Scandinavian Pain Vernissage at Moderna Museet
Visitors at the opening of Scandinavian Pain at Moderna Museet Malmö witnessed an encounter between Edvard Munch and Ragnar Kjartansson as part of Malmö Nordic 2013. The exhibition opened on May 3rd and is on view all summer until August 25th. Kjartansson’s Scandinavian Pain is an eleven-metre long pink neon sculpture now installed inside the Moderna Museet Malmö on the roof of a newly built barn which contains more than 40 works by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. On May 2nd, Kjartansson performed ABBA’s melancholic song “The Winner Takes It All” on top of the barn. John Peter Nilsson, museum director of Moderna Museet Malmö, and curator of the exhibition speaks of Ragnar Kjartansson as “a melancholy jester who gets us to see Edvard Munch with fresh eyes. He himself will be appearing on the evening of 2 May, in a performance of ABBA’s ‘The Winner Takes it All’ from 1980, which is about the divorce between Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog. Edvard Munch’s melancholia is alive, more than 80 years on, as manifested in ABBA’s sad farewell to one another.”1
Scandinavian Pain is an homage to Scandinavian artists who put the pains of human existence at the heart of their work such as Edvard Munch, Ingmar Bergman, August Strindberg, or Henrik Ibsen. The experience of anxiety tormented Edvard Much throughout his life. He wrote in his diary: “The terror of life has pursued me ever since I first began to think” (Stang, Ragna, Edvard Munch: The Man and His Art, New York: Abbeville Press, inc., 1977, p.90). Munch used long brushstrokes to express raw human feelings onto canvas, conveying with colour and paint that for which words were inadequate; he stood at the edge of intense human emotions in order to give them a visual expression in works such as Madonna, Death Scene and Puberty, included in Scandinavian Pain. In Kjartansson’s installation, visitors will inevitably see Munch’s work in a different light.
Featured here are a selection of images from the opening at Moderna Museet Malmö.
For more information, please see the Moderna Museet Malmö website.
Photographer: Olle Enqvist
Images courtesy of Moderna Museet Malmö.
The exhibition is open through August 25th, 2013.
Moderna Museet, Gasverksgatan 22, Malmö, Sweden