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Art review: Peter Johansson's childhood faith is heartbreaking

”Now it's for real.”

the Lady in the red yllekoftan draws a few quick puffs on the cigarette and throwing a nervous glance out the kitchen window. Getting up from the table, sits down again, pulls a few puffs, and look unsteady at the camera. Repeat: ”Now it's for real.”

It is, indeed. In two of Malmö's central galleries performing Peter Johansson a wild exorcism against a childhood of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. The woman at the kitchen table is his mother, or rather the artist himself in disguise, with blue eye shadow and a scarf tied around it ostyriga hair. We see her at the stove and the sink, hysterically gnoende with the brush and stekspaden, ever-smokers, sinister chanting into the camera with a voice that comes and disappears.

the performance. Fragile and brutal at the same time.

From their exhibition at the Galerie Leger, in the center ”When the Sausage hits the Fan”. Photo: Matti Östling

”child-like faith” drills further into the övergreppshistoria that was alluded to for the first time in the opulent ”El hombre elastico. My friend the sausage” at Borås museum of art three years ago. Johansson has in other contexts made clear the autobiographical background: growing up in a dysfunctional family where the mother had mental problems and a co-worker to her father repeatedly abused him sexually.

But just as little as in Borås made some concrete utpekanden in this double show, even if it is comparatively straighter, more concentrated. At the Galerie Leger hangs superförstorade images from familjealbumet with the perpetrators ' faces of anonymous by the white circles, all in a typical johanssonsk scenography where falukorvar, midsummer poles and allmogesnickerier run in an aesthetic mixer with steel construction, the moving pistons, and stuffed animals. Together they create a manic, somewhat desperate impression: crazy, uninhibited, and the right to arrest him.

at Gallery 21 there will be seriously on the real.

In the cramped basement has Johansson traveled a purl reconstruction of the home, five utochinvända room you look into through the circular peephole in the elaborately carved and painted red plywood panels.

It appears there is a kind of subconsciously, metaphorically chaos with falukorvar in a bloody rödfärgsbad, gloomy korvtallrikar on jättebord and orange-red panelväggar where sealingfoam oozes that icing out of the gliporna. And, of course, the films with mammafiguren, rumsterande like a trapped animal in his kitchen.

the Interior of the "Living room" at Gallery 21, where the sealingfoam oozes. Photo: Matti Östling

the dark empty spaces, crouching and squinting to see. The feeling of checking into a personal world of nightmare is claustrophobic and frightening. Very kusligast it will be in the rooms that are decorated to a copy of This boy's room, with Fantomenaffischer and leksaksbjörnar along the walls. In the interior also includes one of the artist's patented ”korvknullare” – a machine that tirelessly squeaking running a falukorvsattrapp in fogskum up and down through the mattress.

Interior by Peter Johansson's installation ”boy's room” at Gallery 21 Photo: Matti Östling

To all of this, the mother's face, intrusive, near, but still veiled by the rökdimmorna, nagging their eternal viciousness, barely audible but penetrating: ”ungjävel... how you look... what do you think you are...”

It is sad, entertaining, and creepy. Ulcerated and courageously. Clearly one of the important, central in the works of Peter Johansson's oeuvre.

Read more: Brave journey into the human darkness

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