Winterreise by Johan Bergström Hyldahl (b 1984) chronicles the tale of the lowland gorilla Katharina Wisnierska and her life in Bavaria, Germany. At an early age, around the time when the Moon suddenly and mysteriously disappears from its orbit around the Earth, Katharina develops an interest in flying, and after flying planes and parachutes becomes a competitive paraglider. Katharina’s growing connection to birds and the Moon becomes a consolation in a world where she feels like an outsider. In Bergström Hyldahl’s fairytale, Katharina’s dream of flying carries her further than she could ever imagine, while at the same time inevitably towards the end of her short life.
Winterreise is to a great extent driven by music, partly by Franz Schubert´s song cycle with the same title, creating an intense film where fantasy, music and natural phenomena are intertwined in an imaginative story about longing, social exclusion and loss. As in previous works by Bergström Hyldahl, the interplay between gravity and humour keeps the viewer off balance. Working with computer-generated imagery as well as a handheld camera, Johan Bergström Hyldahl combines fantastical fiction with a documentary narration.
With an unusual ability to combine an interdisciplinary and clever content with perfection in execution, Bergström Hyldahl’s breakthrough on the art scene came with his solo show Dear Jesus, Do Something! at the gallery in early 2014. The video with the same title was also featured at Turku Art Museum in Finland in 2015, and at Sven-Harry’s Art Museum, Stockholm, in 2016.
Johan Bergström Hyldahl, born 1984 in Stockholm, holds an MFA from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, and has been represented by Cecilia Hillström since his BFA exhibition in 2011. He has also studied at Hunter College, New York (MFA), and holds an MSc from Stockholm School of Economics. Bergström Hyldahl has exhibited at Turku Art Museum, Sven-Harry’s Art Museum, Galleri Mejan and Konsthandeln, Stockholm. He is represented in private and corporate collections in Sweden, the UK, Switzerland, Germany and Turkey as well as in the collection of Public Art Agency Sweden.