PER SVENSSON – SELECTED ART REVIEWS
Artist, born 1965 in Gothenburg, Sweden
Works with visual art, sound art, film and architecture
Bibliography / Selected texts & Art reviews;
Bioplex 6 – Per Svensson
Fond of wide areas and natural environments, Swedish Per Svensson is getting his inspiration out of nature in order to create works of art which are both complex and poetical. From the cautious observation of the biologic system, he realizes sound pieces, live audio and video performances, drawings and genuine installations and drawings in which science is always close to the occult. Creator of alchemic platforms, as he names them, Svensson elaborates new geometrical forms, inspired by the fractal development of nature, and looks forward to make visible new dimensions. Composed of multiple elements, Bioplex 6 is an example of alchemic platform and corresponds to a new stage in the artist research. Among its numerous values in matematics but also in numerology or in occultism, the number 6 refers here to the sixth dimension obtained by the shadows projected by the three-dimension geometric mobiles on the wall, forming though a new structural architecture.
Adepte des grands espaces et des environnements naturels, le Suédois Per Svensson s’inspire de la nature pour créer des œuvres d’art à la fois complexes et poétiques. A partir de l’observation minutieuse du système biologique, il réalise des bandes sonores, des performances live audio et vidéo, des dessins et des installations singulières dans lesquelles la science avoisine toujours l’occulte. Créateur de plateformes alchimiques, telles qu’il les nomme, Svensson élabore de nouvelles formes géométriques, inspirées du développement en fractale de la nature, et cherche à rendre visibles de nouvelles dimensions. Composé de multiples éléments, Bioplex 6 est un exemple de plateforme alchimique et correspond à une nouvelle étape dans le travail de l’artiste. Parmi ses nombreuses valeurs tant dans les mathématiques que dans la numérologie ou l’occultisme, le chiffre 6 se réfère ici à la sixième dimension obtenue grâce aux ombres que projettent les mobiles géométriques en trois dimensions sur le mur, formant ainsi une nouvelle architecture structurelle.
Art critic, Author and Curator at Si, The Swedish Institute in Paris
*Thomas Millroth, Sydsvenskan, Art
-The fifth Element
The State of the Art, Martin Bryder Gallery, Lund, until 3.10
Sferics, Scaniaparken, Malmö, until 4.10
Thomas Millroth see two current exhibitions in which all elements contained in the same work.
In a time of rapid sensory stimuli persist with sound issues, which connect both ritual and religion.How else am I perceive American Alvin Luciers installation Scaniaparken? The crackling of dry wood, a forty-minute composition of recorded, normally inaudible, radio waves. All of a sudden becomes the park, sky, sea, water incredibly present and immersive. And the new place I hear reminds me of the limitations of our senses.
There are no simple questions Lucier raises.
It is even more pronounced in Per Svensson's magnificent exhibition, which vibrates the floor of the loops. The pulse is higher than in Lucier and the installation is made in the burning conviction that art is a space where poetry, sounds and ideas can be reconciled. Expressions alchemy creates entries in the life cycle in its broadest sense. It is a mystery-shaped with a punky BZ-aesthetics - occupy your life, accept no leaders. But Svensson also lets us glimpse a gentle fragrance of honey, then a dodecahedron of beeswax is heated. This geometric body is constructed of 12 pentagones and deemed to represent the quinta essentia, the fifth element, quintessence, which itself ran to the other elements, earth, fire, water, air.
"Give me honey," wrote Joseph Beuys, thinking of the warm, life-giving properties. With the same existential beliefs, Per Svensson completed his work.
Like Lucier, who turns Scaniaparken a ritual site. In particular, he has created a modern form of embodiment, when the sparklike sounds combined with water, sky, park - all the elements contained in the same mode.
As a viewer, it feels great to be taken so seriously.
Thomas Millroth, Author, Art critic
September 16, 2010
*Fredrik Svensk, Göteborgs-Posten, Kultur
Palmhuset, Trädgårdsföreningen, Göteborg.
To present art in already aesthetically excellent environments is difficult. The reason that it inspite of all has become so popular is partly buildt on
the exaggerated criticism on the ideological function of the 'white cube', this has made many artist wanting to show their work in 'reality' instead. Partly
based on idealistic hope that 'some contemporary art' will vitalize the personal practice.
But sometimes the art really succeed to do something to the non-art room that strengthen and amplify the room's own intencity. So is the case in Per
Svensson's The New Clear Plants and The Butterfly Effect inside the Plamhouse at the Gothenburg garden society. Svensson has installed microphones on captured butterflies in an esoteric installation that exists as long as the butterflies are alive.
