The Faust Flip
We do not see things as they are,
we see them as we are.
– Talmudic proverb
When Jonas Liveröd returns to the gallery it is with a show of naughty, tricky and color-saturated works. As one might expect he presents a new version of his ever-changing output of works, which in the past year has had a focus on a textile approach.
Transformation is also a lead in the narrative of the exhibition, as the title of the show The Faust Flip offers a sort of double-edged sword. German writer Goethes classic version of the the story of Faust – in a well-known scene the main character is taken by surprise as a poodle turns out to be the devil in disguise, letting us know all is not what it seems. The works have a transformative and flirty quality, like riddles that reshape and shift themselves in front of the viewer.
In the past Jonas used to work mainly in black and white tones, but then realised it was much more interesting to talk about awkward things in bright colors, a seduction of the viewer you might say.
This seduction – some might say manipulation – is a way to let the audience come closer and peel the works like an onion, layer by layer. Ritual, transformation, vanity, subculture, desperation, sex, absurdity, awe – these are subjects embedded in the works. But then he flips right back – allowing material, form, composition and color to be as much a part of the plot as the ideas behind it. In any case, it is an attempt at a full raid of the senses that Liveröd offers us this time.
”There were other statues in the city parks and the boy knew them all.He believed that statues were one way of transforming humans and in some cases horses. Yet even statues did not remain the same but turned different colours or lost bits and pieces of themselves. It was evident to him that the world composed and recomposed itself constantly in an endless process of dissatisfaction.”
― E.L. Doctorow,Ragtime