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My Country (Somewhere in Sweden)

Ann-Sofi Sidén, My Country (Somewhere in Sweden), 2010 4-channel HD video Length: 38 min Video filmed by: José Figueroa, Paul Giangrossi 2009 © Ann-Sofi Sidén. Courtesy Barbara Thumm, Christian Larsen Gallery Stockholm.

Ann-Sofi Sidén

A journey that takes six hours by car can take 38 days on horseback. Ann-Sofi Sidén’s new video installation My Country (Somewhere in Sweden) (2010) is based on material filmed for the artist on a ride from Stockholm to Skåne in the autumn of 2009. Carried by a dense soundtrack that guides the eye and provokes our thoughts, images move in a panoramic flow from right to left.

This new four-channel work can be seen as a sequel to 3 MPH (From Horse to Rocket) (2003), where she used the same format to document a journey through Texas to NASA, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. The French philosopher Paul Virilio and his thoughts on speed and technology as the driving factor of social change in our history is the key reference for the artist in these works. Travelling at an anachronistically slow pace, she portrays everyday details and dramas that normally pass unnoticed in a society that is accelerating as a result of technological progress.

In My Country (Somewhere in Sweden) our gaze is aimed at the countryside and, ultimately, at national identity. What does the image of Sweden look like? Sidén identifies the markers of belonging. And of being different. The format of the work brings to mind a history frieze, an extended performance, or a slow road movie. Its complex method incorporates a paradoxical motion. The rider appears to go forward, but is simultaneously proceeding to where she has already been. Yet, the story is prompted onwards through a series of segues, by colours, images and sounds. Like their own doppelgangers, the horse and rider are forever reappearing. But in new places. They are a performative hub that both produces and consumes the environments in the film, thereby evoking the sensation of being enclosed in a cycle that gradually dissolves time and space.

Ann-Sofi Sidén

Born 1962 in Stockholm
Lives and works in Stockholm

Education

1988–92 Kungl. Konsthögskolan/Royal University College of Fine Arts, Stockholm
1986–88 Hochschule der Künste, Berlin [DE]

Selected solo exhibitions

2008 Vid sidan om/In Passing Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm
2005 In Between the Best of Worlds, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
2001 Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris [FR]

Selected group shows

2009 Fear Society, Venice Bienale, Collateral Events [IT]
2006 Into Me/Out of Me, P.S.1, Queens, New York & KunstWerke, Berlin [DE]
1999/2000 Carnegie International, Pittsburgh [US]

Selected bibliography

Filmens rum & skulpturens tid/Cinematic Space & sculptural time by Kim West
Ann-Sofi Sidén Moderna Museets Vänners Skulpturpris (2009). (ISBN 978 – 91-86243 -04-3).
”Ann-Sofi Sidén & Rober Fleck in conversation”, Ann-Sofi Sidén, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Köln, 2003
Ann-Sofi Sidén, A rural incident… Mutations, by Reem Koolhaas, Stefano Boeri Sanford, Kwinter, Nadia Tazi, Hans Ullrich Obrist, 2002

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