Shadow Government | Husby Konsthall

I´ve been trying for some years do exhibit more in my home country Sweden. It's not been easy since I established myself in Norway. So I was delighted to have the opportunity to do a solo show at Husby Konsthall, which is located right outside Stockholm. I´ve been living in Stockholm in the nineties and still have a lot of friends there. The gallery space is big with high ceiling. In the centre, there is a large free-standing wall that I noticed when I was inspecting the room a year or so in advance. I planned early that I was going to do an extensive piece on that wall. I also learned that the gallery had quite robust moveable walls that I could use to reshape the room.

The exhibition was planned to take place in March 2020, so since I started my residency at Nordic Artist Centre Dale at the same time, I had to be ready with all the works some time in advance. But then Covid-19 broke loose, and the exhibition was postponed. Luckily I had a new chance already in September the same year. I made a sort of preview with some of the works during the summer before at Kragerø Kunstforening.

I rented a car for a whole week because I knew I also wanted to socialise with my friends when I first went to Stockholm. And because of Corona, I had to be quarantined for ten days on my return, so it was no point in trying to do a short stay. I even treated myself to a couple of days at a nice hotel at Söder, the part of town where I used to live. The rest of the time I stayed with my good friend Patrik Gustavsson and his partner Sara Collins. Patrik, who also is an artist, is an old friend of mine since high school.

Here are some pictures of the beautiful place which also have a lovely cafe, studios for artist and a lot of other stuff going on. Check out their website here. They were very professional, made an excellent campaign with posters, website advertising and a Facebook event. Kerstin Wikström and her staff took good care of me during installing, and I could lunch for free at the cafe.

The opening was something of a dream come true for me. So many old and new friends from different periods in my life showed up. It had such a great time. And after, Steven Cuzner who I studied with at the academy in Trondheim escorted me, his girlfriend Sarah Kim, Sebastian Larsmo (who I met at the residency in Dale) and Idun Baltzersen through the neighbourhood where he grew up to Kista. We took the subway downtown to Pelikan, where I had reserved a large table for 17 persons! It was a night to remember.

Here you see first my high school friends Carin Bengtsson and Åsa Ryding which I hadn't seen for 25 years. Then there is Jacob Dahlgren letting me be part of the T-shirt project he´s been doing for almost twenty years (check it out on Instagram - @jacob_dahlgren). Then me talking to Yngve Rådberg who I studied with at Gerlesborgskolan in Stockholm (his wife Therese Wigzell was also there), and after that Linn Fernström - a long time friend, with Lars Göran Nilsson who I exhibited with at Galleri Rostrum (together with Malin Ida Erikson who joined later at Pelikan) earlier in 2020 and Idun Baltzersen with Sebastian Larsmo. Next picture is Åsa and Carin with Mikael Börjesson, also from high school and his daughter. Then Åsa and Carin taking selfies in front of my works (which I later sold!), followed by me talking to my cousins Jens and Mattias Ergon together with Lars Göran and finally some pictures of the participatory art event TABLES Wishing Well, where you fist see my aunt Kiki Ergon Söderström (who dared the coronavirus and made it to Husby) with my cousin Jens Ergon and his son Konrad. On the last picture, Kerstin Wikström, the head of the gallery is placing a chip in the wet filler. Calle Österlind from highschool also showed up and of course Patrik Gustavson plus long time friend and artist Johan Svensson. I hope I havent forgotten to mention anyone, and I´m so sorry I didnt take more photos. I have to save this moment in my internal memory.

This is how TABLES Wishing Well looked after the opening.

This is the result. Read more about it here.

Here is the documentation.

You can read the press release here.


Johan Söderström | Grenseveien 9b, Oslo, Norway

t. +47 41 355 355 | jodsoderstrom@gmail.com

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©Johan Söderström 2015