Involution 内卷化 - Lundahl & Seitl

Man med ögonbindel sträcker ut sin hand till två händer. I förgrunden står två statyer, en saknar sin hand.

It acknowledges how people and other life forms participate in each other's lives, and together find new ways of living with each other through affective relationships, rather than competition.

Exhibition period

9 september – 3 october 2021.

Lundahl & Seitl. A collaboration with Jaime Reyes and Dominic Dautheribes. 

Book tickets here

Involution. The title has a double meaning 

It acknowledges how people and other life forms participate in each other's lives, and together find new ways of living with each other through affective relationships, rather than competition. It can also be understood as a kind of opposite to evolution. In this respect, the concept of involution can be derived from the Chinese word neijuan, which consists of the characters for "inside" and "rolling", and is understood more intuitively as something that spirals into itself - a concept that describes a society that enters a state of internal frictions.

The exhibition is based on the author and playwright Peter Weiss' opening scene in the novel The Aesthetics of Resistance. The scene takes place at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, where the monumental altarpiece depicts Greek gods and titans fighting a battle. Weiss and Lundahl & Seitl share a method, a narrative technique, which is usually called ekphrasis. Through enveloping depictions of a motif, the viewer's position is moved between looking at a work of art from a distance, or being placed in the middle of the motif's course of events.

These shifts are something that Lundahl & Seitl investigate in the gallery space, where two visitors are accompanied in a quiet choreography through the shadow world of the altar frieze.

In Involution, the concept of virtual reality can be understood as an ability rather than a form of technology. Nevertheless, a variety of technologies are used in the work, albeit in a different way to the use for which they were designed. A pair of sightless goggles temporarily shuts off one of the visitors' external vision and instead turns it inwards. With three-dimensional sound in headphones, they are present elsewhere.

They no longer see the physical space, but affect it. A tracking technology that they carry on the body causes a beam of light to be thrown against the wall wherever they turn. Shadow figures from the altarpiece are revealed as if they were invisibly in the room, in a choreography that passing visitors experience as a scene from the outside.

Involution oscillates between exhibition and production of art, where the viewer is placed in a kind of in-between space. Through a reverse use of software for VR technology, we never see the altar frieze as a digital object, but instead the piece evokes a complex interplay in the room. Through their ability to involve themselves into one another, they move through different layers of reality, where they make contact, but never really coincide in time.

About Lundahl & Seitl

Lundahl & Seitl has a background in visual arts and choreography and is active internationally based in Stockholm and London. They were out early with post-disciplinary collaborations that in installations of an immersive nature unite technology and different art forms around relationships and connections in one place, as well as between the world and its inhabitants

About Peter Weiss and The Aesthetics of Resistance

Peter Weiss was born in 1916 near Berlin, Germany, and died in Stockholm in 1982. He came to Sweden in 1939 and was a Swedish citizen from 1946. He was active as an artist, filmmaker, film writer.

In the novel The Aesthetics of Resistance, which in three parts deals with the anti-fascist resistance struggle, he abolishes the traditional novel form and seeks a synthesis between art and politics. In the introductory scene, which takes place at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, three young men, students and workers, empathetically experience and discuss the altarpiece.

Two ways to experience the work

Within the Choreography

Two people experience Involution at a time. Tickets, SEK 50, are booked via the museum's website. The work takes 30 minutes and can be booked during the museum's opening hours, 11.00-16.00 (Thursdays until 20.00) The museum staff will help you activate the work, which includes sightless goggles, a tracking belt and headphones with three-dimensional sound.

As a viewer

In the exhibition, you take part in Involution on another level. You become a spectator to the choreography, but also experience parts of the exhibition space that the people in the choreography do not. Remember not to disturb the people who are in the choreography.