Hamlet, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart
Hamlet is a group exhibition departing from a synonymous work by Swedish artist Richard Vogel. Taking the form of a video-assemblage of found and staged footage, Vogel’s version of Hamlet (1997) is a melancholic and wry meditation on what it means to order a life. In his work, there is a continuous and ambivalent attention to the slippages between desire and survivalism – of the ways in which living, and especially living together, always involves attending to that which exceeds the necessary, but is still crucial. The tragedy as a designation in Vogel’s Hamlet is the on-going and troubling prospect of trying to arrive at a form of life which can not only be tolerated, but described as a purposeful, perhaps even good, life.
This negotiation, and its pleasures and burdens, runs through the works in the exhibition, including filmmaker and playwright Marie-Louise Ekman’s Barnförbjudet / Adults Only (1979). The characters of Ekman’s work continuously speak across, over and beside each other, seeking and only momentarily finding ways of being together. How do we approach contradictions that seem shameful or disputable, or awkward, or uncomfortable? The tragedy is a container, a place where contradictions can unfold, be externalised and observed: a question of intimacy and distance that holds a key role in the works in this exhibition and its form.
In the show, there is a series of spatial shifts and props conceived between artist Annika Eriksson (mother) and Künstlerhaus’ artistic director Fatima Hellberg (daughter), alongside moving image work by: Robert Ashley, Stephan Dillemuth & Nils Norman, Trisha Donnelly, Richard Vogel, and Marie-Louise Ekman with Kristina Abelli Elander.