Tulipaqs exhibition at Riche in Stockholm, Thursday 28th August at 17PM. Be there!
Björn Atldax’s exhibition at Riche is made up of 14 sculptures called Tupilaqs. In Greenlandic Inuit traditions, a Tupilak was an avenging monster made by shamans using various animal parts – bone, skin, hair, sinew, etc. The creature was given life by ritualistic chants. It was then placed into the sea to seek and destroy a specific enemy.
Put together from animal remains Atldax has found in the forest and other places these sculptures embody dark and humorous totemic figures, like diabolical pets or miniature Frankenstein’s Monsters. At Riche the effigies are displayed in glass vitrines piled one upon the other like a pagan pyre. Each is identified with its title in a brass display in the style of categorization in a Natural History Museum or Cabinet of Curiosities. Here the titles are the names of the artist’s and the Tupilaq’s intended victims – from an old school teacher, to a local politician, to more historical figures.
Originating in a strong interest in the work of writers and artists like H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton-Smith and Hieronymus Bosch, Atldax has long engaged in the bizarre, unorthodox and distasteful. Examining themes around myths, religion and politics he has made typefaces from bones, coloured T-shirts in pigs blood, covered a jacket in cured ham amongst other things.
Björn Atldax was born in Stockholm in 1973. He has worked as an artist, illustrator and graphic designer since 1996, both solo and as one half of Vår together with Karl Grandin. Atldax was one of the small group that started the Cheap Monday Jeans Brand in 2004. He graduated Beckmans School of Design 1999. Björn Atldax and Grandin designed and built the toilets in Lilla Baren, Riche and have designed the posters for the Summer Clubs at Riche since 2003.
/Ben Loveless, Stockholm, Augusti 2014.