October 10, 2009
Att presentera konst i redan estetiskt överdådiga miljöer är svårt. Anledningen till att det trots allt blivit så populärt bygger dels på en överdriven kritik av den vita kubens ideologiska funktion, som fått många konstnärer att vilja visa sin konst i ”verkligheten” i stället. Dels på idealistiska förhoppningar om att ”lite samtidskonst” ska kunna vitalisera den egna verksamheten.
Men ibland lyckas faktiskt konsten göra något med icke-konstrummet som förstärker rummets egen intensitet. Så är fallet med Per Svenssons The New Clear Plants and The Butterfly Effect i Trädgårdsföreningens Palmhus. Svensson har mickat upp instängda fjärilar i en esoterisk installation som existerar så länge fjärilarna lever.
10 Oktober, 2009
*Tor Billgren, Sydsvenskan, Kultur
- High voltage and immence power/primitive force.
Art. Per Svensson: Intergalactic Transmission! Works 1982-2008. Ystad Art Museum.
"The primordial droning...At the time when planet Earth was uninhabited and empty this sound could be heard loud and clear, but today this sound is drowned by everything else that sounds all around us. Artistically you can re-contruct, and even find your way back to this "primordial sound" - Yes, "the whole origin and extraction, the primordial force and immence power", and an artist that works with this is Per Svensson. He is born 1965 in Gothenburg. As artist he was however born on Iceland in the mid-eighties, as the curator Yrr Jonasdottir is writing in the very nice catalogue. A presumption that make sence when you view the plain photos from the first meetings with the solid lava stone, the geysir and the glaciers on the island. Here is the overture to his artistic ability and him being an artist, that later developes to what is shown at the retrospective in Ystad; sketches and drawings of the brilliant energy solutions, the huge wooden constructions with solar panels, loudspeakers and radiators, the rusty and droning sculptures, and the dramatic paintings that creates a sense of that the artist does not use a brush when he is painting, he uses high voltage...
...Exept from sound, the forces of nature and energy, the exhibition is about the artists vulnerable position and the supervision of our society".
...With a very simple and brilliant grip he has made his film production, that stretches back to 1986, into a comment on the contemporary surveillance climate. The films are presented in a horisontal eight (8) shape that is the cliché image of binoculars or telescope. We are no longer the audience, we are observers...
...With this Per Svensson also shows how to recycle art. What is 20 years old can with a few changes become topical and of current interest.
May 26, 2008
*Thomas Millroth, - An Art Shining With Energy
It is all about energy, to be able to handle it, to transform sounds, sequences, clusters into energetic vibrations. No need to underline Per Svensson´s (b. 1965) past in the Gothenburg punk-scene. You can feel it in his music, sense it in every way he uses different sounds, how he explores tools combining them with electric guitar, field recordings or whatever. The musical as well as non musical sounds are transformed into sonoric spaces. When listening you move into them as if you were exploring unknown landscapes. In spite of dramatically changing details we feel strongly that we are in one and the same room. Even if you get the wuthering experience of the floor disappearing under your feet, in a poetic way you feel safe. Per Svensson´s sonoric spaces are indeed most physical. Although often harsh and rough there is underneath this surface a very sensual experience. I´d rather say vulnerable than raw in the way of industrial rock. His method is to use flux and random, improvisation – and the ears to hold it all together.
In this CD Per Svensson is looking back. It is like a retrospective show. We see (hear) as far as 1987, i.e. twenty years. Going further back to the modern pioneers – 90, 50 or 30 years, whatever you prefer – we find a row of disparate lack of norms movements. The whole thing was about dismantling, crushing, and investigating the limits. Per Svensson has passed that. For him the structures of the music have been put together again, rejected, and replaced with new elements. In one way he stands steady in a tradition of noise, electronica and rock, but none of those standards are useful in the description of his art. He comfortably moves between his experiences of noise experiment, conceptual art, sound art, spoken word. He has no need to force any borders, he acts as if they do not exist, and never did.
In the best sense his musical flow/flux has an agenda of its own, which gives it liberty of action within its contemporary context.
