Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre + The Latin Kings

5 life-size sculptures

For the show “The Swedish Heart

curated by Charlotte Bydler, Rodrigo Mallea Lira, Magdalena Malm

Moderna Museet (Modern Art Museum)

Stockholm, Sweden June-August 2004

Exhibitions are always created with a particular audience in mind. The average visitor is rarely mentioned in catalogues, but museums are forever training and fostering their audience with tours and events. Their efforts focus partly on the general public and partly on the professional art world. But who are the individuals that feel comfortable in, or addressed by, the museum? Just by the entrance to the exhibition - but outside the door - stand five casts of human figures. These figures were made by FA+, and they portray the hip hop heroes The Latin Kings, in company with the artists themselves. They remain on the threshold and help to mark the boundary to the exhibition. Their attitude is ambiguous: either they are just hanging out, or perhaps they are hesitant about whether this is the right place for them, if they belong here, or even want to belong.

Extract from the catalog text by the curators

FA+TLK belongs to the permanent collection of Moderna Museet

Today, many artists engage in luring their audience to see their surroundings in a new light, perhaps to take a closer look at their neighbour or their usual supermarket. The focus of this relational aesthetic is on the framework, the actual familiarity, or the enactment of what we call art, rather than a particular object or monument. In the 1990s, more and more artists started working on object-less projects financed by more saleable art, day jobs or grants and scholarships. When FA+ embarked on this road it was not particularly widespread in Sweden.
In various group projects under the FA+ signature, the artists Ingrid Falk and Gustavo Aguerre have seized the contemporary art stage, not least with the aim of problematising the concept of the lone genius and the Great Artist. These pioneers in the field of site-specific art have often applied a provocative, activist approach. At a release party for the magazine »Tidskriften 90tal« (1997) FA+ organized an admittance where guests could choose between a VIP lane for "Stockholm's cultural elite" and a lane for "immigrants/ ordinary people". Both queues led to the same door and box office, but those who considered themselves to belong to the cultural elite were questioned by the bouncers about their origins, income and occupation. Those whose answers were not up to par had to join the "ordinary" queue. At the Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1999, FA+ presented a lunch on the theme of »Contagion« - an international, cross-disciplinary project that had been launched in 1995 to besmear national purity and delete it in various joint projects.
The rumour of the death of political art is greatly exaggerated, as the work of FA+ over the past 20 years serves to prove. FA+ has examined social charity, humanitarian aid and the effects of the European Union on Swedishness and other identities. In 2001, they took part in the Biennale in Buenos Aires with »The Toaster«, a title that alluded not only to the motif and material - toaster and toast - but to electric torture. It is in the nature of things that commitment to specific issues is not considered cool, and can therefore be hard to express in an artistically detached manner. Irony and humour, however, can lead to a certain detachment, albeit at the cost of coolness. With these means FA+ puts the integrity and dignity of both artist and audience to the test. Their challenge demands a response.

Text from the catalogue by Charlotte Bydler

> clik on the pictures below to enlarge <





Both The Latin Kings and FA+ are like two sides of the same coin. Each one from their side they re-create the Swedish culture. They re-invented art and music. In 1994 Salla, Dogge and Chepe, three latino youngsters living in the outskirts of Stockholm invented the Swedish hip hop. They were the first who rap in Swedish, sung about the suburbs and the daily life in the apartheid-like immigrant's ghettos. They sampled the Swedish culture altogether, from children's songs to Olof Palme speeches talking a new language, their own slang. They took culture Sweden by storm: The immigrants do actually exist!! And they have their own voice. TLK opened the door that everybody has to past trough if they want to be a part of the game. They are simply the best. One can speak also about art in Sweden before and after FA+. When they settle down in 1984, Stockholm was a sleepy village in the outskirts of Europe, very conservative, cultural racist and reactionary against all changes. Gustavo got to learn right away that he was a "immigrant-artist" and as such he was not welcome at all in the Swedish Fine Art, immigrants are not fine, to make a show of an immigrant was like to get a cancer in the middle of the face. Ingrid became "immigrant-by-asociation", she was dirty, same unwelcome. This was not a mayor problem for FA+, coming from Mediterranean artistical activities and experiences with group work and street performances and intallations they just keep they artistical procedures using the street as they arena doing multimedial instalations, relationistic and interactive art pieces before anybody else, even before the word "relationistic" was ever used. By the way they change the idea of what art is in Sweden, relation to museums and galeries and relation to the mainstream art world. Year after years they kept on working sumerged in a complete and methodic silence from the critics which refuce to give FA+ space in the art world created and directed by themselves where only artists that follow their roles were acepted. I took a hall new generation of art critics and curators to FA+'s breake through and in 1994 just at the same time when TLK first record "Welcome to the suburbs" came out FA+ did för first time "Citat" (Strindberg's quotations in a central street) to make it later permanent


Dogge x 2


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