Magnus Thierfelder Present tense, sounding like an echo 15/1 - 28/2



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It is said that walking nurtures creative thinking, that too much sitting down is unhealthy and will kill you. It is said that some sharks need to swim to be able to breath. An artistic practice based on walking ? a healthy practice? Or, the only way to cope with what is, with the situation you are in.

It is somewhere along these lines I start to think of the artistic practice of Magnus Thierfelder. A practice that stems from walking, from movement, from the body, but without using the walk itself or the body as the material or the end point for his work. He walks merely out of necessity ? to be able to breath. His work is a re-articulation of objects, situations and events found along these walks.


You walk, then you stop. You take pictures and pick up things you find. Registering that which catches your eyes, the offbeat things and situations. You collect images and impressions. You locate sites, interesting settings for narratives to be enacted. Like stages. You spend a lot of time observing the topography of the city. Dwelling on the details. Walking. Thinking. You walk, but with no specific goal. Your body is the vehicle which also creates the time line in a continuing narrative that slowly unravels before you in pace with your footsteps. You collect things, but not with a clear motive of what to make of or with them. Different characters, like actors, you bring back to your studio. You give them parts in short animated loops. You arrange and rearrange. You push them to articulate something else than what they are, something about us, something about the world in which they are part of - in which we live.

A pair of shoes holding two notes. A falling scale of concrete squares nailed to the wall ? like a dissolving echo. A weightless brick stone. A broken carpenter's pen on a plinth. A breathing plastic bag. A circle with a wedge cut through. A rebar (spine) exposed in pieces. A carnival of small mundane things ? a celebration of urban particles ? a protest or just things on their way to work. These works, these arrangements, collages, situations caught in an act of balance. In between moments, just before or just after. Frozen moments. Movement described through the stillness of objects. Time captured and repeated. Loops. Like the everyday. It is in the everyday where it all happens. It is in the loop that everything reveals itself. In the details things are being formulated. Broken things. Broken systems. Things turned upside down and inside out. Subterranean activities.


If you put your ear to the concrete of the pavement and listen -  you will hear it -  the blood system of the city. Like a distant beat. A rhythm. A pulse. When spending a lot of time in the landscape of the city it feels like this subterranean pulse slowly starts to sync with your heart beat. You are struck by a sensation of being part of a larger system. Like a corpuscle in the flow of blood through the circulatory system of an organism. A small entity in a larger system of things, actions and stories. Like a screw in a 50-story building or a pipe connection in the sewer system of a city.


This exhibition, these in-between moments, situations and objects, form new narratives and statements. They tell us something about the time we live in, what it means to be human. Like in the fable, things are revealed in the shape of something else but with a sense of humor close at hand. A nail, a screw, a wedge etc. Mundane things, but also the grammar of science. Small things with very different, but specific, qualities and characters.

Take the wedge, for example ? it tilts things. It changes the perspective, but also straightens things up ? it can make a slanting horizon horizontal. It can break things - it cuts through and opens up. And the screw. It is on the screw that everything rests ? the weight of the building, the weight of the content in the building.  The screw holds things together, it creates frames ? structures, walls, borders ? and if it is lost, things will start to fall apart and new things can be formed.

These small things are here given a voice of their own and they start telling us an uncanny story, told in the same pace of our footsteps as we walk through the exhibition.

Text by Carl Lindh

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