Roger Andersson

Slaves by Choice

24.5—1.7 2012

“…custom, which holds great sway over us in all respects, is supremely powerful in teaching us to be slaves, and to swallow the venom of servitude without noticing any bitter taste…” / Slaves by Choice by Éstienne de La Boétie

Press Release

Galleri Magnus Karlsson is pleased to present Roger Anderson’s fifth solo exhibition in the gallery. The exhibition Slaves by Choice will display a new series of works on paper, a video and a mobile sculpture made out of 200 cowbells.

The title of the exhibition comes from Éstienne de La Boétie’s text Slaves by Choice written in the mid sixteenth century. It praises the forces of nature as the supreme power and mourns over humans ability to trust her inherent natural state and quest for freedom beyond human order and customs. “…custom, which holds great sway over us in all respects, is supremely powerful in teaching us to be slaves, and to swallow the venom of servitude without noticing any bitter taste…”

Roger Anderson’s work does not follow any customs or well-established schemes. There is not one method sub oriented to another or hierarchies between the materials. Instead there’s a trust for the material to develop in its own nature. There’s a fundamental organic element of this process in the way one work (or action) leads to another and in the necessity of transience, and destruction, for the development of each work. In Andersson’s ongoing series of works on paper, Slaves by Choice, the colour pigment consists of rust gained from sharpening his craftsman tools that he uses for carving his wooden sculptures. In this way everything comes together in the artistic production similarly to an ecological system.

In the video Andersson has recorded wild animals nightly intrusions in his garden. They are captured while eating/destroying his plants reminding us of the inevitable necessity of destruction in Nature’s cycle.

Central to Andersson’s work is also to let things develop in their own time and pace with a preference of the hand crafted over the mechanic or automated. Not in a reactionary way, or romanticizing the old fashioned, but in a gesture of respect towards the material and giving it its rights of autonomy, and departure from the herd.

"It is evident […] that people allow themselves to be dominated, or rather that they actually bring about their own domination, since merely by ceasing to serve they would be free. It is the people who enslave themselves, who cut their own throats, who, faced with a choice between servitude and freedom, abandon their liberty and accept the yoke, who consent to being harmed – or rather, seek to be harmed"
/ Slaves by Choice by Éstienne de La Boétie

Roger Andersson explores the paths outside the system of customs and traditions inherent in our culture (and in artistic processes). Not in a way of positioning himself above or as a rebellion or an unworldly outsider but simply exploring the position of The Other and the relation between servitude and freedom. In the end one thing can not have a autonomous existence but has to exist in its relation to its Other.

Roger Andersson is born 1966 in Linköping, Sweden. He lives and works in Stockholm and Gnesta, Sweden. Educated at The Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm (1988-1993). Recent exhibitions include Galleri Magnus Karlsson (2009, 2005, 2003), Dark Nature, Poppy Sebire Gallery, London (2010) and Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York (2008, 2003).

Svenska: 

Galleri Magnus Karlsson har glädjen att presentera Roger Andersons femte separatutställning på galleriet. Utställningen Slaves by Choice presenterar en serie arbeten på papper, video samt en mobil skulptur gjord av 200 koskällor.

Utställningens titel är lånad från Estienne de La Boéties text; Slaves by Choice, skriven 1548. De La Boétie ser naturkrafterna som den högsta makten och sörjer över människornas oförmåga att lita på hennes naturliga tillstånd och strävan efter frihet bortom kulturell ordning och sed. ”…custom, which holds great sway over us in all respects, is supremely powerful in teaching us to be slaves, and to swallow the venom of servitude without noticing any bitter taste…”

Roger Anderssons arbete följer inte invanda rutiner och system. Ingen metod är underordnad en annan och det råder inga hierarkier mellan olika material. Istället finns ett förtroende för materialets förmåga att utvecklas naturligt. Det finns en organisk sida av denna process, på det sätt ett arbete eller en metod leder till en annan, vikten av förgänglighet och förändring för utvecklingen av varje verk. I Anderssons målningar består färgpigmentet av rost från dammet som skapas när han slipar sina handverktyg. Verktyg som används i arbetet med hans träskulpturer. På så sätt länkas allt samman i den konstnärliga produktionen, likt ett naturligt kretslopp. I videon har Andersson spelat in vilda djurs nattliga intrång i hans trädgård. De har filmats när de äter och förstör hans växter och påminner oss om nödvändigheten av förstörelse och förnyelse. Växterna han odlar används förstås som motiv i hans bilder.

Centralt för Anderssons arbete är också att låta saker och ting utvecklas i sin egen takt. En tilltro till det handgjorda framför det maskinella som en gest av respekt för materialet. Andersson utforskar vägar utanför vårt system av seder och traditioner (och i konstnärliga processer), utan att för den skull anta positionen som en världsfrånvänd outsider. Ett ting har inte en självständig existens utan måste existera i relation till sin motpol.

"It is evident […] that people allow themselves to be dominated, or rather that they actually bring about their own domination, since merely by ceasing to serve they would be free. It is the people who enslave themselves, who cut their own throats, who, faced with a choice between servitude and freedom, abandon their liberty and accept the yoke, who consent to being harmed – or rather, seek to be harmed"
/Slaves by Choice, Éstienne de La Boétie

Roger Andersson är född 1966 i Linköping, Sverige. Han bor och arbetar i Stockholm och Gnesta, Sverige. Utbildad vid Kungliga Konsthögskolan, Stockholm (1988-1993). Separatutställningar i urval: Galleri Magnus Karlsson (2012, 2009, 2005, 2003), Dark Nature, Poppy Sebire Gallery, London (2010), Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York (2008, 2003).

Mer information:
www.konsten.net
www.svd.se/kultur/konst

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