• One of the ten winners of the Chanel Next Prize 2021 - Precious Okoyomon. Image courtesy of Chanel.

    Chanel Next Prize 2021

    Written by Lina Aastrup

    Chanel Next Prize is an international award that promotes innovation in arts and culture. Established to provide an emerging generation of artists with resources to develop new and ambitious projects, the winners receive 100,000 € in funding each, as well as access to mentorship and networking opportunities.The prize is an extension of Chanel’s legacy of arts patronage that began with Gabrielle Chanel’s support of avant-garde artists of her time and her desire to be part of what happens next, “ce qui va arriver” – hence the name “Next” Prize. The winners represent 11 countries and a wide variety of disciplines within arts and culture. Awarded biennially, the artists are nominated by a global advisory board representing different artistic practices from film to the visual arts. The 2021 jury consisted of multi-media artist Cao Fei, architect Sir David Adjaye OBE and actress Tilda Swinton.

    ”I’m obsessed with the miracle of the everyday life. I’m obsessed with how that translates into the very concept of how we imagine the good life or life itself, or how we stretch the imagined fabrics of what even we see art as.” - Precious Okoyomon, one of ten recipients of the Chanel Next Prize 2021.

    The Winners of the Chanel Next Prize 2021:
    Composer Jung Jae-il
    Collaborative practice Keiken made up of Hana Omori, Isabel Ramos and Tanya Cruz
    Game designer Lual Mayen
    Dancer and choreographer Marlene Monteiro Freitas
    Filmmaker Rungano Nyoni
    Poet and artist Precious Okoyomon
    Theatre director Marie Schleef
    Dancer and choreographer Botis Seva
    Filmmaker Wang Bing
    Filmmaker Eduardo Williams

  • photography Katarina Di Leva
    all clothing Whyred by Jessy Heuvelink

    Creation Of Opportunities, an interview with David Lagerqvist

    Written by Decirée Josefsson by Thea Undemo

    Of all the dance stars, few shine brighter than David Lagerqvist. Let the music play while seconds of art history will be formed. A sense of relief from tension is felt when Lagerqvist guides us through bodily storytelling with his elemental technique and sense of authenticity. The journey started at the early age of four when watching Svansjön on Swedish television. This experience motivated him to start his education at the Royal Swedish ballet making it clearer that he’s a man who fell to earth from Planet Ballet.

    For a couple of years, he’s been working as an independent dancer. On the verge of Corona, he is now working at Ballet Theater Basel in Switzerland following up with exhibitions and productions few can resist.

    Mr. Lagerqvist, how come you are interested in such a variety of multimedia?

    The mentality of translating something into aesthetics and producing something creative has always fascinated me.
    However, it is not only soothing to get close to the thought of a brief career. When I chose to be a professional dancer, I unwillingly prepared for early retirement. One often quits at the age of forty because of bodily pressure. To avoid creativity signifying survival, sometimes it can be good to remind me why I initially started. I've prepared myself for the future by always staying open-minded to various professions, not excluding anything.

    You started to dance early in life and have enjoyed a long journey to where you are today. Could you please describe it?
    I watched the remarkable opus Svansjön on Swedish television at the age of four. I felt represented and inspired by the performance and how the creators had manifested the story. That made me start to take weekly ballet classes at the Royal Swedish Ballet School. Sharply following I stopped, because I represented the only guy in the group. While I was off, I tried different types of activities which were never the same. The four-year-old David observing Svansjön moment was still present. A couple of years went by until I turned fifteen and properly started my education at the Swedish Royal Ballet School. Since that age, I’ve been managing both as a freelance dancer and for institutions. Right now I’m working in Schweiz.

    Name remarkable productions which affected you deeply other than Svansjön?
    I worked in a production at Dramaten named Safe in 2018. A performance which held at Ingmar Bergmans 100th anniversary. It was impressive. It vibrated with my ways of expressing creativity because of the subtexts and cultural expressions. The story was dramatic and authentic and I combined dancing with acting.

    Can you describe how training so intensively at an early age has affected you?
    It can be both challenging for the mind as well and the body. The pandemic has been severe.
    You try imagining the finished product with all the work you put your heart into without knowing when or if being able to perform again. As for everyone, life ain’t a bed of roses. Ultimately, you have to continue bending over backward still if it's tough. I'm proud I never gave up hope. By getting maturer I've learned to acknowledge my limits to properly set boundaries to protect my body.

    How do you handle audition setbacks? Does it affect you?
    There is something crucial about developing the ability to handle different situations while being exposed to a large amount of stress if one decides to be a dancer. To circumvent getting caught up in adversity for a choreographer, production, or role it’s good to have more than one project ongoing. That prevents sadness if something may not go as planned. As a dancer, you are steadily affected by others' preferences. However, I did not enter into this profession to satisfy anyone. I want to develop my possibilities and try not to care too much about others'. I will keep on striving to achieve that.

    Is there something that you desire to change in the industry?
    There’s a difference between institutions and freelance life. Institutions are highly pressured by the administration to push the cast to be more than capable of achieving. To avoid making the dancers burned out it would be logical to conduct more frequent conversations of what’s credible expectations based on the individual.

    What do you glimpse for in a production?
    I appreciate the theatrical side. The expressions and the authenticity.

  • Djurberg & Berg, “How to Slay a Demon”, 2019. 

    Installation photo by Carl Henrik Tillberg

    Can't Keep it in, Can't Lock it Away

    Written by Lina Aastrup

    Can't Keep it in, Can’t Lock it Away”
    Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg
    Ends 02.12.21

    Can't Keep it in, Can’t Lock it Away” is a solo exhibition by Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg exhibited in the home of gallerist and art advisor Eva Livijn at Karlaplan, Stockholm. Curated by Silvana Lagos.

    The contrast between the absurd, darkly humorous and hyper-sexualised bodies of humans, animals and everything in between, and the stunning interior of the home of Eva Livijn is nothing short of brilliant. Having seen and loved Djurberg & Berg’s major solo exhibition at Moderna Museet in 2018, this was something completely different. The surrealist stop-motion video works are installed so as to start one after the other in different rooms, creating a set sequence in both time and space, like a contemporary theatre play. One that makes me think of the dark secrets kept behind closed doors or the suffocating feeling of putting up an elegant façade when chaos reigns inside – a feeling well represented in the exhibition title.

    Since the renaissance, the marriage between the exploration of the body and architecture has led us to a new intimacy, a form of romance even, the exhibition at Eva Livijn's home offers a portrait, into the psychology, biography, sexuality, an intersection between the body of works of Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg and the intimacy of the home.”

    The works presented span from 2008 until today, some of which have never been shown before in Sweden. If you are in Stockholm, do pay the exhibition a visit. It is an experience not like anything you are likely to see in the near future.

    Open until Dec 2 by appointment only. Contact [email protected]

    Djurberg & Berg, “One Need Not be a House,

    The Brain Has Corridors”, 2018.

    Installation photo by Carl Henrik Tillberg

    Djurberg & Berg, “The Prostitute”, 2008.

    Installation photo by Carl Henrik Tillberg