Magazine article Artforum International

Sofia Hulten: Daniel Marzona

Magazine article Artforum International

Sofia Hulten: Daniel Marzona

Article excerpt

Sofia Hulten

DANIEL MARZONA

"A politics to come," Giorgio Agamben recently asserted, demands a conception of "a way of life that is not based on deeds or on property, but on use." I read his interview with Die Zeit the same week I saw Sofia Hulten's recent exhibition "Truckin'." Its titular video (all works cited, 2015) shows the artist walking through Berlin, swapping her sneakers for others she finds on the street. There are surprisingly many of these lying around, and she carefully places each discarded pair in the same position as the new pair--one of which is caught in a bush next to a brick wall. The shoes all seem to fit: no Cinderella syndrome here. She appears to be following an urban equivalent of the National Park Service injunction "Leave no trace." The one work feels more or less political in Agamben's sense: It is a didactic work, one speaking of a rejection of ownership, of being at peace with what the environment lends us, temporarily and provisionally, to continue on the nomad's-or should that be the artist's?--path.

In the rest of the show, this exemplary portrayal of a principled way of life collided with another lineage summed up in Oscar Wilde's assertion that "all art is quite useless." Illustrating that aphorism seemed to be the point of sculptures such as Indecisive Angles XIV and Indecisive Angles XV, in which Hulten repurposed dollies of the type used for moving heavy objects, for instance refrigerators, changing them into impractical sculptures by realigning their axles and rewelding the frames to make them utterly dysfunctional, arguably in a "poetic" way. In This, That, Other, standard-issue bicycle racks have been used to entrap bicycle frames (some fancy brand, must have been expensive)-rendering the bikes unstealable, but also unusable. In Scramble-another, more familiar kind of tweaked readymade--Hulten dismantled a roll-down metal shutter and rearranged its horizontal panels, abstracting the graffiti that adorns it and making it illegible. …

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