A memory from the archive, this All Saints’ Day.
Pillars – works 1995 – 1999 is an exhibition in monumental format that was exhibited at The Royal Academy of Arts, Stockholm, in 1999.
It was one of Claes Eklundh’s so far most challenging exhibitions to curate, construct and install, as each of the eight Pillars measures 3.4 meters.
22 years have passed but the intensity that was in the great main hall still lingers.
The Artist Jan Håfström wrote a poignant review in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter under the heading: Faces forcing us to see. A text that is highly applicable to CE’s artistic work in general.
“Claes Eklundh’s work affects me deeply. It has been a long time since I saw paintings so fraught with aggression and erotic ardour in Sweden. As a viewer I feel seduced and kicked out at the same time. All these strangers staring at med from the walls, pleading with me or sticking out their tongues, asking me to go to hell. Or simply turning their backs on me. What emerges is the image of a human being who left the Swedish welfare state long ago. It is this person he forces us to see. We are confronted with a choice: to remain at home or to risk leaving it. //
These violent outbursts have but one overriding aim: to allow us the access to ourselves. To became who we are. //
Yet in the eyes of a younger generation, with often little sense of history, Claes Eklundh might appear unfashionable and inaccessible, but the question is whether this is a disadvantage. To whom is it worth listening? To those speaking all at once or to the one who just left the room?”