Meriç Algün – A Glossary of Distance and Desire

April 1 - December 17, 2023
Curator: Sofia Ringstedt

Through spatial installations and found objects, Meriç Algün addresses issues of identity, borders, language, and relationships. Her early works deal with the experience of the distinct social and political differences between her birthplace Istanbul and hometown Stockholm, and of the authoritarian bureaucracy many people encounter when crossing national borders. Algün’s artistic method usually begins with research or personal experiences, leading to works that serve as archives of worldviews and modes of thought with idiosyncratic logical systems. 

Separation, desire, and relationships are central concepts in the works presented in this exhibition. In the installation A Glossary of Distance and Desire (2019/2023), which lends the exhibition its title, about a hundred objects are placed on colorful podiums of geometric shapes. The installation is a playful approach to creating a vocabulary for speaking of love, desire, and separation. Among the objects are fossils, pictures, books, sounds, and dictionary clippings. 

The work Eternity 1988–∞ (2019–ongoing) consists of a collection of full-page advertisements for Calvin Klein’s perfume Eternity. During the 35 years Eternity has been marketed, the American model Christy Turlington has been the face of the perfume. In the ads, Turlington is portrayed with various men and children to represent her happy family. Since 2017, she is portrayed next to her real-life husband. Eternity 1988–∞ is a poignant reminder of how capitalism can profit on our constant longing for eternal love. 

Algün’s three works linger in the unpredictable uncertainty of love, which can appear both alluring and alarming. The works draw parallels between our destructive attempts to control, own our desire and the exploitive side of mankind’s relationship with nature. Like the object of love, nature possesses the inescapable quality of being something distinctly other than ourselves. The exhibition Meriç Algün – A Glossary of Distance and Desire can be seen as a defense of the unfathomable nature of love and how acceptance of the uncontrollable is its prerequisite.

Exhibition curator: Sofia Ringstedt

Lisa Boström Head of Communications
Antoine Deeb Administrator
Hedvig Furuhagen Communications Officer
David Hamati Premises Manager
Oliver Krug Senior Registrar
Olga Krzeszowiec Malmsten Curator
Thomas Nordin Chief Technician
Tessa Praun Museum Director & Chief Curator
Marinela Radic Senior Host & Assistant
Erik Rask Technician & Conservator
Sofia Ringstedt Curator (maternity cover)
Jacob Varnauskas Intern