© Georges Adéagbo/Bildupphovsrätt 2019
Country:Benin (37)
Georges Adéagbo
Born 1942
Benin "La Naissance de Stockholm..!", 2014
"Stockholms födelse..!"
”The Birth of Stockholm..!”
Wooden sculptures, books, LP records, newspaper clippings, newspapers, magazines, paint on vinyl, paint on canvas, ink on paper, photographies, clothes, umbrellas, rag rug, bag, decorative items, toys, wall text projections
Varierande mått
Purchase 2014 with contribution from The Friends of Moderna Museet
MOM/2014/48 This artwork is not on display
- About the work


’The stars influence life but do not
determine it - man is the architect and free
arbitrator of his own destiny.’
Georges Adéagbo

One of the oldest artistic representations
of the city of Stockholm is the Sun Dog
Painting, which is on display in Stockholm
Cathedral. It depicts so called halo rings or
sun dogs, an atmospheric optical phenomenon
that appeared over the city in April
1535. Hundreds of years later the medieval
artwork caught the attention of Beninborn
artist Georges Adéagbo during a
research trip to Stockholm.
In the 16th century halo phenomena
were seen as ominous signs. It is believed
that Olaus Petri, a preacher at Stockholm
cathedral and a major theologian of the
time, commissioned the painting following
the confiscation of the church’s treasures
by the king Gustav Vasa. Olaus Petri used
the painting in his sermons to illustrate the
dire consequences of the king’s disrespect
for the independence of the church. The
king in turn was insulted by Petri’s provocative
use of the halo rings against him.
Characteristic of his working method
Adéagbo later “translated” the Sun Dog
Painting by ordering a wood relief based on
the painting, from an artisan in his hometown
Cotonou. The paintings in Adéagbo’s
installations are never carried out by him
but are commissioned and produced by
Cotonou artisans according to his instructions.
The wood relief after the Storkyrkan
painting is part of the new installation, La
naissance de Stockholm...!/ The birth of
Stockholm…!, for Moderna Museet.
A central aspect of Adéagbo’s method is
to investigate how objects and events are
construed and charged with meaning,
depending on different on-lookers’ cultural
context. By exploring the city, its culture
and history - such as the local flea markets
and in Stockholm’s case a 17th century
painting of the castle Tre Kronor and David
Beck's Queen Christina portrait of the
same period - he composes the installation
into a complex collage. Books, newspapers
and clothes acquired in various cities are
combined with illustrations and carvings
interwoven with handwritten texts. A romcom
dvd and a self-help book are placed
next to a carved wooden figure. Through
chains of associations and cultural transfer
like this, Adéagbo constantly constructs
new narratives.
In The Birth of Stockholm…! Adéagbo
also examines the history of the Moderna
Museet and its collections. Artworks of
iconic status, that are part of the Western
modernist art canon, are rendered in new
versions. The goat adorned with rubber tire
in Robert Rauschenberg’s famous combine
Monogram (1955–59) is re-interpreted into
Abraham’s biblical sacrifice when juxtaposed
with text from the Old Testament.
In several parts of the exhibition archive
photos of pivotal moments in the museum’s
history are transformed into paintings.
For example, a photo from 1967 of former
museum director Pontus Hultén and the
artist Lucio Fontana has been reproduced
as a black and white painting.
By creating these networks of objects
and texts, Adéagbo pays attention
to the relationship of oral and written
transmissions of knowledge and history.
His linking of text and objects together
comments on what these media represent
in different societies. We ascribe stories
to things. Objects contain a multitude of
references and in this way function similarly
to how the written word may operate.
Adéagbo's texts introduce general themes
in his work as well as specific questions and
propositions relevant to the installation’s
specific location. He covers subjects such
as religion, philosophy, historical events,
politics and his own personal history. But
the circumstances, encounters and friendships
that brought him to a certain city and
institution enter the work as well. Names
of curators, critics, and friends may appear
and the usually hidden process of creating
an exhibition can become the subject of
written reflections.
This poetic writing is complementary
to the stories created through the selection
and combinations of objects. The past and
the present, high and low, local and distant,
coexist in the installations that also embody
Georges Adéagbo’s philosophy of the
relationship between free will and destiny.

- Signature, inscriptions, and markings
- Exhibition history
Showing 1 of 1 search results for
[Une partie de l'installation] “La naissance de Stockholm..!”
Exit slideshow