Supreme Headphones and gilded woods in Ulf Rollof’s New Exhibition
The dream of creating the most high-fidelity headphones ever made comes true in Ulf Rollof’s first major exhibition since the retrospective at Moderna Museet Malmö the year before last. Among all the ink paintings, pirate ships, and magnified fragments of bark stands the tree house: everything’s source.
In many ways, the exhibition at Moderna Museet Malmö was a bookend, a way of tying up loose ends left behind from the early years. At CFHILL, we’ll see a whole new chapter unfold, one that concerns an awakening of sorts, brought about in particular by the experience of getting to perceive the world anew through the dog SOLi, who has been in his life for about a year. This is about an elevated presence of mind, which takes on a variety of aspects. Vision captures the infinite irregularities and inventions of nature, sound evokes an invisible yet tangible three-dimensionality, and the forest serves as a home and a site for the creative process, as well as a mental space for fulfilling someone else’s needs.
A focal point in the exhibition is the zinced treehouse, which is made from parts he found in the woods. Besides these works, several new series of his illuminated paintings will also be shown. The headphones, the patented Model T, which will be produced in an edition of nine, came about as the result of his vision to mobilise all the available expertise on the topic in Sweden:
– As I’ve always worked with different machines and crafts, and collaborated with different craftspeople, I’ve accumulated something of a family of collaborators. And then arose the need to gather all the expertise related to this common practical object that is so familiar to us all.
The fact that an infinite amount of love goes into making a crafts object, both the electronic work and the craftsmanship, like the polishing of the aluminium. Sound is like a landscape that happens in your mind when you enter the sound scape. Historically, we’ve always congregated to listen to music and dance together. Being isolated, being blue, just listening to your own landscape, is a more contemporary phenomenon.
This exhibition at CFHILL will be the gallery’s most ambitious project so far, and the whole space will undergo a colour transformation. The neon lit treehouse is over four meters high, and there are several other works that have been taken from nature, but transformed into gilded bronze. The underlying theme of the exhibition, which is titled Källan(“The Wellspring”), is what you might call the alpha and omega of art: blue ink, conventional watercolour paper, and the golden ochre.
Ulf Rollof achieved his big breakthrough in the late 80s, and his stripped-bare yet innovative and existential installations soon won him international acclaim as well. In 1992, he participated in Documenta in Kassel, and since then, he has had a long series of solo exhibitions, including at the Venice Biennale and the celebrated exhibition at Moderna Museet in Malmö.
– All of us at CFHILL feel privileged to be playing a part in Ulf Rollof’s next step along his artistic path. He’s so incredibly unafraid of letting go and surrendering himself, and all we’ve had to do is listen, really. Now, he’s made the exhibition space his own, and invites the viewers to take part in these unusual yet obvious and fascinating points of view.