3, Stockholm (2010). Public commissions by Johan Thurfjell include Byggmästargruppen, Barkaby (2015), SiS Residential home for young people Råby, Lund, Poseidons gränd, Haning (2014), Danderyds Hospital, Ward 65 (2012), the walkway to Åregaraget in Vällingby (2008) and the main entrance to Münchenbryggeriet (2006), both in Stockholm. In June 2008 he was honored with an award from the Marianne and Sigvard Bernadottes Artist Fund.

Ascent, 2021, mixed material, HD-video, sound, table, table cloth, chair, circa 200 x 150 x 100 cm

Ascent, 2021

Ascent, 2021

Ascent, 2021

Ascent, 2021

Dusk (campfire) / Dusk (lodge) / Dusk (bird), 2022, decoupage, 30 x 20.5 x 20.5 cm

Dusk (campfire) / Dusk (lodge) / Dusk (bird), 2022

Dusk (lodge), 2022

Lövteatern, 2021, wood, mdf, paper, coil springs, copper plate, wire, oats, electrical motor, DedoLight, cotton fabric, model - 47 x 52 x 60 cm, high including legs 160 cm

Lövteatern, 2021

Lövteatern, 2021

Lövteatern, 2021

Installation view

Installation view

Gate 2, 2022, acrylic glass, birch, paraffin, 68 x 35 x 21 cm

Gate 3, 2022, acrylic glass, birch, paraffin, 68 x 35 x 21 cm

Gate 2, 2022, acrylic glass, birch, paraffin, 68 x 35 x 21 cm

Gate 1, 2022, acrylic glass, birch, paraffin, 68 x 35 x 21 cm

The hour of meeting evil spirits, 2022, HD video, 19:45 min, variable dimensions, edition of 3 + 1AP

En möjlighet, 2021, electric/mechanic devise, 50 hand carved acorns, zinc bucket, variable dimensions