Magnus Bärtås, De besvikna och förorättade (The Disappointed and Wronged), 1994- © Magnus Bärtås. Varierande mått (stearin, tråd). Photo: Johan Fowelin

Magnus Bärtås

What is a narrative? What is it that makes a story worth telling? With an approach based on conceptual methods, Magnus Bärtås explores our understanding of narrative construction, historiography and hierarchies of values – relatively minor tales about the daily occurrences that combine to form our lives are frequently his starting point. Who is it who tells someone’s story and how is it decided what it will contain?

In De besvikna och förorättade (The Disappointed and Wronged), we encounter a large number of compressed texts and stearin portraits. Each text represents a particular case that has been depicted in the press, in which an individual feels wronged. The casual, short-lived, format of the daily newspaper is replaced by a presentation in which the printing ink of the images has been transferred to stearin. The impression made is one that is fragile but also sanctified and eternal. The work incarnates the vulnerability of the individual and succeeds in laying bare the conviction of being a victim of the evil, ignorance and misinterpretation of the more powerful opponent.

Magnus Bärtås Photo: Johan Fowelin 

Magnus Bärtås

Born 1962 in Jönköping.
Lives and works in Stockholm.

Selected solo exhibitions

True stories, Norrtälje Konsthall, Norrtälje

Buildings and stories, Passagen, Linköping Konstmuseum, Jönköpings läns museum

Magnus Bärtås, Works

Gävle Konstcentrum, Gävle

Selected group exhibitions

Delayed on Time, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb [HR]

Reshape, IASPIS, 50th Venice Biennale, Venedig/Venice [IT]

Little Big Stories, The National Library, Skopje [MK]/ Riksarkivet, Stockholm

Selected bibliography

Peio Aguirre, “Who is Who?”, Agence Topo, Montreal, 2005 ( peio_eng.html).

Suzana Milevska, “Stories About the Selves”, Magnus Bärtås 1990–, Gävle Konstcentrum, Gävle, 2000.

Annika Hansson Wretman, “The Art of Reinventing an Image”, Young and Serious – The Recycled Image, Studio of Young Artist Association, Budapest, 1999.

More about this exhibition