Anna Ådahl: Inside the New Mass Ornament

  • Anna Ådahl: The New Mass Ornament

Past Event

This event was on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 7pm 

An evening featuring a selection of works by Swedish artist Anna Ådahl, including a premiere screening of Crowded Exercises II (2015-16) and Default Character (2016). Ådahl is joined in discussion with writer, art critic and curator Chris Fite-Wassilak, followed by a Q&A.

Anna Ådahl uses the cinematographic tools of assemblage and montage to address the aesthetics and politics of collectivity in her work. This event focuses on a series of works by the artist relating to her research on the aesthetics and politics of urban and digital crowds.

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In Dependence (2008) mixes newly recorded fictive and documentary sequences with archive material from film history. The fictive sequences examine the psychological and physical dynamics of the crowd by showing two individuals (played by Elin Klinga and David Mjönes) act out its behavioural patterns in an abstract, private space.

The work To New Horizons (2013) explores crowds historically by combining the aesthetics of Soviet mass spectacles and industrial endeavours with the mass choreographies of big Hollywood productions from the 1930s.

Crowded Exercises II (2015-2016) includes sequences from a workshop with dancers at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for music and dance. The work reflects on the experience of being on the Underground where, through repetitive gestures, our bodies interact with others and with the infrastructure.

The most recent work, Default Character (2016), addresses the human representation and vocabulary in online crowd simulation tutorials, asking the question: which crowds need to be programmed and systematised today?

Supported by ACME and IASPIS.

About Anna Ådahl

Anna Ådahl is a Swedish artist working in multiple mediums such as video, installations and performance. She is a researcher at the Royal College of Art and a member of the editorial team of OEI magazine.

Her work is exhibited internationally including Kalas på Bord, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2016); Historicode: Scarcity and supply, Nanjing International Festival, China (2016-17); OEI Strata, INCA Seattle, US (2016); Anna Ådahl: Common Patterns, CCA Derry-Londonderry, UK (2015); Disappearing Acts, Lofoten International Arts Festival, Norway (2015); B-open, Hordaland Art Center, Bergen, Norway (2016); Anna Ådahl: Dual Vision, Taiga Space, St Petersburg, Russia (2014);
Reims Scenes d´Europe, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France (2013) among others.

About Chris Fite-Wassilak

Chris Fite-Wassilak is a writer, art critic and curator, a regular contributor to Frieze, Art Review, Art Monthly, Art Papers and contributing editor to Tate Etc.

Projects include the ongoing quarterly event series ‘hmn’, co-organised with Anne Tallentire and a short book of new essays, Ha-Ha Crystal, which was recently published by Copy Press.


19:00 Presentation and introduction

19:10 Screening: In dependence (2008)

19:20 Screening: To New Horizons (2013)

(short intro of new works)

19: 40 Screening: Crowded Exercises II (2016)

19: 50 Screening: Default Character (2016)

20:10 Discussion