The University of Hertfordshire Galleries are delighted to present Great IDEA by Tobias Hofsäss & Thomas Raschke. Based in Stockholm, German artists Raschke and Hofsäss' exhibition is an ironic take on the process of integrating with a culture which is not your own.
Hofsäss and Raschke have developed a series of works based on their impressions of the habits, traditions and iconography central to Sweden's 'self-mythology'. Raschke's astonishing wire sculptures of ordinary domestic objects are paired with Hofsäss' ghostly large-format negative photographs of Swedish day-to-day life and displayed alongside some of the furniture and designs considered quintessentially 'IKEA' in response to the clean living, minimalist design, and Nordic democracy with which Scandinavia is associated.
This IKEA-inspired one-size-fits-all lifestyle chafes against the two German emigres. A major concern is the principle of transparency - the idea that political debates and the philosophical foundation of social interaction are based on openness. In Sweden in particular the commitment to openness is such that it is possible to discover almost anything about anyone (how much they earn, who they are married to etc). Inspired by this, Hofsäss and Raschke's work allows us to look both at, and through, the way that another culture sees itself and perhaps also to pose questions about how we see ourselves.
UH Galleries' Artistic Director Matthew Shaul said: 'Thomas and Tobias' exhibition quite literally presents the world in a way in which we have never seen it, with an intricacy and insight that is both very exciting and totally unfamiliar.'
The exhibition is a collaboration with Galerie der Stadt Backnang, Germany and has been generously supported by Arts Council England. A fully illustrated hardback catalogue (in English and German) including essays by Matthew Shaul, Martin Schick (Director of Galerie der Stadt Backnang) and Kerstin Wickmann accompanies the exhibition and is available at the special exhibition price of £12.95.
Thomas Raschke is a graduate of graduate of Stuttgart's State Academy of Art and Design and a trained Goldsmith. Recent solo exhibitions include: Wireframes LOD Stockholm 2012, The Band Galerie Dubois Friedland, Brussels 2010 (and with Sebastian Rogler) the World's Most Boring Art Exhibition Margaret Harvey Gallery, St Albans 2004.
Tobias Hofsäss is a freelance photographer, radio editor and journalist recent exhibitions include Love Slussen Latvia's Museum of Photography, 2014, Duett, Gallerie Kontrast, Stockholm 2014