Johan Wik: Pump
Jan 9 - Feb 16, 2014

Johan Wik (1975), educated at the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm, was awarded the Gerhard and Peggy Bonnier’s scholarship for his graduate exhibition in 2011 with the video Flubber. The artist’s powerful video works have previously been shown at Fotografiska museum and at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. An earlier video piece, Action Curator, has been aired several times on SVT (Swedish National Television).

Johan Wik’s film art is inspired by both TV-commercials and Hollywood. In his videos the artist often gives expression for a strong pent-up aggression and uses violence as a redemptive valve for anger and frustration over the moral, the polished and the mendacious that hold societies together. People explode, fight, burn, get shot and commit suicide in Wik’s chillingly aloof and often times comic cinematics.

The violence in Wik’s videos is meticulously filmed, beautifully directed and combined with a sharp dark humour, which makes his art both entertaining and controversial. The dark humor, in combination with an explicitly provocative streak, places Johan Wik in the same artistic tradition as Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley. Worth mentioning is the exceptionally high quality of film production such as lighting, editing, music and sound design. Johan Wik masters the craft well after nearly twenty years in the film business as a professional film editor, and is one of the most sought after names in the field today.

The exhibition at CHRISTIAN LARSEN presents the new video PUMP, as well as a selection of earlier works, many of which have never been shown before. In the video PUMP the artist himself appears in the role of a stoned, violent and creepy Mickey Mouse character. He yells out obscenities, swears hysterically, drools, dances and is completely loose; he entertains while he spreads an uneasy feeling that anything can happen. The video is about 3 minutes long and is presented along with several photographic portraits of the character. In the cinema salong, we are showing a dozen earlier works filmed between 2006 and 2013. The films are customized for this particular display, with a specific sequence, shorter versions and impactful clips between the works to create a coherent viewing experience.