Happy for No Reason
Opening Friday, November 9, 5–8 PM
Happy for No Reason explores how different human ideals have shifted through history, focusing on topics such as ideology, class, and gender. It uses images from art history and popular culture to draw parallels between antiquity and the present. What is a good person and a good citizen – and who decides that? What makes us happy, and is that smile of yours really real?
The exhibition features a series of large-scale textile pieces in patchwork technique. The small square pixels that make up the works are reminiscent of the images and photo streams of the digital age, but also of an older predecessor: Jacquard’s punch-card guided power loom. The material is often synthetic – lining fabric, fake leather, micro satin, and stretchy, glossy textiles that are often considered a bit ugly or cheap looking and thus contradict the established concept of “good taste.” Images based on archeological finds and internet excavations meet textile interpretations of self-help books with titles like Time Tactics of Very Successful People and How to Win Friends and Influence People. Transferred into a new context, the bizarre tone appears quite obvious and humoristic – but what do we find if we look beneath the surface?
Anna Nordström (b. 1984) is based in Stockholm and was educated at Konstfack, the University of Arts, Crafts and Design (Stockholm), and at the Maryland Institute College of Art/MICA (Baltimore). She is one of the founders of Den Nya Kvinnogruppen/DNK (the New Women’s Group), an artist collective working with art, crafts, and feminist strategies. Previous presentations of her work include solo exhibitions at Hälsinglands Museum (2018), Hangmen Projects (2018), and Länsmuseet Gävleborg (2014) and group exhibitions such as Textila Undertexter (Textile Subtexts) at Malmö Konstmuseum (2017) and Marabouparken konsthall (2016).