Sofia Hultén


11.02.11 – 02.04.11 | Opening February 10th 2011, 6 - 9 PM

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Sofia Hultén. Pressure Drop
February 11th – March 26th, 2011
Pfingstweidstrasse 23 / Welti-Furrer Areal, 8005 Zürich
Opening reception: Thursday February 10th, 6 – 9 pm
‘I see things as whirling masses of “What could I be?”, “What have I been?”, “What is inherent in me?” Inside every particle there’s the potential for an incredible amount of energy.’                                                                    
Sofia Hultén, 2009
Sofia Hultén’s sculptural practice enquires into the nature of found objects, featuring them in the round or as the protagonists of photographs and videos, yet always in four dimensions, vibrating with their past and potential. She submits ordinary objects to strange activities, observing how they behave unmoored from their contexts.
Hultén’s art explores the relationship between destruction and creativity. Earlier works such as Points in a Room Condensing (2006), composed of a sequence of photographs in which domestic items are progressively hidden within larger ones, Mutual Annihilation (2008) in which an old knocked-about chest of drawers is laboriously restored and then painstakingly recreated back to its found state, and Fuck It Up and Start Again (2001), in which a guitar is repeatedly smashed and mended by the artist until it can no longer be held together, are acts of continual cancelling out. Each questions what it is that forms the essence of a thing, presenting the results of these hysterical experiments as sober, objective images that nonetheless across their series form visual riddles and rhythms, palindromes and time loops.
At RaebervonStenglin, Hultén is showing works that directly respond to the industrial character of the gallery and the extensive rebuilding undergone in the surrounding vicinity. Artificial Conglomerate features ‘stones’ made out of individual rocks found at street building sites. Each has been pulverised then reassembled back to its found shape using an earlier-made latex mould. This process, which might be continued indefinitely, witnesses the destruction of a thing followed by its restitution; its uncanny return to an original shape. Hultén evokes the concept of the Eternal Return — the notion that since there are only finite ways of rearranging atoms, everything must at some point happen again — yet does so with bathetic irony since what is being so particularly preserved is the random amorphousness of rubble. Past Particles, a video piece that will be shown in the office during the exhibition, further continues this language of possibility, unleashing a universe of incident out of a found toolbox. Its thousand plus contents, marked by use, circumstance and time, present an infinite number of past-lives, speaking of histories unknown to us and futures yet unwritten.
Sofia Hultén was born in 1972 in Sweden. She lives and works in Berlin. Her recent solo exhibitions ‘Past Particles’ Konrad Fischer Galerie, Berlin (2010), ‘Ninety-Nine Problems’ Meessen De Clercq, Brussels (2010),  ‘Back to Back’, Konrad Fischer Oben, Berlin (2009); ‘Drawn Onward, IKON Gallery Offsite, Perrot’s Folly, Birmingham, UK (2009); ‘Mutual Annihilation’, Künstlerhaus Bremen, (2008); ‘Familiars’, IKON Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2007); and ‘You Do Voodoo You Do’, Kunstverein Nürnberg (2007). 


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