Press Release, September 2019
With a radical honest and humble approach Håkan Stergos Machlis’ work deals with fundamental issues such as love, submission, sex, violence, drugs, fetish and neurosis.
How ever it is not without a wink in the eye he engages with these heavy subjects – he is awfully aware of the cross he has to bear, so why not put a wheel on it? The exhibition is nameless, and the works have been produced in 2017-2018 in a intuitive process where the intention never was to exhibit them. c4 projects are therefore honored to host the works as part of our Intimacy Program.
Håkan Stergos Machlis was born in Rhodes, Greece, in 1983. He lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. He works with text, sculpture, performance, video and installation art. He has a MFA from Konstfack, University Collage of Art, Crafts and Design, in Stockholm and has been studing 2 years of ceramics at KADK – The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Bornholm, Denmark. He has had multible exhibitions in Sweden and internationally. For more information go to his website.
A letter from Håkan Stergos Machlis:
During the last couple of months, I have felt, and I still do, even though I’m a few weeks from the final opening, an immense unreasonable resistance to complete my untitled exhibition at c4 projects. The resistance has not come out of a lack of gratitude or disinclination. No, not at all. The show has been something I've talked and thought a lot about over the last year. I’m aware that my opening lines might be read with the suspicious eye. And also, it’s not charming, as it is rather pathetic, or even hostile, to raise the neurotic pen, no matter how much its fragile ink colors the portrait of an irreparable personality trait. So, I would first like to send all my gratitude to Camilla Reyman who reached me the invitation to take part in the exhibition program, with all that it has entailed. With no counterclaims or speculations, with no specifications or discussions of what should be hanged or not. Thank you for offering me the occasion to hit the watery surface of our drowning age one more time.
But then it was the thing with the resistance, how I opened the lettering. Not because it has anything to do with the theme of my work or the exhibition itself. The silence which the resistance entails is nothing more than trauma, and consequently, within its own logic, it has contributed to the absence of substance. To be human is more or less to be a trauma. We traumatize. We are traumatized. By others. By ourselves. By nature. So that’s where we meet, there, wherever we find ourselves, maybe with the entire world between us, right next to the silence from the resistance within the voice of the trauma. The silence from the creativity and its inner floating mother tongue. Caused by the resistance of burned-out love.
It wasn’t the silence that ate itself into my sphere; it was I who gnawed my self into the realm of silence. It was I who charted my narrow path to the resistance when I came to realize that my work had been a simple construction. In other words, gradually my work has subsequently revealed itself in the guise of a crucifixion. You don’t have to embrace my seemingly immediate divinity. I’m not a fanatic though I’m a bit contradictory, and as I mentioned before — neurotic. But ironically, I speak from experience. When I got my first studio after my graduation, I made a sculpture, one of the simplest structures you can ever think of — the shape of a cross, on a scale that could fit a nailed human body. On its base, I mounted a small plastic wheel, and the mounting of this rubber-coated disk did not, and will never, fulfill its practical purpose, with it's turning destiny to unburden its maker. Because even today the sculpture, with its full length and width, weighs my surroundings.
And the leach of the irony doesn’t seem to be anchored in its other knotted end. A few days ago when I was about to check out my warehouse, partly for the exhibition, partly to empty the space, I threw two-thirds of my artworks. In the apartment where I live, at the moment, where the remaining works now stands, the cross with its immovable wheel rests in safe custody within the chaos of books, plants, cardboard boxes, and dust. It occurs to me, now in the moment of writing, although the obscurity the cross always has unfolded, that I could never sort it as combustible waste. That both its superficial contextual construction, and its physical and mental claim, as it over the years has heavily weighed me and my friends who carried and twisted and turned the sculpture up and down through staircases, in and out of trucks and cars, has become something meaningful, something real — “the performative act as an act of the everyday life”.
Perhaps it is so, in the language of silent resistance, when the mass of the past is too close, when it's still your breathing skin, it would devastate, even suffocate you if you took it off. Because then the time itself is the container that embraces your body, and your body is the physical expression of the space within the embrace emptied of matter. And when the bubble of time finally bursts, when the bang brakes the silence as rings on water fades out towards the horizon, when the present becomes history and you have outgrown the distance between these two points, and you have regained your life flow - your own skin, you must have some driftwood left to float on.
Opening: Friday 27th of September, 17-20 | Facebook event
Exhibition period: 28th of September - 19th of October 2019.
Opening hours: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays: 14-17.
About The Intimacy Program at c4 projects:
With fourteen exhibitions in 2019-2020 c4 projects wish to strengthen its profile with an ambitious and international program. The Intimacy Program wants to explore the mental intimacy and the bodily provocative, the private sphere, beliefs, and sexuality and through an immersion into the different aspects of intimacy to discuss and nuance living conditions in present-day society. This autumn’s three exhibitions explore the connection between intimacy, the body and sexuality, and how it can look when ‘the male gaze’ no longer is the defining factor. The exhibition series is curated by Camilla Reyman.