Text on CD-Album OBCD 18,
*Carolina Söderholm, Kultur – Sydsvenskan, Art review
Per Svensson (born 1965) has spent his time to explore the great issues of life: the origin of the universe, the creation of the earth, and the origin of human existence. With geometrical sculpture, space capsules, new sound compositions and alchemical experiments he has constructed his own theory on the connection between humanity, nature and space, and written his own alternative creation narrative myth…Fundamentally there is an aspect of political and environmental consciousness, but further more clear is his pulsating vitality…in the new exhibition painting, sculpture, installations and sound art is exposed, which gives a wide image of his solitary and consistent art.
June 7, 2005
*Britte Montigny, Skånska Dagbladet, Art review
The Platform of art is infinite. Deep. / Gothenburg born Per Svensson…during many years he has been bissy with research on the natural philosophical alchemy… At the exhibition we meet installations of drawing desks and chemical laboratories where the first batteries were made, paintings and objects with referenses to Life and Tellus...Per Svensson has created a wide art platform. In Media this include sound, light, drawing, painting, sculpture, objects and installations...In Svenssons alchemy you find the fifth dimension " the space age". With the installation "Space medication kit" - a blue shining glass suitcase with medical equipment for the international space center. The suitcase also carries a sign with the information "LIFE FOUND IN SPACE-WE FOUND OURSELVES" that is closing the circle on the presumption about the universe as the primordial well or source to everything.
June 11, 2005
*Boel Gerell, Kultur – Kvällsposten, Art review
The ordinary is Exposed / It is roaming and it is noisy at Neon Gallery in Brösarp…The ordinary objects at Neon Gallery is loaded with poetry and sense of humour larger than itself…
July 22, 2005
*Silvia Helperin, Kultur - Helsingborgs Dagblad/Västra Skånes Tidningar; Art review
Man in the centre of a cosmic space – He is a visual artist, composer, makes experiments with alchemy and “Life found in Space”, works also with film, architecture and sound ( as he in 1988 recorded heartbeats and let them be heard).
The inauguration of “ Organic Universe” and “Bioplex III” was held at Campus in Helsingborg. “ Organic Universe” a construction that according to the artist works like a cosmic tree. Five 6 m high stems made of galvanized iron reaches out towards space. Between the root and the crown assembles 3 rings around the stem – not unlike the image of the galaxies. 5 bronze plates established firmly in the ground. Each plate tell its story: The New Alchemy, Geological eras, The future, The United Nations Charters, and Big Bang. The southern part of the courtyard is the residence of “Bioplex III”. According to the Arts Council this is a greenhouse that looks like an igloo and has the shape of a carbon molecule.
October 29, 2004
*Håkan Nilsson, DN-Kultur, Art chronicle,
”Still, Per Svensson with his battle-cry The New Alchemy, is the artist at Skulpturens Hus that is breathing, if not belief, so - struggle…Although Svenssons paintings stand in an established tradition of political painting, they snort a bit of that kick ass attitude that often is absent in art, technical or not”
February 15, 2003
*Bertil Lundgren, Skaraborgs Allehanda, Kultur, Art review
"When the artist is mixing his ideas with material, spiritual gold is created...Per Svensson wants to show the possibilities for a creative person to give ordinary objects new dimensions. He does this with images and his interst for social issues, natural science and philosophy. In a serie of drawings we can follow Per Svenssons thoughts from the form of carbon molecule to the mysteries of the universe. A freightbox has become a beehive with autentical sound.
Per Svensson is rated one of the most interesting artists in his generation. Born in Gothenburg 1965 and educated at the Royal Univercity College of fine arts. He has exhibited the Art Academy and the Gothenburg museum of art. Together with the experimental group Audio Laboratory he is showing his interest in experimental music."
January 26, 2003
*Kerstin Waltersson, Skövde Nyheter, Art review
- Nature is the source to everthing I do…
…The artist Per Svensson has dismantled his studio and has installed it at Skövde Konsthall”
January 23, 2003
*Petra Ljunggren, Skaraborgs Allehanda, Art review
”He is mixing the New Alchemy”
January 23, 2003
*Crispin Ahlström, Göteborgs-Posten,
”Alchemy that creates gold and new ideas” Per Svensson has appointed himself to alchemist of the contemporary time. And I must admit that he has further more success than his precursors to create gold, not as money, but as new thoughts and ideas.
February 13, 2003
*Jessica Kempe, DN-kultur,
Iceland at Alma Löv Museum...,
July 20, 2002
, Göteborgs-Posten, Art review
*Johan Alfredsson, Göteborgs-Posten, “Geometry meets Life...
