The Moderna Exhibition 2014: Society Acts, Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden

Every four years, the Moderna Exhibition presents an inventory of Swedish contemporary art, however this year the the focus is not only on Swedish, but contemporary art from six other Baltic countries; Finland, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

In total, 38 artists and artist groups are participating in this year’s Moderna Exhibition, which is subtitled Society Acts, referring to both ‘actions’ and to the verb ‘to act.’ Several of the featured artists and works discuss or engage in performative practices where issues of private and collective identities, political expressions and personal reflections are materialised. Language and migration, the boundary between private and public, and between fact and fiction, are other subjects that occur frequently in the exhibition.

Society Acts fills the entire Moderna Museet Malmö building and spaces beyond, for example Lea Porsager’s The Golden Insider – 81 Inflated Facets (2014) spreads across the square outside of the museum, and Johanna Gustafsson Fürst shows her site-specific work White Pillars (2014) at Möllevångstorget, in a commentary on the social structure and the boundary between the public and private domain.

Social Acts aims to juxtapose social questions with personal reflections and historical comments, moving between concrete political themes and activism and more abstract, philosophical approaches to society and the contemporary era. Several of the exhibitions works have been especially commissioned, although to provide a historical backdrop, older works by artists such as Tadeusz Kantor and Björn Lövin appear alongside and emphasise the complexity of the exhibition. In the same way that society interacts on the basis of historic experiences and contemporary demands, the artists in the exhibition operate between their own experiences and hopes.

The Moderna Exhibition 2014: Society Acts, until 25 January 2015, Moderna Museet Malmö, Ola Billgrens plats 2–4, 211 29 Malmö, Sweden

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1. Lea Porsager, The Golden Insider – 81 Inflated Facets (2014). Courtesy of the artist and Moderna Museet Malmö.