Do as you like!
Marie-Louise Ekman with Sister Corita Kent, Martha Wilson and Mladen Stilinović
Installation shot: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Archive
Pop Feminism from the Director of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Marie-Louise Ekman, in good company with international artists.
The main player at the exhibition Do as you like! is Marie-Louise Ekman, an influential artist of the PUSS group during the 1960s. Today, she is best known as the Director of Dramaten, the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. In addition, she is an acclaimed filmmaker, actor and visual artist. With this exhibition, the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK) places her wayward art, which embraces everyday surrealism, pop culture, cross dressing and political satire, in an international perspective.
Marie-Louise Ekman is an artist who uses art to tell stories on current, political and taboo topics in a humorous and amusing way. lnterpersonal relationships play a key role in Ekman's works. She creates everyday and banal scenes, often stemming from middle-class homes, in order to transcend political, artistic and erotic taboos by means of a playful naivism, which tends to slide into absurdity. Marie-Louise Ekman was one of the first artists in Sweden who addressed the sphere of domestic life, children and the family. Using a young woman's perspective and choice of colours and materials, she depicts family scenes and women's and children's relationships to the home.
The exhibition Do as you like! consists of more than 100 works: paintings, serigraph prints, textile works, objects, films, TV series and costumes from Ekman's theatre productions.
Marie-Louise Ekman has been a prominent figure in Swedish art since the 1990s. It is nevertheless only now that her oeuvre is set in an international context. The exhibition Do as you like! interprets her art in a new way by looking at it in relation to three other international artists working with similar themes during the same period.
Sister Corita Kent (1918-1986) was a radical, modern-thinking nun who made a name for herself as a graphic artist and charismatic art teacher at the lmmaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. Sister Corita Kent used silkscreen printing and serigraph techniques as early as the 1950s. However, it was her bold visual idiom during the 1960s, inspired by commercial culture and containing spiritual, poetic, social and not least political messages, that made her famous as an artist.
Mladen Stilinović (bom in Belg rade in 1947) lives and works in Zagreb, where he has won acclaim for his poetry, experimental films and visual art since the 1960s. He uses humour as an important ingredient in his works and presents language as a component of an ideological system. His works often take the form of collages, banners, paintings and hand-made books. The role of the artist is a key theme of his oeuvre.
Martha Wilson (bom in Philadelphia in 1947, now living in New York) shares Ekman's interests in how gen der roles are formed and in the performative aspect of art. Wilson often incorporates herself into her works and has a penchant for parody and the burlesque. Two clear examples of this are her punk band Disband, consisting exclusively of women members and the group Guerilla Girls, of which she was a prominent member.
The exhibition is a collaborative project with Tensta Konsthall (Tensta Art Gallery) outside Stockholm, where it was shown in Autumn 2012.