Paadmaan Projects with artist Rouzbeh Akhbari approached Supermarket's creative directors to answer several questions about the art fair and the artist-run art scene in general.
Paadmaan (meaning ‘safeguard’ in Farsi) is an independent artist-run platform for contemporary art with an interdisciplinary approach based in Tehran, Iran, established in 2018. Through a variety of curatorial programming, Paadmaan seeks to expand on existing discourses surrounding contemporary art within various Iranian communities and supporting their input – transforming it into output.
Paadmaan aims to develop networking locally and internationally and improve the collective in the contemporary art scene by focusing on research, dialogue and presentation. Paadmaan promotes these by organising exhibitions, events, artist residencies, lectures, screenings, publications and various interactions throughout Iran and abroad.
‘Paadmaan Video Event’ is an international annual video event in Tehran, seeking to explore video documentation of recent contemporary works of art (installation, performance, new media), University of Art, Tehran, December 2019, photo: Paadmaan projects
NONSNS (needed ordinary naive speculative new self-organisation) is an independent organisation of three artists: Ruslan Polanin, Masha Cheloyants and Gosha Golitsyn. The NONSNS art group is based in a studio on the territory of the former NIIDAR factory and represents the Moscow art underground as an artistic environment and a live process in which new ways of developing modern conceptual art are thought up and born.
Artists from NONSNS work with various mediums and reassemble their group identities by using of mass culture patterns but always finding ways for their activities outside the mainstream of the art industry. Their artworks which are often absurd and not always recognized as art usually are included into everyday life.
Official NONSNS TV channel:
All images courtesy of NONSNS.
AnnaLeena Prykäri, ‘52 Shades Of Shame’, latex sheets, 40 x 36 x 21 cm, 2016
Flat Octopus is one of the associate galleries at Supermarket 2020. Associate galleries are artist-run initiatives around Stockholm that exhibit in their own venues as a part of Supermarket’s programme.
For Supermarket 2020 Flat Octopus intends to present exhibition ‘Harness’ by AnnaLeena Prykäri (FI). In her cross disciplinary practice Prykäri researches the interconnections between topics of mental illness and BDSM. The foundation for her work is built on psychological, mental and emotional states, where human nature and desires play the key roles. Prykäri collects and archives lived experiences and emotions. Consisting layers, questions, states and interconnections, leaving space for fantasy and imaginary experience.
AnnaLeena Prykäri, ‘Fix Me?’, plaster, size and form variable, total amount of objects: 180–190, 2019
The exhibition Harness contains several works: installation ‘Fix Me’, sculpture ‘52 Shades Of Shame’, and a performance lecture ‘From a Caretakers archive; to be handled with aftercare’. The works explore the themes of body control, power roles, desire, happiness and care in various forms. The body is not seen only in its physical sense — translated into artworks as objects and physical installations — but also as a performative tool, and a body as a structural form.
AnnaLeena Prykäri (b. 1985 in Tornio, Finland) is a cross disciplinary artist currently based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has a BFA and MFA degree from Konstfack University. Her work has been exhibited in various venues and at festivals in Sweden, Finland and the USA.
Flat Octopus is an international artist- and curator-run collective in Stockholm, Sweden, started in 2019. Flat Octopus organises exhibitions in different apartments located in Stockholm and Uppsala, as well as external collaborations and projects.
At Supermarket 2020 tm•gallery exhibits four contemporary painters:
Matilda Enegren (b. 1989 in Vaasa, lives in Helsinki)
Kaija Hinkula (b. 1984 in Oulu, lives in Oulu and in Helsinki)
Arto Korhonen (b. 1963 in Rantasalmi, lives in Helsinki
Joel Slotte (b. 1987 in Kokkola, lives in Helsinki)
Matilda Enegren, ‘Storgatan’, watercolour on paper, 154 x 116 cm, 2019
Matilda Enegren arbetar med figurativt måleri och målar porträtt av sig själv och andra, detaljer ur urbana miljöer och bortvända ungdomar i grupp. Målningarna är utsnitt ur tillvaron, sådant hon fastnat för och vill avbilda genom ihållande observation.
