Welcome Back by Katja Pettersson

By on October 14, 2017
Nille Svensson

Welcome to Vernissage: Welcome Back by Katja Pettersson
Time: 21st October, 13.00-16.00
Opening speech at 2 pm, Annika Enqvist, Iaspis
The exhibition will take place until 21 January 2018

Climate Anxiety. Debt. The feeling that whatever you do, it’s wrong – or at least too little. Katja Pettersson has long been thinking about how to reverse this feeling, and tries in her art to understand both the environmental and climate problems themselves, such as the experience of them.

The Welcome Back project is based on an exploration of the anthropocracy, the age we are on earth today, an era defined by man. Katja Pettersson invites us to enter a post-apocalyptic room, as we would be a museum visitor from a future. Standalone objects and ingenious self-designed machines – inspired by Polhems mechanical alphabet – act as historical capsules by which we are tempted to try our own thoughts, search in ourselves.

– I work for us to find back to our own relation to the four elements that we are also part of nature. With the elements as mediators, I hope that, instead of feeling guilty of what we have ruined, we can enjoy our land in a way that changes us and what we do, says Katja Pettersson.

The four elements – air, fire, water and wind – are also explored from another point, when Katja Pettersson de-dramatizes and picks apart the known. With the help of research, she shows how new realities can be built by old parts. New nature; new soil, fire, water and air. One example is the work Critical CO2, where she in a research laboratory, film carbon dioxide, how this badly seen gas under high pressure – and with surprisingly beauty – turns into liquid. To make the invisible, vital and dangerous gas visible is a way to create a relation to this environmentally supercritical molecule. The work was shown at The Stockholm Act, the Culture House Sustainability Festival this summer, and is also part of Welcome Back.

Pedagogy is an important part of Katja Pettersson’s artistry, and it receives a lot of space in Welcome Back. The interaction between her work and the viewers – schoolchildren, students and “regular” visitors – is crucial: It should happen something with us in the meeting.

Katja Pettersson works with overall experiences; light, sound, built-up space, interactive unique objects and objects that visualize context. Her playful political practice is interested in climate change and the conditions we live under today.

Katja Pettersson works as independent designer, on her own and in groups, as an entrepreneur in fair design and as a lecturer and senior assistant master at Konstfack, and is a member of the boards of the Konstfack and Steneby School. She is one of the founders of the International Design Group Front, which she left in 2009 to start 50/50, a collaborative company where the designer and the producer work on equal terms and share knowledge and profit. Since June this year, Katja Pettersson is a guest artist in Gustavsberg Konsthall’s project studio. At the moment, she works in addition to her solo exhibition at Gustavsbergs Konsthall (which then goes on to Vandalorum in Värnamo and Form Design Center in Malmö), with the decoration of the Stockholm City Museum entrance hall.

The art gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday 11-16. Free admission applies to all exhibitions.
Gustavsbergs Konsthall is part of Värmdö municipality.

Helena Olofsson, Culture & Music | Värmdö