Line and Assault

Leif Holmstrand, Line and Assault, 2009 © Leif Holmstrand / Bildupphovsrätt 2010

Leif Holmstrand

In Leif Holmstrand’s installation Arena he revisits his fascination with the ongoing everyday drama between objects in the home, and the way they serve as indicators of class and gender. Holmstrand’s work is thus a drama in itself, but also a stage set for the performance that activates and completes his work.

The core of the installation consists of eight Ilva chairs, modified with textiles and embroidery. These represent one of the premises of the work, namely the preoccupation of a new bourgeoisie with the home as an identity project and projection surface. However, after Holmstrand’s practical alterations and tamperings, these ordinary materials and objects appear to lose their utility value, only to submit to the inherent logic of the work of art. As in many of his previous works, Holmstrand plays with the tension between his own handiwork and the varying capacity of fabricated objects to influence our life conditions. And terror and comedy are never far off in the result.

In the poetry book Myror (Ants, 2008), Holmstrand writes, “Maybe this is how it always is? For everyone? / Many yearn to leave their meaning structure. / Cube of wobble finds its gentle dayglow, / is tipped from udder, coarse-haired in our hands. / Grey jelly pushed aside with the naked foot.”

This example demonstrates the equally surrealistic and supernatural atmosphere in Holmstrand’s installations, where he transforms the materials and meanings enveloping everyday life. The work Arena is complemented with a short literary work, Men röster (But Voices), published in the catalogue.

Leif Holmstrand

Born 1972 in Mariannelund
Lives and works in Malmö


1997–2003 Konsthögskolan i Malmö/Malmö Art Academy, Malmö
1995–1997 Norrköpings konstskola, Norrköping

Selected solo exhibitions

2010 Territorial Clothing, Galleri Syster, Luleå
2009 What the Others Knew, Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö
2009 Väktaren och hans vänner/The Watchman and his Friends, Crystal Palace, Stockholm

Selected group exhibitions

2009 Domestic Affairs, 1A Space, Hong Kong [CN]
2008 Every Body Counts, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Vestfossen [NO]
2007 Mot tiden, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm

Selected bibliography

Leif Holmstrand, Se mig hoppa över/Watch Me Skip, Pequod Press, 2010.
Leif Holmstrand, Vid mardrömmens mål/At the Goal of Nightmare, Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2010.
Leif Holmstrand, Myror/Ants, Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2008.

More about this exhibition