Göteborgs Konsthall presents An unexpected thought – function in contemporary art

Göteborgs Konsthall, Göteborg / Sweden

May 28, 2009

An unexpected thought -
function in contemporary art

4 June – 16 Aug 2009

Götaplatsen, SE-412 56
Göteborg, Sweden,
phone +46 31 368 34 50
fax +46 31 368 34 59


Opening 4 June 17.30-23.00, Göteborgs Konsthall

Participating artists: Bosch & Fjord, Luca Frei, Maria Johansson, Fredrik Norén, Xabier Salaberria and Peter Thörneby

“The function of an artwork isn’t as obvious as the function of, say, a cheese slicer, and requires more imagination of the user.” – Peter Thörneby

On 4 June, Göteborgs Konsthall presents An unexpected thought – function in contemporary art, an exhibition that challenges our views on art and functionality.

The functional capacity of contemporary art is a common question today, however this discussion has a tendency to result in concerns regarding the instrumentalisation of art. But what functions does contemporary art have today? How does our experience of an art work change if the artistic intention is to create something with a specific function? Does this exclude other meanings and interpretations?

The exhibition presents a group of artists who, in their individual ways, embrace design, typography and architecture within their artistic practice. Common to all of them is their starting point in ideas of form and functionality, some emphasis on the practical or ideological level and others on a utopian or poetic level.

Exploring art’s instrumental role, the Danish artist duo Bosch & Fjord’s project Free Zone is using art a tool for creating a more dynamic public space. At the other end of the spectrum, we find Peter Thörneby’s subtle installation Quiet & Electric including Thörneby’s typeface Quiet & Electric, which only consists of the letters of its own name, thus refusing to be instrumentalised.

An unexpected thought comprises installations, sculptures, objects and graphic patterns. Some works are site-specific and relate to Göteborgs Konsthall’s function as a public space with educational activities, as well as to its architecture and visibility in the city. Other works focus on our relationship to everyday objects, demonstrating how the interaction between everyday life and objects can reveal something about our culture and how society is structured.

The exhibition presents works by artists whose practice is located within the social domain of art. It is a practice that opens up for dialogue and often invites viewers to engage in interaction, with the aim of uprooting imbedded habits and stimulating fresh mental processes – provoking an unexpected thought.

Participating artists:
Bosch & Fjord
– Rosan Bosch (b. 1969, Utrecht, Holland), Rune Fjord Jensen (b. 1966, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Luca Frei (b. 1976, Lugano/Switzerland)
Maria Johansson (b. 1979, South Halland, Sweden)
Fredrik Norén (b. 1979, Lund, Sweden)
Xabier Salaberria (b. 1969, Donostia-San Sebastían, Spain)
Peter Thörneby (b. 1973, Karlstad, Sweden)

Thursday 4 June, 17.30-23.00
18.00 Inauguration. The exhibition will be opened by Director Lene Crone Jensen and introduced by
Curator Anna Hyltze.
19.00-23.00 Opening party in Göteborg Konsthall’s garden, including an outdoor concert with
Disdishdance (Stockholm) in collaboration with Kning Disk.

Press Information
Andréas Hagström, Press Officer, tel: +46 31-368 34 56, e-mail: andreas.hagstrom [​at​] kultur.goteborg.se

Download press images


Opening hours
Tuesday and Thursday 11-18
Wednesday 11-20
Friday-Sunday 11-17
Closed Mondays, 6 June, Midsummer’s Eve & Midsummer’s
Day (19-20 June)


Exhibition production
Göteborgs Konsthall

Graphic design
Marc Strömberg

Thanks to
Vasakronan, JM, Göteborgs Länstryckeri, PPV, Meag
Genevad, Elastic, Stadsbyggnadskontoret, Trafikkontoret