Follow a bug to the end of the world at Konsthallen Trollhättan

Julia Selin & Matti Sumari / Follow a bug to the end of the world

12. June – 7. August

Konsthallen Trollhättan
Nohabgatan 11B
461 53 Trollhättan

A swamp has a problematic consistency - it does not hold up well.  Its sloppy nature is difficult to categorize.  Mucus is also an indeterminate thing, a deviant substance.  The physical state of slime is neither solid nor liquid, just as swamps are neither water nor soil, but a potentially dangerous combination of both.  Slime has been associated with excrement and has often been attributed as the form in which the devil exists.  In Dante's 'The Divine Comedy' from the 14th century, the river Styx is referred to as a swamp in the fifth circle of the underworld (not the tenth as the mayor of New York claimed in the film 'Ghostbusters II' from 1989, to explain where the massive river of ghost slime came from).  In ‘The Divine Comedy’, the damned souls get caught up in Styx's sludge, where the angered ones fight each other in thick fog while those who carry resentment sink to the murky bottom, forever mumbling their bitterness. From this, air bubbles rise to the surface.

Rot can turn solid material into viscous goo.
On landfills in India and Japan strains of bacteria have evolved and started decomposing plastic waste into an unrecognizable yet organic mess.

Slime is also life.  In an inconspicuous ditch by a busy road, the water is filled with tadpoles and other living creatures.  (One night, the water surface of the ditch may be completely still, reflecting a star that is 40 million kilometers away). Several thousand mosquitoes are born in a pond somewhere every night, and at the bottom of that pond perhaps lies a dead moose that went through the ice the previous winter.  Its decaying body rests next to a 1988 plastic ketchup bottle.

A snail crawling over a concrete foundation leaves traces in the form of a sticky writing no one can decipher.

In the exhibition at Konsthallen Trollhättan, Julia Selin and Matti Sumari approach the outside world by looking at it with the logic of a rot or slime, the resolution of everything or perhaps through the eyes of a flying moth that lives its life between two tree trunks for a short time.

Julia Selin works with painting in large formats.  Her works can be described as "night paintings": pieces that immerse themselves in a nocturnal state of mind and that lead into a physical, sensitive and emotional world.  She utilizes bodily memories, how it feels to walk over a bog or through a dark forest or how the rain falls on her face.  She paints using brushes, scrapers, rags and with her hands.  Traces of the painting act are clear in the end result.  The direction of the color paste  is controlled by the format of the canvas, a certain slope at the root of a tree surfaces as a motif.

Matti Sumari works sculpturally with refining found material as the main modus.  His artworks are crafted from residual products  dumped in the city.  He utilizes the urban slag that appears in his environment: plywood, satellite dishes, plastic, discarded replicas of designer furniture.  Everything is transformed.  Shapes in his sculptures are taken from and informed by microscope images of the newly discovered species of bacteria and fungi that feed on and break down plastic.
At Konsthallen Trollhättan, the artists meet for the first time in a larger joint exhibition where their two worlds are merged.

Julia Selin was born in 1986 in Trollhättan, lives and works in Malmö.  She is educated at Umeå Academy of the Arts and the Nordic Academy of the Arts, Kokkola, Finland.  In recent years she has exhibited at Galleri Wallner, Simris, Galleri Cora Hillebrand, Gothenburg and Galleri Flach, Stockholm, Wanås Art, Knislinge and participated in group exhibitions at Malmö Konsthall, V Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, and Ta-da space,  Copenhagen.

Matti Sumari was born in 1987 in Helsinki, lives and works in Malmö.  He is educated at Umeå Academy of the Arts and the Nordic School of Art, Kokkola, Finland.  In recent years he has exhibited at Sjöbo konsthall, KH7artspace, Aarhus and ACUD gallery, Berlin and participated in group exhibitions at Kunsthall Oslo, Künstlerhaus Bregenz, Austria, Vermilion Sands, Copenhagen, Fitzrovia gallery, London, and Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Photo by: Fredrik Åkum


To videowork worm computer

Matti Sumari

Julia Selin