Interview: Astrid Svangren in the lab magazine, by Polina Bachlakova

the lab magazine

by Polina Bachlakova

Astrid Svangren is a Swedish-bred, Copenhagen-based artist. She is known for creating installations that absorb the viewer in a blur of memory, poetry, dreams, and the landscapes they create. Yet these dreams are more brittle than they are romantic: although Astrid’s work embodies the ethereal, it is grounded in what is perhaps best described as the vulnerably human. Astrid is represented by galleries in Copenhagen, Sweden, New York, and London. She is currently exhibiting ‘Before Me: I Roll in the Snow […]’ at Maria Stenfors gallery in London, UK.

POLINA BACHLAKOVA—Let’s start with the basics. Where are you and what are you working on these days?

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Interview: Michelle Deignan in Shade

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By Emily Franklin

London is recognised worldwide as a multicultural melting pot, and with over 270 nationalities and 300 different languages, it is undeniably fast becoming the home of ethnic pluralism. The term ‘Londoner’ now applies to people of every race and origin, not solely the typecast for Only Fools and Horses. But how often do we stop to think about how London came to be bursting at the seams with diversity? The prospect of assimilating with modern day London society is achievable – the demographic shows us this – but during a less liberal time, how did people manage when hostility met them at every juncture? The answer to this is not only sheer bravery, but also the notion of community.

A new documentary, Breaking Ground: the story of the London Irish Women’s Centre explores the inner workings and undeniable validity of community centres in London. The London Irish Women’s Centre, formerly based in Stoke Newington, played a crucial role in guiding the lives of Irish women in the ’80s; a time of severe racial and sexual discrimination. The director, Michelle Deignan, met with me to discuss the importance and relevance of the film in a modern setting.

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Interview: Harold Offeh

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Interview by Yvette Greslé

Harold Offeh is currently exhibiting on Biopic, a group show curated by Nathan Jenkins, and also including Gabriel Acevedo Velarde, Miguel Aguirre and Philip Newcombe. Biopic runs through to 21 December 2013.

Selections from Offeh’s ‘Covers’ are also included on the group exhibition ’The Shadows Took Shape’ at the Studio Museum, Harlem, New York. ‘The Shadows took Shape’ closes 9 March. Studio Museum, 144 West 125th Street, New York, New York 10027 www.studiomuseum.org

For his first curated show ‘Biopic’, at Maria Stenfors, Nathan Jenkins selected work from Offeh’s ‘Covers’ series. ‘Covers’ is an ongoing project in which Offeh explores music album covers from the ’70s & ’80s, re-imagining their images (and the music they represent) as performances which are developed through photographs, video and live performance. As part of Biopic’s exhibition programme, Offeh performed ‘Covers: Playlist’, at Maria Stenfors, staging a series of performances in dialogue with actual covers and specific tracks, selected off the albums.

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Review: Lilah Fowler ‘Passage and pair’, in FAD

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by Yvette Greslé

Flat on the floor an arrangement of four shapes. Like tiles, they are square but are cut from neoprene fabric. Two of the squares are blue, and two are orange. On one of the blue squares is a sheet of white polyurethane, and then a small organic form that, ambiguously, looks like a rock or a crystal, but is made out of resin. The white polyurethane sheet appears again on one of the orange squares. The meaning of this constellation of materials, and objects, is, at first, impenetrable. Interpretation is grounded in subjective responses and imaginative capacities. There is no line, straight and untroubled, that can be drawn between this floor work, and an object in the world. It suggests points of entry and then thwarts it. Titled ‘Blocks, plots, plains’, it is the first work encountered at Lilah Fowler’s inaugural solo show at Maria Stenfors, Passage and pair. Positioned adjacent to the gallery entrance, it inhibits movement, and surprises with its flatness. I have to stop and decide whether to spend time with it or move around it to something else. If I am to look more closely I have to kneel down on the floor, or enter the space it configures.

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