Sture Johannesson: In Memery

Sture Johannesson‘s practice enriches politically-confrontational artistic strategies with experimental graphic design and anti-disciplinary actions aimed at Sweden’s systems of social engineering. Such corrosive methods have led to long periods of isolation and ostracization from the mainstream art world, a history that has made him one of the most legendary and important Swedish artists alive today.

The exhibition Sture Johannesson: In Memery – March 16 to May 25; 2013, Index, Stockholm – focuses on the breaking point that occurred in the late 1960s when Johannesson’s work moved away from the genre of Psychedelic Art and began experimenting with computer-generated graphics.

It was in the framework of psychedelia — a misunderstood artistic movement influenced by the counter-revolutionary and generational turbulences of the period, which suffered from association with hippie clichés — that Johannesson first became interested in digital drawings. Information systems and cybernetics were a logical development of psychedelia’s interest in self-organization, the technology of the drug, and media that proposed forms of artistic production able to ‘turn on’ and ‘off’ within or outside of established institutional frames that seek to ideologically regulate the social body. They worked towards dissolving the hierarchical and behavioral relations of a bureaucratized mass society, contributing to more egalitarian and interdependent relations, which could improve, for instance, the standard of living…

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