Maria Bjurestam - art and projects

Surfaces of Contact

Joint projects by Malin Lobell and Maria Bjurestam.

Short projects/happenings/actions:

Name & Title 1994

A happening/action during the opening of the Valand College of Fine Art Spring exhibition, Gotheburg

"What’s your name and occupation?" The question was asked to exhibition visitors during the opening of the Spring exhibition in May 1994. Small stickers with their stated name and occupation written on them were fixed in a well visible place on respectively wearer. In effect not only the exhibited art-works were looked upon, but - now delibarately incorporated in the exhibition event - also the visitors became focused on. The decreased anonymity created the possibility for contact-making. The visitors showed to be a fairly mixed crowd of dental hygienists, bankers, artists, nurses, critics, construction workers, junior-level teachers etc... Out of circa 400 visitors only 1% refused to participate but further a dozen took the opportunity to change their occupation to something else, for instance astronaut.

Coffee with Godot

Happening at the Ynglingagatan 1 Gallery, Stockholm May 1997.

In the café of the gallery, coffee and cake was served. Each guest had two cakes for free, served on separate plates. The visitor was instructed to put one of the plates opposite to her / him at the table, but could otherwise choose to sit alone or at a table with other guests. On each table there was a stand with two small stories which dealed with persons being alone, seeking and waiting for contact with other people. At the same time they are trying to cover their situation and their longing for company but each person find their own way of solving their problem. During the happening, a sense of belonging was created as the visitors were connected by the visual traces of the cakes and/or empty plates, thus also being included in the happening. If no guests had occured, the work had not been completed.

cofee with Godot

To be singular is to be separate; The CONTACT-PARTY 2001

Passagen Linköping Kunsthalle march 2001 for the exhibition "If you show me your, I’ll show mine", in co-operation with Katinka Ahlbom & Anna Persson

The CONTACT-PARTY was a kind of conclusion of our previous projects as the HALL was an attempt to introduce a public space into a private realm, Name&Title a way to present the exhibition -visitors to each other by literally label them and The TELEPHONEGALLERY included the listener by their possibility to extend the work by leaving comments. The guests/participators in the Contact Partywere invited to choose among different colored T-shirts with Velcro- dots. After dressing in the preffered one, they could enter the party-space – a cosy, quite small room with a bar, music, a disco-mirrorball and a notice board with pencils and paper ready to use for eager contact-makers. There was also cameras around for anyone to document the encounters made. During the evening the artists served ”Absolut Contact” from the bar. The Contact Party stages the questions how contact, singularity, integrity, exchange, interaction, conversation and intimacy on different levels may originate and how it is dealed with among a group of people.