Linnéa Sjöberg

The Abyss Festival 2019 - Art Exhibition - Linnéa Sjöberg

Sjöberg creates powerful and enigmatic sculptures, which are assembled with material from her childhood home in Strömsund, Sweden, as well as bits collected from her everyday life in Berlin and elsewhere. Bound together, found objects such as cloth, yarn, fur and
wool form a skeletal armature that is wrapped tightly in cowhide parchment, then bonded with screws and metal chains, that the artist eventually styles with her own piercings, studs, and necklaces.

Testifying of her ongoing interest in identity, and its relationship to time, her recent series, Inälvornas Dans (The Inward Dance), simultaneously integrates the past, contemplates the present and speculates with the future of the artist. Time functions formally and conceptually in Sjöberg’s works; it reveals the process of their making, while crystallizing and layering auto-biographic narratives.

Each of these assemblages evoke the limbs and organs of a body, arguably hers. Hung at eye level, the life-size figures also engage the viewer in an uncanny self-scrutiny; like portraits or anthropomorphic totems in which we might read our own image, we might perceive our own physical presence through the artist’s gesture.

Simultaneously sacred and profane, cowhide parchment is a highly symbolic material that allows to further understand the rich paradoxes the artist applies in her work; the original material for both Christian and Jewish holy scrolls, it’s also a waste product in today’s leather industry. This double function serves equally well the ritualistic approach that is so distinctive of Sjöberg’s practice, in which a series of repetitive gestures stemming from intimate biographic events (trivial or not) manage to develop into highly autonomous objects with universal value.