Tarik Kiswanson, a Swedish artist of Palestinian origin, born and raised in Sweden, presents a “cosmology” of new works.
Oscillating between East and West, the artist’s work is based on principles of superposition of different cultural horizons and aesthetic contingencies. He also displaces the limit between art and design, and uses biographical elements to create what he calls “ambiguous objects.”
Some of the works rise up as characters within the gallery and spread out across the gallery’s three rooms. A recurrent pattern in the artist’s work, of brass or steel welded “sharp” sculptures, incarnates a multitude of silhouettes with anthropomorphic proportions. Part cages and part skeleton, these figures appear both rigid and flexible. Their obvious aggressiveness contrasts with the physical precariousness of their composition – this ambivalence underlines their vulnerability.
The body becomes materialized by its evident absence and though the works are motionless, they have a kinetic potential which can be perceived as metaphors of the instability of our society and of its modes of representation. Fluttering artworks are generated by the public’s movement within the gallery while the various shapes accentuate the exhibition space, forming numerous similarities.
On the gallery’s walls, metallic sculptures emerge from a formal hybridization between masks of European knights and metal nigabs worn by women in the Arabic peninsula until the early 19th Century. The spot welding left visible on these masks – the artist’s real signature – magnify the gulf between those two entangled references while displaying the soldered stratum. Alloy flagstaffs are converted into post-minimalistic sculptures deprived of any practical purpose. Similarly, fencelike structures prevent the visitors from strolling around, finding within the exhibition a new dimension of sophistication, and of added value.