Installations and storytelling
The American artist Swoon, whose real name is Caledonia Curry, started as a street artist in the industrial areas of Brooklyn and Manhattan around the year 2000. Today she works in public space as well as in museums and other places. She makes drawings, linocuts and cut paper patterns that are wheatpasted to walls. Her work usually consists of large portraits inspired by everyday people. It explores social and environmental issues and the climate changes of our time.
For this exhibition Swoon made a site-specific wall work, transforming both the Museum’s courtyard, the Birgit Rausing Gallery, and a tall stairwell in the older part of the Museum. During visits to Europe in 2016 Swoon met with refugees on the continent and in Malmö. The encounters with Maram, a young Syrian woman, and Daniel, a young man from Afghanistan, form the basis of the exhibition and both are portrayed in the work – a giant portrait of Maram watches over the Museum’s atrium. Their powerful stories, so much stronger than the stories told in the news, inspired Swoon to invite them to participate in a storytelling project, which Skissernas Museum organized in 2016-17 together with The Million Person Project.
In addition, Swoon is involved in community-based projects helping people after natural disasters and other crises. Through her Heliotrope Foundation, she has ongoing projects in New Orleans (after Katrina), in Haiti (after the earthquake) and in Braddock, Pennsylvania (a struggling former steel town). “We believe that the creative process can and should be a part of how we heal, rebuild and move forward after natural disasters, economic devastation, and moments of social crisis.” Watch her TEDx Talk about the process.
Swoon (born in 1977) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, where she also graduated from the Pratt Institute with a BA in Fine Arts in 2001. This is Swoon’s first solo exhibition in the Nordic countries. The storytelling project is presented at the Museum on February 2 and is organized with generous support from LMK-stiftelsen.