Erik Kihlbaum – Museum of Ruins

21.10 - 05.11 2023

These works are rooted in digital archives, where I discovered them. These photos exist in various physical forms in archives around the world. They are then digitized to make them accessible to a broader audience. I bring them to life, transitioning them from their digital form into drawings. By situating them against backgrounds often used for the photographic documentation of objects (which flattens the three-dimensional object into a two-dimensional image), I recontextualize these photos, returning them to objects on display.

Time always plays a significant role in my work. I predominantly use black and white photographs from the past as my reference. My aim is consistently to comment on our present and future by utilizing imagery from the past. During this process, I start to envision where these photos might be displayed.

As the title of the show is “Museum of Ruins,” I want the audience to wonder about where on the timeline this museum exists. The photos that are shown in my drawings deal with contemporary topics and cultural phenomena. These works are inspired by themes such as our relation to our contemporary society, nature, politics, objects, and time. Through my collages, I aim to examine the complexities of these concepts, drawing on historical imagery and referencing current cultural phenomena to create nuanced commentary on contemporary issues.

My art delves into the cyclical nature of time, repetition, and history. I process figurative images from archives, carefully selecting and arranging them to create new interpretations that are both in dialogue with and critically engaged with the present moment, opening up new possibilities for understanding the world around us. I believe that engaging with the past is crucial for moving forward and for opening up new possibilities for understanding the world around us, while also highlighting the importance of engaging with the past in order to understand our present and our possible future.

Erik Kihlbaum (b.1976 in Örebro), is a Stockholm-based artist, who completed his studies at the Umeå Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. His artworks have been showcased at various prestigious art galleries and institutions such as the Örebro Art Hall, Rättvik Art Hall, Galleri BOX in Gothenburg, Galleri Steinsland Berliner in Stockholm, and the Gallery 0-0 LA in Los Angeles. His works are widely recognized and are represented in municipalities and counties throughout Sweden, the Moderna Museet, the British Museum, His Majesty the King’s Graphic Collection, as well as in private and corporate collections.