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Utan titel (P=E=R=M=U=T=A=T=I=O=N)

Karl Holmqvist, Utan titel (P=E=R=M=U=T=A=T=I=O=N), 2010 © Karl Holmqvist

Karl Holmqvist

In Karl Holmqvist’s text-based art, a plethora of voices and impressions intersect: hit songs and poetry, literary quotations and references to art history, slogans and fashion tips, Öyvind Fahlström and Patti Smith, dada and Lady Gaga. His books, posters, installations, readings and performances inscribe themselves in a rich tradition of linguistic experiments on the boundary between visual art and poetry, from futurism to concrete poetry and conceptual art.

But Holmqvist’s art is not merely an echo chamber where contemporary pop culture and historical avant-garde experiments reverberate in new chords and harmonies, but also has a distinctly political dimension. His cut-ups and détournements aim to challenge today’s homogenised global mass culture, to untwist its expressions and formats from their given places and open up new cracks or create new dialects within its uniform language, seeking in this way to reach the intermediary position where language is destabilised and the meanings begin to shift, where the all-too-familiar again becomes strange, the banal is infused with meaning, and new resonances and tensions arise: positions between letters of the alphabet and figures, between the written and the spoken, between surface and space, between repetition and variation.

Plagiarism is necessary, progress implies it, said Lautréamont in 1870. Holmqvist’s art proves that this is more true than ever. To copy, imbibe and distort different forms of culture is not only a right, but a duty.

Karl Holmqvist

Born 1964 in Västerås
Lives and works in Berlin [DE] and Stockholm

Selected solo exhibitions

2010 Hymn to Pan, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe [DE]
2009 I’ll Make the World Explode, Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin [DE]
2009 Entrevista con el Vampiro, Gaga Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City [MX]

Selected group exhibitions

2010 27 Senses, Chisenhale Gallery, London [UK]
2009 The Malady Of Writing, MACBA, Barcelona [ESP]
2009 Poor. Old. Tired. Horse, ICA, London [UK]

Selected bibliography

Katie Kitamura, ”27 Senses”, Frieze, oktober/October 2009. Stefania Palumba, ”What’s My Name Again?”, Mousse magazine, september/September 2009.
Pati Hertling m.fl./et al. Modern, modern, katalogtext/catalogue text, Chelsea Art Museum, New York.
Sabine B. Vogel, ”Curated by_”, Artforum, maj/May 2009.

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