The artist Per Svensson invites the viewer to enter the prime substance of life itself”
March 5, 2000
*Pontus Hammarén, Nöjesguiden, Art in Göteborg
Per Svensson’s installation at the Göteborg Art Museum starts with the fact that all life on our olanet is built from carbon and water. In abuildt up huge, gigantic carbon molecule he has placed a greenhouse with lifegiving plants; both eatable and medical plants. The plants are nurrished by fusion. Per Svensson has created a sanctuary that shows the beauty of the geometry in nature. At the peak it is all about the existence of life.
*Fredric Bedoire, Solar Bioplexus; Exhibition Catalogue, Göteborg Museum of Art,
”Now Per Svensson breaks down the compact and dead carbon molecule and fills its cavities with life, with green plants that are outlined against the cobalt-blue space. The interior offers people a refuge, a lifeboat...Exiting is the meeting between the rational and the irrational, the hard and the soft, to be a realist and a romantic at the same time. This distinguishes Per Svensson from his predecessors and places him in a time like our own”
*Ida Thunberg, Nya Wärmlands - Tidningen, Chronicle and Interview (front page news)
”Consul with eternal life…-Yes we are immortal, says Per with a smile.
July 2, 1998
*Ulrika Stare, Göteborgs-Posten, The Art is rising…
Per Svensson’s tower Art Capsule – Gothenburg Pavilion is also consulate for KREV. Like a hybrid between Vinga lighthouse and a space capsule the two level building is rising. During June Per Svensson himself is exhibiting, an exhibition that is strongly related to the building itself. The tower, the capsule and cosmos is reflected within the space that is both adventurous and genial.
June 19, 1998
*Anette Gärdeklint, Värmlands Folkblad, Art review,
On the Alma Löv Museum and The Gothenburg Pavilion…
July 2, 1998
*Ann-Charlotte Glasberg, GT, Art review,
On the Alma Löv Museum and The Gothenburg Pavilion…
Aug 4, 1998
*Per-Gunnar Kramer, GT-Kultur,
“Loaded with Energy...A collection of bronze celestial bodies floating in its own universe...
Per Svensson distinguishing quality is to unite lust of experiment with depth”,
Sept 21, 1997
*Gunilla Grahn-Hinnfors, Göteborgs - Posten “The 6th element...
In the exhibition Prima Materia you get extra aware because matter in this case is not only building material, but also motif”
Sept 20, 1997
*Josephine Carr, Aftonbladet – Puls, “Colour, Space and Form”
March 21, 1997
*Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, “Sight, Sound - Action”,
March 20, 1997
*Josephine Carr, Aftonbladet – Puls, “Per Svensson and Ernst Billgren’s Artfactory Production. Catalogue texts by Jan Håfström and Christer Fuglesang. No 4 on Aftonbladets top 10 list”
March 21, 1997
*Christer Bergqvist, NWT
24 hour Art - The bronze sculptures in Torsby symbolize the five elements; earth, air, fire, water and the ether…
Sept 30, 1996
*Clemens Altgård, Sydsvenskan, Art review
“Myths and Geometry”
Per Svensson is, so to speak, taking his startpoint from a work named “The 5th Element. In Chinese myths this is another name for metal, and with this a direct connection to alchemy…also in connection to various esoteric imaginary…myths and spheres of rock music, where you find self destructive rock stars. There is a fascinating synthesis between different mythological systems, and a work like “Metallic Knockout I-X” appears in the light when you know that the title also is the name of a recording from the legendary The Stooges’s last and chaotic concert. A unique wilful contrast appears between the geometrical sculpture-objects cold and exalted order and the titles that lead the thoughts too a Dionysian show with sex, violence and broken glass as components…It will be very interesting to follow his wilful, obstinate, headstrong, artistic ability and developement. With Per Svensson’s works there is really a connection between structures from the past and highly increased sensibility on the current hectic and contemporary structures.
June 11, 1994
*Rolf Hallin, Arbetet, Art Chronicle, Interview
Per Svensson född 1965, göteborgare (Majorna) har sin första separatutställning på Mors Mössa i Haga.…Per Svensson visar svetsade skulpturer och målningar med andlig energi”
February 23, 1991
*Lars O Ericsson, Dagens Nyheter
Overreacted Contrasts – L. O. E. sees 5 current exhibitions; Richard Long, Einar Höste, Alf Linder, Ulf Rollof, Per Svensson.
… At Sweger Konst he is showing a combination of sculpture and painting…there is also within these objects a tension between the metallic cold and the colouristic nerve that is capable of development and progress…
October 17, 1990