Lars Nilsson


(Fan´tesi), essay by David Neuman, Director Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
A Vein of Grief…, essay by Gertrud Sandqvist, Critic, Writer and Principal of Malmö Art Academy
A Conversation between Jérôme Sans and Lars Nilsson, interview by Jérôme Sans, Art Critic and Curator

Exhibition catalogue no 25
No of pages: 
87, color, illustrated
soft cover
Graphic design: Mattias Givell

Language: Swedish and English
Year: 2002
Publisher: Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
ISBN: 91-972986-9-7

Available for purchase in our museum entrance for 300 SEK (approx. 30 EUR)


A Conversation between Jérôme Sans and Lars Nilsson by Jérôme Sans

JÉRÔME SANS: How are the relationship between intimate/private and the public, the physical body and the social body dealt with in your installations?
LARS NILSSON: I think it all began in Hässelby Gård, a suburb of Stockholm where I grew up. As a little boy I was a dreamer and was always ‘somewhere else’. The ability to fantasize has probably always been one of my greatest assets. At the same time as it hasn’t allowed me any peace – created by myself, knitted together from literary and cinematic role models. An unforgivable vanity made me move on again and again. Around 1994, I literally began to use my biography in my work, finally acquiring a tool for seeing myself as I was. As a pre-requisite, the blend between fact and fiction seemed somewhat spooky.

JS: Your pieces often use your body as their point of reference. Why your own particular dimensions?
LN: Around ten years ago it occurred to me how much stronger my experiences of film have been compared to the visual arts. My conclusion wasn’t, however, to switch mediums. Rather, it felt more like a challenge to try to attain that level of intensity using other means. The wax figure’s moment of illusion became a cornerstone, but most of all, my experience of seeing myself haunt the exhibition Fördomar (Prejudice) in Helsinki ’93, where I had hung my clothes, which had taken on my shape because I had worn them. This indexical impression had the paradoxical authenticity I was looking for.

JS: The first pieces in these series had you in them (disfigured or in a replica of a jail). Was this a metaphor for the artist?
LN: At that time, Damien Hirst had a multitude of glass cases with sliced or whole animals on tour at the time, even though I really appreciated Mother and Child Divided visually –the title totally witty – I experienced the metaphor in combination with the utmost exercise in power as repelling. As a sort of response, I wanted to subject my physical self, without focusing on who I am, therefore the prison metaphor. With reference to Foucaults Discipline and Punishment, combined with the Swedish cell replicas quite comfortable manifestation, made the work mainly about the prison as a far-reaching structure for organizing and controlling our bodies at every level in society. And back then I also thought I deserved to do a little time…

JS: Is all your work about yourself, like a diary?
LN: Here I must quote the Swedish poet Gunnar Ekelöf: “That which is the ground in you is also the ground in others…” (…)