Jan Svenungsson

Kard, Elin. “Kai Kaljo + Jan Svenungsson – Double Act”,

in: Hobusepea Galerii 2003-2007, Tallinn 2008

The two-in-one exhibition offers no common keywords nor will it try to frame the two artists sharing the same subject. The reason of the co-presentation could be the long-term aquaintance or the common way of thinking of the two artists. Both having set clear purposes, the artists seem to harmonise coincidentally, through the different corners and moving patterns in the exhibition hall. Kai Kaljo has been mostly known as a video artist and a painter until today, now having made up her mind to show her photographic art. Kaljo's photo series tend to have the effect of a videotape with the cut frames - like a row of TV sets connected to a stuck cd-player - some of the images being the surreal characters twinkling in an odd environment; nostalgic time travels to the transition period that we have quite happily escaped, at least seemingly so; and the memoirs of an artist and a traveler, of the basic sightseeing.

Jan Svenungsson built a ten-metre-high chimney next to Moderna Museet, Stockholm, in 1992. This marked the beginning of the addiction that gradually turned to be the central subject of his life and existence as well as the source of living, notwithstanding the fact that his chimneys are practically useless, without smoke, without congestions. What matters is its clean and flawless form, created only for the purposes of taking photos and sketching. Chimneys mean no fallocratic egotrip for Svenungsson but decent meetings with his favourite model. Without a direct purpose, the chimney is simultaneously a chimney as well as the image of a chimney. The original piece, the image of the original piece and the replica have finally come together.

Elin Kard