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Sketchbook Johannes Heldén

I’m very happy to have been able to add this young Swedish artist’s work to Trente Oiseaux’s program for this year. Based on field recordings Johannes made while traveling from Sweden to Russia via Norway, Sketchbook is a quiet, moody work of great atmoshpere and devoid of all pretention. In an essay I wrote for the Digital Narcis label’s new website you will find the following statement:

’’In my earlier days as an artist, I believed that there had to be something called ’Kunstwille’ in German (i.e., the will to create art) and a specific gesture (I called ’the art gesture’ in my own terminology) to turn a given material into a work of art. This can indeed bring about excellent results, but there is also an inherent danger in this when the will to create and the ’art gesture’ become the masters, and artistic sensibility is lost.

Nowadays I have come to distrust the ’artness’ in art, and feel that I should do without the ’will to create’ and the ’art gesture’ to create art just the same way one eats, sleeps and breathes. I’m thinking of the descriptions of Kendo practice Mishima Yukio has put in some of his works: the real master has to forget the sword, the enemy, the will to kill the enemy, and the wish to be a master.’’

I find that Johannes’ work on Sketchbook is a perfect example of this ’artless’ attitude, and this is what I like so much about it.


Johannes Heldén