Kaija Hinkula, ‘Cube 3’, oil and spray paint on plexiglass, 70 x 50 cm, 2019
Kaija Hinkula is inspired by the process of the painting – the physical appearance and movement-like metamorphosis of paint on the surface of a sheet. Her aim is to build abstract slow motion reflecting on existence while highlighting the paint matter and the painting event. Her works are associated to materiality, movement and circulation, the technic is oil on different materials and installation.
Arto Korhonen, ‘Caps’, watercolour on paper, 2017, photo: Anna Autio
Arto Korhonen combines in an innovative way traditional watercolor painting with ordinary, daily urban imagery and makes it available to a wider audience. He says: I want to use watercolor, and build installations that show, that crafts based on old technology, make the contemporary phenomena visible in an interesting way.
Joel Slotte, 'Lovesick man and a carnation', oil on canvas, 73 cm x 61 cm, 2020
Joel Slotte is a Helsinki-based artist working in oil painting, drawing and ceramics. His work explores traditions within image-making, indiscriminate sensuality and the aesthetisizing of anecdotes from everyday life.
tm•galleria, located in the center of Helsinki, has a versatile profile focusing on new Finnish painting. The gallery is managed by Finnish Painters’ Union, which is a nationwide artists’ association, and with about 1300 members the biggest artists’ association in Finland. The association also organises exhibitions in collaboration with art museums and other institutions. Every year in March the association organises The Sales Event at Cable Factory, Helsinki. During the event, almost 1700 works by about 600 artists from all over Finland are on display.
Photograph of a painting of Anna Ekros (in progress) by Pontus Raud, oil pastel on paper, 2019
9.45 AM In my studio by the desk reading notes from classes I took in 2015, desperately looking for inspiration. It seems as if I didn't absorb what I noted down. I’m constantly surprised. “The potency of all means toward emancipation is dependent on time,” I read. “Provocation poking fabrication tends to get swallowed and labelled turning into calculated rudeness, behaviors already accounted for.” Scribbled in the margins in handwriting that is even less legible I read “Improvisation can no longer be punk. Even if Lydia Lunch claims her right to wear the same clothes she did 30 years ago no one is looking her way twice. Modernism and postmodernism, punks, hippies and jazz saxophonists had their moments, sometimes successfully conveying a truth twining about a gesture like ivy around a wall. But when the gesture has become obsolete, the truth is unable to communicate. A potent ride is needed for its translation.” I close the notebook. Who’s that antifeminist 22 year old hating on jazz?
10.45 My younger sister is coming by for lunch. She decides to help me unclutter my Instagram account. I catch myself being sentimental. I truly believe that what I think is the real me will appear virtually through my content. She is ruthless. I’m like DON’T delete that pic. That's Felix; the cat, remember? And she’s like what's your problem, is it a photo or the actual pet cat? I’m thinking to myself that I sort of lost the understanding of the difference. The last step in becoming a cyborg is complete.
Felix the housecat, photo by Anna Ekros 2006
1 PM My sister says bye and I turn around in my armchair and open a book from the pile on my desk. On the second page of In Plato's Cave Susan Sontag is making a differentiation between photography and other kinds of representation. Written statements, drawings and paintings she defines as interpretations of the world. Photographs on the other hand “seem to be a piece of the world.” On the same page Sontag defines photographs as being “perhaps the most mythical of all objects that make up, and thicken, the environment we recognize as modern.”
3 PM What is the difference between what something is and what something seems to be? And what is the difference between magic and myth? A quick google search points me toward myth being a network of stories where the origin of the stories is unknown and magic has more to do with craft. I recall that in the first book of Hauser’s A Social History of Art he explains that, from the very beginning, art was pure magic. The mythological feature of art appeared later, with the photograph.
3.15 PM I look at pictures of Benjamin wearing Kafka's hat in Silverman’s The Miracle of Analogy and realise that I am not ready to write anything on this topic. Why didn’t I choose to write something on Giotto instead.
3.30 PM I open my laptop and type “I don’t see the difference between real and fabricated. My mind turns photographs into cats.” What I don’t realise is that the photograph led me to see the inner workings of my perception. I keep thinking about the difference between magic and myth. A magician one can debunk by sneaking in behind the theatre curtain. But myth is harder to punctuate due to absence of logical order to examine. Even if I don’t believe in the stories, they still seem true and it doesn't hurt to avoid placing my keys on the table. How to claim back my perception from the screen and reality from my keychain?”
