Mattias Härenstam Abendland

This series uncompleted series shows self portraits made as woodcuts. The motifs are intimate and personal featuring everyday surrealism and black humor. Yet they serve just as much as political satire on current issues in the contemporary society.

Abendland means the evening country in German, but the original meaning is an old expression from the western world (the sun goes down in the west – Abendland – and up in the east – Morgenland). The term is perhaps mostly known from the Oswald Spenglers book “Das Untergang des Abendlandes (1918 -1923), where he outlines a culture history marked by the rise and fall of civilizations and where the west is next. The book has had great influence among the right wing extremists. The term was recently used by the Pegida movement (Pegida = Patriotische Europäer Gegen die Islamisierung Des Abendlandes, meaning “Patriotic Europeans against the islamization of the West)

The Abendland series have been acquired by the KODE Museum & National Museum.

Mattias Härenstam, was born in 1971 in Gothenburg, Sweden and studied at the Art Academy in Bergen. He works with woodcuts, sculpture and video. Härenstam has showed at several art institutions in both domestic and abroad and was nominated for the Lorck Schive Art Award, the Amanda award and the Queen Sonia Print Award. Mattias lives and works in Oslo. At the time of this exhibition he was working new permanent sculptures for the Nature historical Museum in Bergen.

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