Malmö Konsthall



An open and investigative quality coupled with bold juxtapositions of unconventional materials are recurring characteristics in Kirsten Ortwed's work. She uses prefabricated materials, objects that we encounter in our everyday lives, but also materials used in classical sculpture: plaster, wax, and bronze. One is constantly surprised by the different qualities that Ortwed draws out of the materials. For example, a certain form can make us think that it is composed of clay when in fact it is made of sandblasted aluminium. What is fluid in one context becomes solid or vice versa, the functional passes over into the useless, the sublime finds itself in an exchange with the banal. In these dialogues, time becomes a factor to take into account. This raises certain questions. Is this a kind of time that is contained within the individual work? Or is it rather the 'spatialized time' that we feel exists in the relation between the various works sharing the space, that is to say between the streams of energy that connect the various works with each other and also to the viewer?

Even as a student, Kirsten Ortwed always went her own way, discovering, trying, questioning and perceiving things from alternative viewpoints. A few years ago, in response to the question of where she finds herself within the current art scene (i.e. in relation to Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and feminist art), she answered "On the third floor, first door to the right."

Ortwed has lived and worked in Germany and Italy since 1982. She was born in Copenhagen in 1948 and studied sculpture at the Art Academy in Copenhagen from 1972 to 1975. Ortwed's teachers at the Art Academy, professors Arthur Kopcke and Gunnar Aagaard Andersen, both emphasized the artwork's relation to the surrounding space, the former as a spokesperson for Conceptual Art and the latter for formally experimental art. This is the source of Kirsten Ortwed's interest in the interaction between the work and its spatial environment.

On 17 November 1998 Stockholm's Culture and Sports Association announced
Ortwed the winner of a competition to design a memorial to Raoul Wallenberg
for the Raoul Wallenberg Square at Nybroviken in Stockholm. She represented
Denmark at the Venice Biennial in 1997.



Lawrence Weiner was born in 1942 in the Bronx, New York City. After school in New York, Weiner spent the late 50s and early 60s travelling through the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. He has been based in New York City since, although he spends part of every year on his boat in Amsterdam.

According to Lawrence Weiner, his first appearance as an artist took place in 1960 in Mill Valley, California. He arranged a series of explosions in the ground, which together with the resulting craters could be seen as a very early example of the kind of work that became known as Land Art and which was pursued by other artists starting around 1970.

Back in New York, Weiner took up painting, where he would allow the audience to determine his technique, format, colors, and form. Already in 1969, Weiner laid down the principles for his work in an often-cited declaration which he has stood by ever since:



The works that Weiner did at that time took the form of sentences such as "ONE
that describe activities associated with either painting or sculpture. Some of them, such as "A FIELD CRATERED BY STRUCTURED SIMULTANEOUS TNT EXPLOSIONS," referred to Weiner's earlier work, but as he had made clear in the third part of his declaration, he never felt compelled to actually carry out the activities he described in words. It was in fact this sentence, "The work need not be built," that constituted the main difference between Weiner's work and everything that had happened before in the visual arts. By making his art using only words, Weiner explicitly redefined art, at least in his own practice, so that it was not confined to being a particular object made by an artist or according to the artist's instructions. Instead, art became a connecting structure dependent on the receiver or viewer. Through this, Weiner became one of the founders of what has become known as Conceptual Art.



Born 1941 in Long Beach, California

After studying mathematics and architecture for three years at California State
University, Barry Le Va began studying art at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles
and received a degree in 1967. In the 70s, he taught sculpture at Princeton and
Yale universities.

Barry Le Va has worked and lived in New York City for more than two decades.

Barry Le Va's work, like Richard Serra's and the early sculptures of Carl André's, is about placing the viewer within the work rather than keeping him or her outside it. The viewer is in the space and influences the sculpture. He or she thereby becomes a part of the experience by moving through the work, looking at each part, examining the Internal relation between the parts (that is to say the field of tension that each part acquires in relation to the other parts) and finding out how and to what extent the balance between the parts is maintained as the viewer shifts position and viewpoint. The experience is strengthened if the work gives the impression of being in a delicate balance or in a state of restrained and unrealized transformation, both physically and conceptually. By being engaged in this way, the viewer is brought into dialogue with the work and the artist.

When the subject of painting is brought up, Barry Le Va says that he has never understood when a painting is finished, which is why he does not paint. He dislikes the idea of a completed artwork, the idea of a state of completion.

