Faraway So Close
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Faraway So Close: Swedish Artists Look at the United States, an exhibition with with photography and video art, shows how American culture and society have been depicted by prominent Swedish artists. Documentary images from the 1960s are shown in parallel with contemporary Swedish artists' views of the United States today. Many of the participating artists are particularly interested in exploring a different reality of the United States—one that goes beyond the more traditional and idealized view that is often encountered in Sweden.

Following the Second World War, American popular culture grew and spread in Sweden, and it has been a dominant factor in the Swedish cultural scene ever since. Sweden was among the first countries to recognize the United States as an independent nation in 1783. From the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, more than a third of the Swedish population emigrated to America due to poverty. Today, 3.8 million Americans are of Swedish descent. This large-scale emigration, and the transatlantic correspondence and return migration that followed, created a relationship with the United States that is so close that it can only be compared to the relationship Swedes have with their Nordic neighbors.  

The selection of art works in this exhibition reflects the participating artists' personal views on Sweden's “neighboring” country on the other side of the Atlantic.   

This exhibition will be on display until February 19, 2023.

Curators: Helene Larsson Pousette and Johan Pousette.
Photo: Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff (American Chronicle Press)

Participating artists

Axel Annica Karlsson Rixon

Axel Annica Karlsson Rixon

(Born 1962) lives and works in Gothenburg, Berlin, and Los Angeles. Karlsson Rixon has a degree from the Nordic School of Photography in Stockholm, and the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Karlsson Rixon was a professor of photography at the University of Gothenburg between 2003 and 2007, where the artist later earned a Ph.D. in Photography in 2016. Karlsson Rixon has exhibited extensively in Sweden and internationally and is represented in the collections at, for example, Gothenburg Museum of Art in Gothenburg, Norrköpings Konstmuseum, and Moderna Museet in Stockholm.

(Born 1962) lives and works in Gothenburg, Berlin, and Los Angeles. Karlsson Rixon has a degree from the Nordic School of Photography in Stockholm, and the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Karlsson Rixon was a professor of photography at the University of Gothenburg between 2003 and 2007, where the artist later earned a Ph.D. in Photography in 2016. Karlsson Rixon has exhibited extensively in Sweden and internationally and is represented in the collections at, for example, Gothenburg Museum of Art in Gothenburg, Norrköpings Konstmuseum, and Moderna Museet in Stockholm.
Sune Jonsson

Sune Jonsson

(1930-2009) was a photographer, writer, and ethnologist that lived and worked in Västerbotten, Sweden. In addition to his photographic work, Jonsson was a skilled documentary filmmaker. In cooperation with Västerbotten Museum and Sveriges Television (Swedish Television), he produced documentary films about small farms, mining, and fishing in sparsely populated northern Sweden. Jonsson is represented in the collections at, for example, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg, and Västerbotten Museum in Umeå. In 1993, he was presented with the prestigious Hasselblad Award.

(1930-2009) was a photographer, writer, and ethnologist that lived and worked in Västerbotten, Sweden. In addition to his photographic work, Jonsson was a skilled documentary filmmaker. In cooperation with Västerbotten Museum and Sveriges Television (Swedish Television), he produced documentary films about small farms, mining, and fishing in sparsely populated northern Sweden. Jonsson is represented in the collections at, for example, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg, and Västerbotten Museum in Umeå. In 1993, he was presented with the prestigious Hasselblad Award.

Hannah Modigh

Hannah Modigh

(Born 1980) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. She is educated at the photography school Fatamorgana in Copenhagen, the Nordic School of Photography in Biskops Arnö, and the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Hurricane Season is the last section of a photo book trilogy, all from the United States. In 2010, the first section was awarded the Swedish Photobook Prize with one of the images being named the best individual portrait of the year by the photo agency Magnum Photos. In 2016, she was awarded the Lars Tunbjörk Award.

(Born 1980) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. She is educated at the photography school Fatamorgana in Copenhagen, the Nordic School of Photography in Biskops Arnö, and the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Hurricane Season is the last section of a photo book trilogy, all from the United States. In 2010, the first section was awarded the Swedish Photobook Prize with one of the images being named the best individual portrait of the year by the photo agency Magnum Photos. In 2016, she was awarded the Lars Tunbjörk Award.
Mats Hjelm

Mats Hjelm

(Born 1959) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. He holds an MFA in Sculpture from Konstfack University College of Art, Crafts, and Design in Stockholm, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He has worked extensively in Europe, West Africa, the United States, and more recently in Brazil. Hjelm’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and Venice Biennale in Italy.

(Born 1959) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. He holds an MFA in Sculpture from Konstfack University College of Art, Crafts, and Design in Stockholm, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He has worked extensively in Europe, West Africa, the United States, and more recently in Brazil. Hjelm’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and Venice Biennale in Italy.

Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff

Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff

(Born 1967) lives and works in Gothenburg, Sweden. She studied at Sven Winquists School of Photography in Gothenburg, Konstfack University College of Arts, Craft & Design in Stockholm, and the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. She has had solo shows at, for example, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, the Baltic Art Center in Visby, and the Venice Biennale in Italy. Hausswolff is represented at, for example, Gothenburg Museum of Art in Gothenburg, Norrköpings Konstmuseum in Norrköping, and Moderna Museet in Stockholm. She has received a ten-year grant from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee and a large grant from the Per Gannevik Foundation.

(Born 1967) lives and works in Gothenburg, Sweden. She studied at Sven Winquists School of Photography in Gothenburg, Konstfack University College of Arts, Craft & Design in Stockholm, and the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. She has had solo shows at, for example, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, the Baltic Art Center in Visby, and the Venice Biennale in Italy. Hausswolff is represented at, for example, Gothenburg Museum of Art in Gothenburg, Norrköpings Konstmuseum in Norrköping, and Moderna Museet in Stockholm. She has received a ten-year grant from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee and a large grant from the Per Gannevik Foundation.
Twiggy Pucci Garçon

Twiggy Pucci Garçon

(Born 1989) is a Virginia-born, DC-based LGBT advocate, house/ballroom runway performer, creative director, event producer, and filmmaker. Her mission is to elevate the authentic representation of the House|Ballroom community worldwide.

(Born 1989) is a Virginia-born, DC-based LGBT advocate, house/ballroom runway performer, creative director, event producer, and filmmaker. Her mission is to elevate the authentic representation of the House|Ballroom community worldwide.

Lars Tunbjörk

Lars Tunbjörk

(1956-2015) was born in Borås and lived in Stockholm, Sweden. Tunbjörk exhibited extensively in Sweden and internationally at, for example, the Modern Art Museum in Stockholm, Galerie VU in Paris, Fotografiska in Stockholm, Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg, International Center of Photography in New York, Akademie der Künste in Berlin, and National Gallery in London. He is represented in the collections at, for example, MoMA in New York, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Borås Art Museum in Borås, and Museet for Fotokunst in Denmark.

(1956-2015) was born in Borås and lived in Stockholm, Sweden. Tunbjörk exhibited extensively in Sweden and internationally at, for example, the Modern Art Museum in Stockholm, Galerie VU in Paris, Fotografiska in Stockholm, Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg, International Center of Photography in New York, Akademie der Künste in Berlin, and National Gallery in London. He is represented in the collections at, for example, MoMA in New York, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Borås Art Museum in Borås, and Museet for Fotokunst in Denmark.
Tova Mozard

Tova Mozard

(Born 1978) lives and works in Stockholm and Los Angeles. She holds an MFA degree from the Malmö Art Academy and studied photography at the University of California in Los Angeles. Mozard is represented in the collections at, for example, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Hasselblad Foundation in Gothenburg. Both her films The Big Scene and Psychic have been nominated for the Swedish Guldbagge Awards. The film Cops are Actors won the Dokhopp prize at STOCKmotion in 2018 in Sweden and the International Short Film Competition at the 9th Carbonia Film Festival in 2018 in Italy. Psychic won Best Short Film at Uppsala Short Film Festival in 2019 in Sweden.

(Born 1978) lives and works in Stockholm and Los Angeles. She holds an MFA degree from the Malmö Art Academy and studied photography at the University of California in Los Angeles. Mozard is represented in the collections at, for example, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Hasselblad Foundation in Gothenburg. Both her films The Big Scene and Psychic have been nominated for the Swedish Guldbagge Awards. The film Cops are Actors won the Dokhopp prize at STOCKmotion in 2018 in Sweden and the International Short Film Competition at the 9th Carbonia Film Festival in 2018 in Italy. Psychic won Best Short Film at Uppsala Short Film Festival in 2019 in Sweden.

Sara Jordenö

Sara Jordenö

(Born 1974) was born in Sweden and lives in Cambridge, United States. She is an Assistant Professor of Film & Video at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Jordenö is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Art Matters Award (2012), the Teddy Award for Best Documentary Film at the Berlin International Film Festival (2016), the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights at Full Frame Documentary Festival (2016), and the Edstrandska Stiftelsen Art Award (2019). For the past 20 years, her work has been exhibited and disseminated internationally in the fields of contemporary art, film, and the social sciences.

(Born 1974) was born in Sweden and lives in Cambridge, United States. She is an Assistant Professor of Film & Video at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Jordenö is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Art Matters Award (2012), the Teddy Award for Best Documentary Film at the Berlin International Film Festival (2016), the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights at Full Frame Documentary Festival (2016), and the Edstrandska Stiftelsen Art Award (2019). For the past 20 years, her work has been exhibited and disseminated internationally in the fields of contemporary art, film, and the social sciences.