5 PM I desperately go through notes from some old English Literature class to find inspiration. “Auerbach when writing about Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse is pointing out that throughout the novel, occurrences are only accounted for by what the occasion releases within the characters,” I read from my own scribbles. “To these characters objects are not as important as feelings.” That’s exactly the way I navigate the world, I think to myself. Feelings caused by a cat or a photograph are the same therefore the objects are exchangeable. I turn to my laptop “The emancipatory gesture of modernism was to break out of fabricated figurative illusion by examining the material of which things consisted, in the case of Woolf, material being perception itself. What figurative illusion, beyond social norms and identity, is there to break out of today? Is there a way to ask that question without being cynical?
6 PM. I call my friend the dancer to ask her something about choreography. She says choreography is abusive by default. Like composition? I ask. I know nothing about music, she responds. I hear the interior mechanical movements of the clock in the other room. Tick tock tick tock. Ok thanks. I hang up.
Profile picture from social media, photo by Anna Ekros 2019
7.30 PM. In front of another desk, this one at home. I scroll through notes on my laptop. In the art history folder I find one named PHOTOGRAPHY_BACON. I think to myself as I open the document that my categorisation skills are horrific. The note is for my friend Miriam relating to a conversation about one of her poems. I read “Francis Bacon, in that book The Brutality of Facts, where he is interviewed by David Sylvester, speaks of how he uses photographs when he is painting. Bacon is pointing out the skewed perspective that the lenses in a camera almost inevitably create. He is trying to catch the perspective through painting. The skewed perspective caused by the poorly optimized lenses is one that the eye on its own is correcting and unconsciously we bridge the logical gap of the photograph. Asking us to kindly compensate for the logical absences, the photograph will not reveal the way in which it creates illusion. I recall that Bacon saw this as violence against the human mind.” I close the document. In some way then, I’m thinking, staring out the window; photography, just like myth, performs violence on its readers. But is this asymmetrical relationship between the photograph and the viewer inevitable?
9 PM I open an empty document and begin typing. “Through using photographs as models for paintings Bacon was creating a figuration of a mythological abstraction, pointing out what is truly there. This to continue the dialectical movement between abstraction and figuration and not allow one abstraction to dominate the representation of human perception.” I look out the window. The neighbor is walking his small white dog. They cross the street and disappear behind a few trees. I type “While montages of algorithms piled upon one another build a thicker veil, the progress of Silverman’s photograph is unstoppable unless we decide it isn’t.” I look outside again. There are five trees, the low branches move with the evening breeze. “Do I really have to ask myself if the truth exists? Finding the right gesture, I suppose the question, not the gesture, would be rendered obsolete.” I close the laptop and leave the room.
03.30 AM A song filled to the brink with joy and desire is heard through the bedroom window. Can you hear the blackbird I say and my lover laughs his head off. You sound like the lamest person in a romcom he says and asks me to shut up. I’m thinking of why he’s relating everything beautiful (or, to him, abnormal) to movies. OMG she was so hot, and came up to me, like in a movie. OMG the guy tried to take my watch, it was like in a movie.
9 AM While driving, I ask the compound of algorithms that translate words into writing in my phone to text my sister “You were right, my Instagram account is not me, it just seems to be, and the realisation that I don’t know the difference is what protects me from being a cyborg, right?” Felix is not on my screen. He is in a box being eaten by worms. The blackbird outside my window this morning was very much alive though. Getting rid of reality I would lose both cats and birds, and that's a price I am not willing to pay, you get me?
9.02 She replies “Anna, it's 9 in the morning on a Saturday shut the fuck up.”
9.03 I respond 😘
I'm Happier Now, A video of my sister miming with a filter over her face by Lovisa Garner 2019
Anna Ekros (born 1988) is a visual artist, writer and art historian specialised in photography. She holds an MFA from International Center of Photography/Bard College and an MA in Critical Theory and the Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Ekros was educated by masters such as Anders Petersen, Halil Koyutürk and later Nan Goldin. She has an interest in truth in relation to imagery, curious of the moments where the edges of the medium become visible. As a part of the Supermarket team she works as photography and education coordinator.