CFHill Gallery – Carolina Falkholt – Du får dansa i min park / You get to dance in my park – August 27 to October 2, 2021 – Malmskillnadsgatan 38B, 111 57 Stockholm
ABOUT the artist
Carolina Alexandra Falkholt, with the pseudonym Blue, born 4 March 1977 in Gothenburg, is a Swedish artist, graffiti writer and musician. Sometimes she uses her own coined term grafitta, to describe her art. It is a play with the two words graffiti and fitta, the latter means “pussy” in Swedish but also with a Swedish grammatical habit of setting a gender to work titles where an “a” denotes female role.
Carolina Falkholt grew up in Dals Långed, Dalsland, Sweden. As a teenager, she moved to Stockholm to go to the Waldorf school Kristofferskolan. At the same time, she began painting graffiti under the pseudonym Blue. By the mid-1990s, she moved to New York City. There, as the only Swedish artist, she became a member of the two crews The Fantastic Partners and Hardcore Chickz. She worked with graffiti writers such as Sento and Lady Pink while making paintings around New York for the record company Rawkus to earn a living. Around the turn of the century, she was one of Sweden’s most famous graffiti writers. After four years In New York, she moved back to Sweden and settled in Gothenburg where she is active today. https://www.instagram.com/carolinafalkholt/?hl=en
Carolina Falkholt 25-08-2021
Through my black gaze and out of my pussy I let my water.
I am pregnant with a desperate ear that takes its life through miscarriage, and the pussies bleed along the legs on both sides of the blood-soaked crotch.
I have heard myself say such terrible things about myself that I cannot bear to be born again.
The miscarriage I have a tattoo on my arm like an omen.
I press my head against my breasts and keep my mouth shut so I can not scream.
I force my black cry to flow through small channels from my black eyes into my arm and down to a black pond in the right corner of the picture.
I lick my pussy and my asshole.
I carry my severed head in my hand and press it hard against my other head, whose tongue is in my ass.
Out of my mouth grows my cock that I have tattooed on my arm.
My severed head is also my chest. My other arm is tattooed with the suicide pussy.
That hand grabs a large black rainbow that bends over my body, around which a bright aura radiates into space.
At the same time as I press my head up against my breasts, I suck the cell juice out of my brain and the gaze out of my eyes.
You see my broken heart crack against my severed neck. The arm I hold for my mouth is eroded by my black river of tears.
The hand has six fingers and behind one the black rainbow grows up and into the hand where the inside of the arm is cut into a long, black parting with round, fluffy edges.
I squint in front of one of my faces and blackness circulates everywhere.
And everywhere my breasts are pushed up like rock-hard amazons towards infinity.
Through my black gaze and out of my pussy, I paint a picture that never ends.
ABOUT the exhibition
If anybody were to write an art and architecture history of Stockholm during the 2010s, their account would be less than accurate if it left out the sapphire-blue, shimmering, erect penis she painted on Kronobergsväggen on Kungsholmen. Although it has been painted over now, in its day, it was every bit as obvious and real as the spire of the Riddarholmen Church, and it remains carved into many people’s memories as a surprising, powerful, sometimes disarming, and sometimes provocative, addition to the cityscape. Its jubilant, shameless, outrageous obscenity and sparkle have made it a part of our shared history.
How could she? How did she have the nerve? For Carolina Falkholt, though, it doesn’t come down to nerve: it comes down to necessity. Deep within, behind the big, made-up eyes and the wild hair, there is a force that seems to be connected to the big bang, the explosive power shared by all living things. This exhibition at CFHILL marks the first of a series of works she will be showing after having spent some time away from the public eye. The energy, with the glowing ejections of blue, pink, and red, with a fine-meshed, calming web covering it, is familiar from her monumental murals. However, one senses that there is something new here, something more deliberate and questing.
The isolation of the studio, and the inherent slowness and intimacy of paper, as opposed to the public, large spaces that spray paint demands, have brought out new dimensions of Carolina Falkholt’s art. Thoughtful, lyrical mental webs, working their way through the fibres, bit by bit, like some pedantic geographer methodically charting unknown lands, or a shaman’s repetitive, ritual use of symbols for communicating with the voices of spirits. A belly button, a hand, transitions into a continent, the coastline thinning to a veil, almost disappearing into the white. Other sections form opaque land masses made of feathers, glistening church windows, and rough scales.
