Albin Bergström | Mid-Centry Peep Show
19 October – 12 November 2023

Presented as part of GIBCA Extended, Mid-Century Peep Show is an exhibition of new works by multidisciplinary artist Albin Bergström (b. 1992, Gothenburg. Lives and works between Gothenburg and Vienna).

Bergström’s works often take domestic objects, such as chairs, cups or cutlery as a point of departure. By fusing these items with additional materials or imagery, he expands the possible narratives and meanings of these seemingly functional and/or decorative objects. This new body of work has been created in response to the Detriti Gallery space at Risåsgatan 10 as part of GIBCA Extended 2023.

Exhibition Text by Albin Bergström

This exhibition takes its point of departure from drawings, texts, photographs and miscellaneous printed matter that I have accumulated over the years. It’s an attempt to make sense of, catalogue or group this material, just as much as it is a fetishisation of not only the material itself, but the very act of desire to keep and catalogue these things that were first discarded or dismissed. Like a butchered book with its pages shredded and sprung up, only holding together by a thread. A stitch is the smallest of things, but it’s also a means to repair, to mend, to link things together and to connect the dots.

I recently saw a tweet proclaiming that "Chairs are hornier than tables!". Despite this statement, I assume, being intended purely as a joke or a punchline, it formulates quite nicely the potential of the chair as a kind of placeholder for a person. That the empty chair is a promise of someone just as much as it can imply the loss of a person, and within that span exists something erotic, a horniness if you will, that almost turns the chair into a subject, because the empty chair always longs for someone to sit on its face.

This stretch between loss and longing is also the space which this exhibition seeks to inhabit, but more like a foot forced inside a door prohibiting it from being slammed shut in your face. It's a love letter to crooked postures and twisted spines, and bent wood (but only if it's designer). The tenderness for patterns here is matched only by the desire to cut them up. Pieced back together these patterns form a patchwork of rejects, themselves scarred and monstrous. A freak show of peeping toms looking at themselves in the mirror, appalled by what they see. And as I look at the vase on the table I think to myself that the problem with trying to strangle a swan, I imagine, is that there's so much neck to deal with.