INTRODUCTION

Text by Maria Lind originally written for the exhibition catalogue "Moderna Museet Projekt", Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 1998.

In the summer of 1998, under the newly instituted auspices of Moderna Museet Projekt, Peter Geschwind had a satellite exhibition at the Centre Culturel Su├Ędois in Paris. He was the first artist to do a Moderna Museet Projekt outside of Stockholm when he presented a series of new works in the culture institute's small gallery in the Marais.

Geschwind's at once entertaining and disturbing objects and installations are based on a "do-it-yourself" aesthetic and could hardly be conceivable without the West's consumption and brand-name culture. His work is often composed of widely different things like clothes, household objects and discarded furniture; they also contain elements of machinery, children's playthings and folk art. The individual objects are in themselves so banal that they could have been taken directly out of a convenience store or a rubbish heap. Combined, they almost look as if they belong in a children's programme that has misfired.

The work that Geschwind made in Paris for Moderna Museet Projekt has continued on this track. The lower half of a little body with jeans and sneakers is hung from the ceiling and suddenly begins to spin around; a figure with a package of puffed rice for a face is slumped like a bored teenager in a corner. Now and then a toy tape recorder next to him made a gutteral noise, sounds from a TV game. And, as a gesture to the place of the exhibition, a decorative Eiffel Tower was woven out of many meters of green garden hose. The water that was conducted through the hose terminated with a "cleaner" - a tragic-comic figure made out of a scrubbing brush, a bucket and a bottle of washing up liquid.

What at first glance seems playful or funny in Geschwind's work is soon revealed as not only
violent but even psychotic. In the colourful Merry-Go-Round (1994), constructed from an old table and a dilapidated parasol, simple plaster figures slam against the poles of the merry-go-round. The mobile pieces of junk in Moving Trash (1997), where he has mounted crumbled soda pop cans, empty candy wrappers and entire sacks of rubbish on radio-controlled wheels, also show close contacts with American popular culture, not least in B horror films.

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