What is this land that grows so slowly, organically heaving itself across the image? I find no obvious references or connections to the world of graffiti, which is where Carolina Falkholt started out. My mind goes instead to another Swedish artist who never quite felt at home in Sweden, and sought the freedom he needed in New York: Öyvind Fahlström (1928–1976). His iconographically dense, mysterious Ade-Ledic-Nander (1955) seems like it could be a sibling of sorts to Carolina Falkholt’s mental maps. These semi-representative, anthropomorphous islands with their fragmented coastlines tell stories that cannot be communicated in any existing language. They are like concrete, physical abstractions in a way. They don’t relate to anything, but they throb with life. Just like Fahlström, Carolina Falkholt takes a keen interest in symbols, forms, languages, and the organic-political domain. A new grammar for a new, more precise description of reality. While Fahlström sought to trace the geopolitical power relations, Caroline Falkholt follows those subterranean paths that touch on subjects like domestic violence, rage, and payback in the sacred name of sexuality. Because of this, she has far more in common with earlier, pioneering performance artists from the second wave of feminism, like Yayoi Kusama’s powerful enactments in which she used her own body to experiment with the healing power of repetition, or the bold vulnerability of Hanna Wilkes’s vaginas sculpted from chewing gum, or, perhaps most of all, Carolee Schneemann’s shamanistic poetry readings, during which she produces rolls of paper from her body. Another relevant reference that comes to mind when viewing Carolina Falkholt’s most recent works is the watercolor paintings of Louise Bourgeois, in which body parts form desolate landscapes.
Carolina Falkholt grew up in Dals Långed in Dalsland, where her parents spent all their time working on their restaurant. She was expected to help out early on–one of her responsibilities was exterminating flies! The restaurant was located near a farm. Reading about her life in articles and interviews–of which there is a fair number by now–reveals the story of a solitary child who found herself torn between two extremes: on the one hand, the high-achieving horseback rider, and on the other hand, the girl who ventures into the night to join the criminals who “bomb” concrete surfaces, using metal cans with insect-like nozzles to defy the social contract. Young men, with very few exceptions. The inner drive and necessity of spraying and painting, of living outside the law, made Carolina Falkholt’s rise to fame and admiration inevitable and has helped her strike a balance that’s entirely her own for her life as an artist. She calls this method “grafitta”. Today, Carolina Falkholt enjoys a unique position in the world of art: she is seen by all, loved, enraged, and knows no fear. If art, then, is a matter of life and death, why should there be thresholds between what’s inside and what’s outside? How could a veiny, bulging, locked-and-loaded azure-blue cock that’s several meters high be anything but a celebration of a vindictive life force? Encountering this artist is, ultimately, to encounter the fundamental terms of art. All or nothing. And, coupled with that, a readiness to venture into uncharted territories.
— Introduction to Carolina Falkholt, Du får dansa i min park. Text by Paulina Sokolow. August 27, 2021.
ABOUT the gallery
Wetterling Gallery is one of the leading galleries for contemporary art in Scandinavia, with a dynamic program of both highly internationally acclaimed artists, and young upcoming artists from Sweden. With a unique and playful entrance to the art world, Wetterling Gallery stands for quality and relevance in the present. We make art available for a curious audience.
Founded in 1978, we consider ourselves a long-term partner for our artists, collectors, institutions, and the general public that plays a significant role in the development of both the local and the international art scene. With a history of bringing international artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Frank Stella to Sweden we are today also presenting Swedish artists to the international art scene. Our vision is to provide a platform for dialogue and meetings between different forms of artistic expression, and between people.
The gallery arranges six exhibitions annually in the main space in Stockholm, and around the same number in the project space that was inaugurated in 2015, allowing the gallery program to be more dynamic. Wetterling Gallery also has a showroom in Gothenburg, where a curated selection of our collections is shown on regular basis.
Please note that our exhibition program is researched and developed well in advance and we are unable to accept unsolicited approaches for meetings, exhibitions, or projects.
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