Mats Adelman and Ylva Westerlund. Dream Wasteland
Part of the Northern Travelogue program
fragment of the Dream Wasteland installation (с) MMOMA press
fragment of the Dream Wasteland installation (с) MMOMA press
fragment of the Dream Wasteland installation (с) MMOMA press
fragment of the Dream Wasteland installation (с) MMOMA press
fragment of the Dream Wasteland installation (с) MMOMA press
Date: February 11 — March 13, 2022
Venue: MMOMA Education Center (17 Ermolayevsky Lane)

Curated by: Anastasia Nefedova

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art together with the Embassy of Sweden in Russia presents the exhibition Dreamland Wasteland by Ylva Westerlund and Mats Adelman, the first project within the special program Northern Travelogue: Swedish Artists at the MMOMA 2022-2023. The program is conceived as an artistic journey along the northern latitudes that Swedish artists undertake in eight solo projects at various venues of the MMOMA during the year. The subjects on which the artists ponder during their stay in Moscow are directly related to their life in Sweden, but reveal fascinating parallels with the Russian reality not only on the level of geography and climate, but also with regard to social and universal issues. Participants in the MMOMA joint program with the Embassy of Sweden include Mats Adelman and Ylva Westerlund, Meric Algun, Petra Bauer, Gunilla Klingberg, Mats Leiderstam, Olivia Plender, and Salad Hilowole.

This art project by Ylva Westerlund and Mats Adelman, a creative duo from Sweden, is inspired by the natural environment of the Jarva Field in the Stockholm suburbs. Since 2016, the artists have been conducting observations or, to use their own term, field trips, exploring birds, biotopes, wetlands and traces of human activity in the area. Their reflections result in works recognising the coexistence of human and non-human actors as an integral factor of today’s reality, while the interplay of natural and cultural phenomena gives rise to possible alternatives.

The Jarva Field is a unique example of biodiversity. Being in close proximity to a bustling metropolis, the area has been the least affected by the negative processes of urbanization, since from 1919 to 1969 it was given over to the Stockholm garrison for military exercises and was closed to the public. Today, the fate of the area is once again being tested, with its natural environment being very fragile.

The artists do not pursue an encyclopedic project with their creative method. In the sculptures and watercolors that make up the series Bird Studies in Watercolor and Bird Studies in Wood, Adelman does not attempt to catalog and present dominant knowledge of the observed species. His approach is driven by a desire to encounter the unexplored and to capture that experience. The problems of describing and interpreting such an encounter are addressed in Anabiosis, filmed by Adelman with a Super 8 camera. In the joint exhibition project, Ylva Westerlund and Mats Adelman create a space of particular visibility. Moreover, they manage to reduce the distance between various agents in a shared ecology.

Mats Adelman (b. 1974, Bromma, Sweden) is an artist dealing with the mythical dreamtime and its connection to the factual experiences of diverse biotopes through birdwatching.
Adelman holds an MFA from Malmö Art Academy (1995-2000). Mats Adelmans works have been exhibited at venues such as Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm, Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, Center Krasny in Moscow, Kiev National Museum, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, IASPIS Stockholm, Poppy Sebire Gallery in London, HIAP Project Room in Helsinki, The Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation in Milano, Momentum Nordic Biennale of Contemporary Art in Moss.
Adelman was a resident of the IASPIS programme in Stockholm (2007-2008) and at HIAP in Helsinki (2011).

Ylva Westerlund (b. 1975, Husum, Sweden) is an artist working with speculative thinking of the future connected to the first-hand experiences of field excursions in nature and society.
Westerlund holds a Master of Fine Arts from Malmö Art Academy (1998-2003). Her works have been displayed at venues such as The 9th Nordic Bienniale of Contemporary Art in Moss, The Living Art Museum in Reykjavik, The Latvian Center of Contemporary Art in Riga, The Museum of Sketches in Lund, Center Red in Moscow, Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm and Centro Cultural Montehermoso Vitoria-Gasteiz. Westerlund was a resident of the IASPIS programme in Stockholm (2007-2008) and at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin (2011-2012). In 2022 she is participating in Nature Scribbles — Flesh Reads, the PRAKSIS residency in Oslo.

The Northern Travelogue: Swedish Artists at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art is a program of solo exhibitions by eight artists who live and work in Sweden. Each project consists of either a single installation or an entire series of works in a new author’s interpretation, taking into account the museum space and the Russian cultural and historical context. The exhibitions will take place between 2022 and 2023 at various venues at MMOMA, including the Education Center and the Vadim Sidur Museum — in exhibition spaces and unexpected locations. Drawing on the rich tradition of foreign travelers’ notes on Russia, the curators of the program invite artists who grew up in Sweden or came to this Nordic country at a mature age to visit Moscow, show their work in an unfamiliar environment and share their observations and comments.

The program is realized by the MMOMA in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in Russia. The program is curated by: Anna Arutyunyan, Andrey Egorov, Maria Lind.