Rice University Art Gallery has commissioned Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg to create a site-specific installation. Drawing from a background in graphic design and sculpture, Klingberg creates her own three-dimensional, graphic worlds, covering floors, walls, and windows in ornate, repetitive patterns. For her Rice Gallery installation, Klingberg will continue her series, Brand New View (2002-present) in which she reconfigures supermarket, fast food, and big box store logos into large-scale patterns associated with sacred Buddhist mandalas and cosmological diagrams used for meditation.
Gunilla Klingberg’s installations bring together her interests in everyday consumerism and forms of Eastern spirituality. While in college, Klingberg traveled to India and saw how the spiritual world of yoga retreats and meditation courses were commercially packaged to Westerners. She returned to her native Sweden to see local corner stores being replaced by 7-Elevens, as chain stores and corporate franchising spread. With both experiences in mind, she continues to wonder how the spiritual extends into our everyday world of logotypes and icons, as the spiritual is commercialized and the commercial spiritualized. Faced with the ubiquity of grocery bags, burger wrappers, and coffee cups, Klingberg explores this tension in dazzling, overwhelming installations of these logos repeated, recombined, and reconfigured.
Klingberg explains, “My intention is to make a work that invades the space in an almost viral way. The symbols and patterns in this mandala transforms into an image of how our daily rhythm of commonplace doings blends with advertising and enters deep into our lives, homes, and minds. They are a link between our public and private spheres, maybe even to the collective unconscious.”
(Click images for full size photos)
Wheel of Everyday Life
until 17 March 2013
Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, Texas
Photo: Nash Baker © nashbaker.com