OBRA is a physical and digital platform based in Malmö with the mission of mediating contemporary works of art to new and established audiences.
Since it's inception OBRA has been open and diverse in what refers to artistic medium and materials. We study and follow bodies of work and support them with the understanding that fine and contemporary art is a phenomenon that involves a series of social, cultural and material considerations that if properly articulated create interest –and even intrigue– around a work of art. Artists Carla Zaccagnini, Nike Åkerberg and Susanna Jablonski have significantly different approaches to art in every aspect of the word. Technique, process, content and questions addressed manifest themselves uniquely through their own perceptions and subsequent artistic activity. Concrete aspects like their geographical origin and their generation could help clarify their motives and open new readings stemming from their work.
Carla Zaccagnini (b. Buenos Aires, 1973. Lives and works in Malmö, Sao Paulo and Copenhagen).
In recent works, Carla Zaccagnini has explored national representation and its symbols (both visual and aural) by employing comparative studies to render groups of words, colours or sounds. The resulting collections are the outcome of meticulous decision taking, hand driven action and the formulaic but sensitive nature of most of her endeavours. Zaccagnini’s conceptual aesthetics rely on complex ideas, procedures and rules, in a tradition traceable to Duchamp and to Joseph Kosuth’s intellectual playfulness.
Portrait of Carla Zaccagnini. Image credits Runo Lagomarsino.
'The Invention of Europe', 2016, 56 collected post cards, ink on tracing paper mounted on three custom made modules, 105 × 155 cm each. Collection of the Public Art Agency of Sweden. Image credits OBRA and Petra Bindel.
Nike Åkerberg (b. Malmö, 1986) works with dark comedy painting. The paintings depict a world with an apocalyptic narrative where the people are portrayed in a dramatic and threatening environment where nature and artificial elements are mixed. They are made in several more or less transparent layers and by allowing the yellow oil to show and some of the layers to crack it gives the paintings a feeling of heat and unraveling. The dramatic nature and skies act like a foreshadowing of a luring disaster.The story of doom is woven together with humor by showing the deeds of humanity from the outside. The people in the paintings do nothing but live their lives as they have learned to live and they appear almost unaware of the impending storm. While they may seem lost or at worst ignorant they are also lovely, just being human.
'Self-centered sky caring only about space caring not about us at all', 2019, Oil on canvas, 140×200 cm. Collection of the Region of Scania, Sweden. Image credits OBRA / Tomás Giraldo-Feener.
Portrait of Nike Åkerberg. Image credits Petra Bindel.
Susanna Jablonski (b.1985 Stockholm) works with sculpture, video, and sound composition.
Often combining highly crafted sculptures and vernacular objects within an immersive installation architecture, her work investigates the ontological value of materials and bodies – how they sustain or disintegrate, and how meaning is ascribed to the places and times they inhabit. She creates sculpture in the most expanded sense: assemblages that fuse matter, history and sound to create new narratives..
Susanna Jablonski, 'Untitled', 2019. Image credits OBRA and Susanna Jablonski.
Portrait of Susanna Jablonski. Image credits Santiago Mostyn.