Bonniers Konsthall is proud to present There Is a Plan for This, Swedish artist Éva Mag’s most extensive exhibition to date. Mag examines issues of vulnerability and strength in asking how do you stand up straight in the world and, having stood up, how do you remain standing through life?
At Bonniers Konsthall, Mag takes on the entire space with material that is new to her. The work, There Is a Plan for This, consists of an immense amount of things, from mortuary freezers to old chairs, broken canoes, motor parts and heaps of random metal. Mag has borrowed the material from her father, where on a small piece of land outside Stockholm he has for many years collected and saved things that others have discarded. Throughout the exhibition someone will be at work, at times the artist herself, with organizing all the stuff. At first the work centered around Mag’s desire to tidy up, but it has come to express something else. Rather than cleaning, Mag’s sorting is a loving act of care.
The exhibition also includes Mag’s new film DEAD MATTER MOVES, recorded during the namesake performance presented at Performa 19, New York. The film shows sections of the work and choreography as performed by ten dancers. Out of instructions from Mag, each dancer worked with a human figure made of clay in an investigation of collective labor and the challenges a person may face in life: alone or together. For the piece, Mag received an honorary mention by the Malcolm McLaren Award jury, with the citation: “Mag’s in-process sculptures, made from wet clay by performers, with overwhelming tenderness, also evoked a charged sense of protection and guardianship of human beings of and for one another, so relevant to our times.”
The exhibition, it must be said, opens at a unique moment. In light of the ongoing pandemic the decision to keep Bonniers Konsthall as open as we can has raised questions. Questions we have asked ourselves are: what is the role of an art institution during a societal crisis, what happens to art during such a time and what is our role in relation to cultural workers whose socio-economic circumstances are increasingly precarious? We fully understand that the majority of people are staying at home during these days and we recommend that everyone follows the Swedish Public Health Authority’s guidelines. On a daily basis we review how we receive visitors; for example, we are currently asking everyone to kindly make a booking, taking only a few people at a time. Our wish is for art to remain a part of society, even when visitor numbers run low. That we remain open is still more than a symbolic act. The crisis we now see in our cultural sector is one of the worst in modern times. Had we cancelled and closed it would have had severe financial repercussions for many around us. As one of Sweden’s largest institutions for contemporary art we know our place in the ecology and economy of culture. With all necessary precautions implemented, there are for us many reasons to be open and active.
About Éva Mag
Éva Mag was born in 1979 in Transylvania, Romania and grew up outside Stockholm, Sweden, where she has become one of her generation’s most acclaimed artists. Previous exhibitions include Wanås Konst (2017), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2018) and Performa 19, New York (2019). She is a recipient of the Åke Andrén Foundation grant (2017).
Alongside this exhibition Bonniers Konsthall has produced Éva Mag’s first major publication. Richly illustrated and with a monographic scope it includes essays by among others Elisabeth Millqvist, Co-Director and Artistic Director, Wanås Konst, and Kathy Noble, Senior Curator, Performa. Read Standing with Éva Mag, a brief text by Artistic Director and Curator Theodor Ringborg, Bonniers Konsthall.
SE-113 90 Stockholm, Sweden