Good Mourning is the first institutional solo exhibition of Stockholm-based artist Susanna Jablonski. The exhibition features sculpture, sound and video works that, in different ways, engage with notions of agency and belonging. Jablonski facilitates an environment in which works are in dialogue both with each other and with the visiting audience. The focus of the exhibition is the exploration of the object as a living entity in relation to its cultural environments.
Jablonski works actively to formulate a new aural and material lexicon that questions and reflects on inter-personal relationships, and the power of her materials to mediate these relationships. The malleability and (trans)formative nature of each medium is key, as she often works with precious substances, sounds on the edge of collective recognition, or materials on the threshold of what they are physically capable of sustaining. Meanings shift with each new installation as existing works, found objects, and newly produced sculptures interact with their specific environment.
One of Jablonski’s pieces, titled Rebecka, meaning ‘to tie firmly, to braid’ in Hebrew, is a cobblestone taken from the street in her grandmother’s hometown in Poland. Jablonski brought the stone back to Stockholm where she used the cobblestone to make a mould and cast a solid pink glass object out of it. Both the cobblestone and the glass object are part of the work and presented differently depending on the context or environment of presentation. The braiding of materials and meanings throughout her practice is evident in how Jablonski incorporates sounds, materials and images from her everyday surroundings as well as her subconscious retention. The relation to her physical body in working with the materials grounds her works in the importance of the visceral. Jablonski thinks through her materials as an extension of, or in relation to the physical body. As a result, her works reflect on the body in relation to materiality by incorporating her physical measurements and physiological properties in creating and presenting her work.
Throughout her practice, Jablonski stretches, bends and tests the limits of the materials she works with. In Untitled (2017), a willow tree slowly twists and turns, resulting in a dreamlike animation that alters the physical properties of the tree, while maintaining its solidity extended over an infinite time lapse. The notion of ‘entropy’, has a prominent meaning in Jablonski’s works. Taken from physics, entropy entails the transitionary process caused by thermodynamic changes to a physical entity. Comparable to the thermodynamic process, her works are constantly shifting in meaning by being exposed to cultural and physical site-specific conditions.
The title of the exhibition Good Mourning reflects on the cultural process of mourning. Mourning is the personal and/or collective emotional response defining the period after the experience of loss. The word is also used to describe a cultural complex of behaviours in which the bereaved participate or are expected to participate. Good Mourning is presented with Box – Marabouparken’s project space committed to supporting artists and collectives at an important stage in their practice. The opening of the exhibition takes place during Spring Clean – Marabouparken’s annual event weekend. Good Mourning is curated by Sander Hintzen, who is affiliated with the Curating Art Programme at Stockholm University.
Text by Sander Hintzen
Photo: Santiago Mostyn, Baltazar Berling