Industrial art from Siri Aurdal in Malmö

Malmö is by all means a fabulous town but one of the things people do not appreciate enough in Malmö, wether it be the actual inhabitants of Malmö or its visiting tourists – is Malmö Konsthall.

Malmö konsthall was founded in 1975 and is to date one of the largest exhibition halls in Europe for contemporary art. The art exhibitions here are high quality exhibitions – but the building itself is well worth a visit in its own merit. Designed by architect Klas Anshelm, it was awarded the 1974 Kasper Salin Prize which is the biggest prize for architecture in Sweden. Constructed of concrete, glass, wood and aluminium it has fantastic natural light. 

Currently Malmö Konsthall is showing Norwegian artist Siri Aurdal. This exhibition, called Continuum is the first solo exhibition for the artist since 1980 – and also the largest exhibition Siri Aurdal has ever made. This particular exhibition is actually a follow up with new additions made to a series of sculptures that Siri Aurdal introduced in 1969, in her breakthrough exhibition Surroundings at Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo.

Malmö Konsthall is showing a series of sculptures made for modular use, of a sculpture system that is undergoing reconstruction. It’s quite fascinating to watch as it is a combine of architecture, design and industrial shapes. At the time of conception, Aurdal was influenced by ideas and movements of the early 60s in Europe. It’s baffling to look at, walk past and next to.

Malmö Konsthall also shows Interview from 1968 combined with a new piece, Conversation, made in 2018. Both works are made from transparent, tinted plexiglass. You can walk through the pieces as they are hanging from the ceiling like a dissolved labyrinth architecture. Very luminous and beautiful. 

The title of the exhibition, Continuum, suggests that a constant change is possible. In a time when conservative forces are reigning Europe and the western world this promise of constant change is an optimistic view. Siri Aurdal means that potential for change is determined by spatial conditions, by the opportunities and limitations presented by the architecture. Her art feels progressive and bright in a time very conservative.

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