Everything represents. Nothing is

25 May - 25 August 2019


The exhibition focuses on Ingmar Bergman and the visual arts. It includes works by Maria Finn, Axel Fridell, Ragnar Kjartansson, Hanna Ljungh, P. A. Lundgren, Magdalen Von Rudy, Ylva Snöfrid and clips from Bergman film.

Last year, Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) would have turned 100 years. This was marked in Sweden and abroad with several cultural events. In the field of visual art, Gävle Art Center, together with the Ingmar Bergman Foundation in Stockholm, has organized an exhibition with contemporary artists, whose work in various ways is based on Bergman's artistic work. Furthermore, the exhibition points to Bergman's own relation to visual art.

Visual art is always present in Bergman's film and closely related to life itself. As soon as Bergman's film asks questions about what art means for man, he also asks the question about what it means to be human. Art is a force, a way to mirror life and seek answers to the big questions. Creating is a necessity in order to process and handle one's own incidents and the early trauma. At the same time, life is a theater, where people create a person and live in scenery. “Everything represents. Nothing is.” says the theater director in the film “After the rehearsal” from 1983. Bergman's film contains a persistent discussion about life which seems to contain several dimensions and the art serves as a key and a tool not only to get into these but also basically mirror and thus process and change them.

Axel Fridell (1894-1935) is considered one of Sweden's greatest graphic artists. In his short life, he lived periodically in Paris and London. He portrayed with great empathy the poor and vulnerable he met, just as he was inspired by Charles Dickens stories. Bergman had one of his etchings in his home. P.A. Lundgren (1911-2002) was one of the great Swedish film architects and scenographers. He collaborated with Ingmar Bergman on 18 films from the period 1946-1971. Specifically, he created the church images for the film “The Seventh Seal” with murals as a model.

Maria Finn (b. 1963) is a Swedish artist who lives and works in Denmark. She works with drawing, photography and film, where the theme is landscape, memory and hierarchical structures. She works with the meaning of the void in the picture, what is visible and what is thus lost. At the exhibition her video “The summer after Monica” is shown. Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976) is an Icelandic performance artist, painter, sculptor and musician who often uses the element of repetition in his performances and video installations. The atmosphere is a mixture of humor and seriousness in the analysis of life. The exhibition displays a track from the video work Scenes from a Western Culture.

Hanna Ljungh (b. 1974, USA) is based in Stockholm, where she works with video, photography and installations that thematically process the conditions for human existence, especially the relationship to nature. Her video work “Retribution” is part of the exhibition. Magdalena Von Rudy (born 1973) is originally Polish and now lives in Germany. She works investigatively with video art and has herself pointed to Bergman's film and Catholic masses as early sources of inspiration. Swedish Ylva Snöfrid (b. 1974) works with painting, installation and performance, and in her installation at the exhibition, many of the same questions are posed to the relationship viewer/audience and to the existence as with the film and theater director Bergman.

“Everything Represents. Nothing Is.” can be experienced 25 May - 25 August 2019 at KunstCentret Silkeborg Bad.

Gävle Konstcentrum in Sweden has organized the exhibition, which is shown in collaboration with The Foundation Ingmar Bergman, Fotografisk Center in Copenhagen and a number of lenders.