Joakim Derlow

Artist from Sweden with outposts in Amsterdam and Stockholm.

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Lend my eyes for a moment and see; A ghastly tarp in a well-earned sleep, a glove left on the ground in a diva-like pose or a sling slung around in dancing distress. This is how I read the things around me. Objects are made into characters and moved through their stage-like surroundings by a story. I would call it: A gestalt and its habitat. A perceptive stimulus crucial to how my works came to be.

The process is very similar to when I try to convey my perception to an audience within a certain space. I plant with planned proximity works of suggestive properties. Those are words, paintings, publications and drawings that stand for possibilities of: what happened, could or will happen. Next to them are objects (crafted, assembled or found) of certain character whose touch and physical presence stand for reality. It is together from this possibility of events and realness of material that the notion of a narrative emerges. A stage-like phenomena with one or several characters caught in the middle.

What the character says and does is directed by me, yet fully dependent on the reception of an audience. Their view and reading is either left untouched or bluntly manipulated, often through the objects’ veiled agenda. This setting of contenders rhymes with the themes that so often occupy my field of work. It is through military perception and its peculiar connection to the experience of the art space that my work has found its current ground. Camouflage, observation techniques and the hierarchies for seeing in the modernist venue have formed characters that either escape or haunt our eyes.  

Whatever the gestalt or habitat - One wanders my exhibitions like the urban battlefield - one step at the time. Fascination and dismay conjoined. Eyes awakened through lessons in seeing.