The artist's studies in architecture have contributed to developing his sensitivity toward space, presence, volume, form, force fields, relations, and tension. Barry Le Va's sculptures are comprised of elements that he can constantly change by varying their arrangement, spatial relations, content and so on. The sculptures are therefore never completed. The artist starts with a set of elements and an open score or manuscript that he follows, and proceeds by testing things out, eliminating, making adjustments, and producing new arrangements. Barry Le Va says that "There's no sense in worrying about what it's going to look like beforehand. If you have your elements that mean something, it's arranging them to focus in on what you want them to do: it's three-dimensional work, but it's closer to musical composition."



A naked, talking lightbulb, photographs of trash piles, dolls with grimacing faces, huge eyes hovering freely in the room or lying in a corner. These are some of Tony Oursler's works at the Malmo Konsthall.

Tony Oursler is fascinated by the endless potential of new technology. He made his first video, "Joe, Joe's Transexual Brother and Joe's Woman", in 1976. Since then he has continued to explore and work with both video and other media, often in combination with each other. His great interest in the artistic possibilities of new technology has led him to combine separate media and techniques in an attempt to expand the definition of different media beyond their traditional areas of use.

One result of this curiosity about transcending boundaries - between forms of literature, language, film and theatre - is "fantastic Prayers", a CD-ROM made in co-operation with Constance DeJong and Stephen Vitiello: Tony Oursler produced the pictures, DeJong the texts and Vitiello the music. "Fantastic Prayers" opens a series of small private worlds; stories are told. The observer turns into the user, and becomes active.

The photographs work in a different way. They are descriptions, not narratives. The exhibition includes a number of photographs of trash piles, primarily in New York, but also in other places in the United States and Asia. The trash piles are "unconscious sculptures". According to Tony Oursler; two things make something into a sculpture: the material it is made from and the way the material is used. In the case of the trash piles, where the artist has influenced neither the choice of material nor the way it is used, he takes on another role: that of the passer-by, the observer. Drawing on experiences, memory, etc., he sees, documents and makes visible the trash piles, the sculptures.

Tony Oursler himself is constantly present in his work - a complex figure who takes on an endless series of roles, professions and characteristics. He is a film director, cameraman, inventor, writer, technician and, above all, an actor. In this way Tony Oursler journeys between the outer and inner worlds.

Recurring themes in his later work are violence, television, the mass media, sex, drugs, mental illness, good versus evil, love, chaos, pop culture, religion and Catholicism, pollution, etc. His exhibition at the Malmo Art Museum encom-passes videos, dolls, photos, drawings, viruses, talking light, heads and eyes.

Tony Oursler was born in New York in 1957. He trained at the California Institute for the Arts, but is now back living and working in New York.




Fifty-four years will soon have passed since the end of the Second World War and the first shocking revelations about the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. At that time it was felt to be almost impossible to depict the Holocaust either in writing or through pictures. The gruesome evidence of human cruelty surpassed any possible representation of it.

What was once the present has become history. When we gather impressions today they come to us second or third-hand - from books, reportage, or through films such as Schindler's List - and we raise memorials in cities far away from the places where the crimes took place. But the sites of the concentration camps still exist. They have also become memorials. There, with patience, we can become absorbed in reflection and listen in silence to the rattling noises, the voices, and the cries.

Today we have a great need to remember the reality of the Holocaust. In 1987 the photographer Dirk Reinartz began documenting the journey of sorrow: Dachau, Auschwitz, Ravensbruck, Treblinka....The list is a long one. Seven years later he had compiled a series of 200 black-and-white photographs of the remains of the 24 death camps. The similarities between the remains at the different places - the presence everywhere of railway tracks, barbed wire, concrete, windowless walls, and the absence of details - testifie to an inhuman mechanisation and the total institutionalisation of power and cruelty.

Dirk Reinartz began his photographic journey as a private project to convey to his son, born long after the war, the horrific reality of the past. Anyone who has seen these pictures of the deathly stillness of these places that were once concentration camps, the factories of death, can never repress their memory.

Dirk Reinartz, born in 1947 in Aachen, Germany, lives in Buxtehude near Hamburg. He works as a freelance photographer and has published several books of photographs. The book containing photographs from the Totenstill exhibition is his sixth.

Malmö Konsthall