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Friday 18 November 2011

Bo Christian Larsson | Run To The Hills | Steinle Contemporary | Munich

Swedish artist, Bo Christian Larsson combines sculpture, video, and works on paper. Larsson's previous exhibitions have featured a central work - often a large-scale installation or a performance remnant yet with Run To The Hills, Larsson instead presents a collection of smaller works that interrelate and build upon one another.

In this, and many other works, Larsson employs a wide frame of reference from Western Art History and classical iconography to pop culture and folklore (the title of the exhibition is taken from an Iron Maiden song). Larsson even goes as far as to source his materials from the flea markets and used book stores that surround his working environments. These referential differences are displayed most emphatically in the pairing of two works: Imaginary Raft of Medusa and Pygmalion.

The first of these works takes a poster from the Louvre of GĂ©ricault's famous Raft of Medusa painting and multiplies the bodies, collaging the copied figures onto each other. The original picture is exaggerated to the point of absurdity, but at first glance it is hard to say whether it looks familiar because we known the work, or because we have become so accustomed to these scenes of mass violence and destruction in the media. Alongside this collage, and literally illuminating the exhibition is a blue neon work that reads Pygmalion, a reference to the Greek myth of the sculptor who fell in love with his own creation. Produced as if written with a shaky hand, Larsson is acknowledging the loaded subject matter, pulling the focus away from the myth itself, using the contemporary, and often commercial, material to highlight society's fixation with perfection, trying to create something at such high speed that it becomes inhuman.

Bo Christian Larsson: Run To The Hills continues until 17 December at Steinle Contemporary, Munich.


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