Conny Karlsson Lundgren / I Kiss Your Eyes

14 feb7 apr 2024

Bonniers Konsthall are proud to present the first major solo exhibition by the artist Conny Karlsson Lundgren. The exhibition highlights the artist’s practice mid-career. Performance, scenographic installations, video works and photography fill the galleries, together with an ambitious new work.

Desire, lust, intimacy and resistance are reoccurring themes in Karlsson Lundgren’s practice. For more than 20 years, often with a starting point in the hidden micro-histories of the archive, he has gently let surface perspectives on queer experiences and Swedish gay history. Shared and temporary spaces such as the park, the night club, the bedroom or the work of activism often set the stage for his investigations. Within the parameters set up by the works, political and juridical structures are made visible, while often intertwined with moments of ecstasy, community or liberation.

In continuous dialogue, with materials and people, Karlsson Lundgren explores the boundaries between social, political and private identities. The works allow us to understand ourselves through the experiences of others, but also act in solidarity with those whose voices were previously misrepresented or silenced. By interweaving bodies, experiences and materials across time and space, he creates trans-generational connections between the past and the present, allowing them to make their way into the future.

The newly-commissioned piece I Kiss Your Eyes (A Year in Eight Weeks), is one of three works activated through performance during the exhibition. In the work, 25 love letters from the beginning of the 20th century, sent from Fabrikören to Matrosen, are read out loud — one at a time, three days per week — as a durational performance. Read by employees of Bonniers Konsthall, the voice of Fabrikören takes on a choir on new voices in the present.

Presented as part of the exhibition is a selection of works from a private art collection. Åke’s Collection is a testament to how collecting can be a part of an identity process, but primarily a means of creating a room of one’s own. Placed within the exhibition, the individual pieces let Karlsson Lundgren’s work enter into dialogue with a specific lineage of queer artists through history.

1. Our Trip to France (Mont des Tantes), still, 2021. Cinematography: Conny Karlsson Lundgren. Archive photo: Eric de Keizer.
2. Conny Karlsson Lundgren, The Teenage Runner, 2018/2019/2022–. Performance. Photo: Mike Karlsson Lundgren
3. Ola’s Garden 2022. Still. Photo: Conny Karlsson Lundgren
4. Prologue (The Gothenburg Affair), 2021. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger/Bonniers Konsthall
5. I Need Somebody To Love Tonight, 2018. Detail. Photo: Conny Karlsson Lundgren
6. I Am Other (Candy & Me), 2007-2008. Still. The work is a collaboration with Andy Candy. Cinematography: Ulf Lundén.
7-8. I Kiss Your Eyes (A Year in Eight Weeks), 2024. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger/Bonniers Konsthall
9. I Kiss Your Eyes (A Year in Eight Weeks), 2024. Photo: Weronika Bela