No conflict no irony (I love the whole world)
The making of a 100 meter long banner and
the walk to Salisbury Crags on 17 October 2013

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Inspired in part by the opening ceremony for the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, 'no conflict, no irony (I love the whole world)', 2013, is a work that considers the common ground of sport and the language of abstraction, and brings participants together through the act of making and walking.From Saturday 12 October until Wednesday 16 October, Swedish artist Jacob Dahlgren worked in collaboration with families from across Edinburgh to design and make a 100-metre banner. On Thursday 17 October the banner was walked by collaborators, sportspeople and members of the public, from Meadowbank Sports Centre - host venue of the 1970 and 1986 Commonwealth Games - to Salisbury Crags.


IASPIS openhouse
Stockholm 2013

Non object
1:25 DVD loop, 2013
In Dahlgren’s video work the contingent factors of site, noise, architecture and time are allowed to intrude upon the central formal device. Non Object is a collection of videos of people walking around cities followed by Dahlgren shot covertly from a digital camera held by the artist. It quickly becomes clear that each individual is wearing a horizontally striped top. By keeping each person at the same approximate distance in the centre of the screen Dahlgren reduces each person from an object to a motif for abstraction. A dynamic tension is activated between the innocent and disinterested task of fixation upon and collection of a given pattern, and the more sinister emulation by the artist of the serial obsessive and the potential for conflict between the stalker and his quarry.

Our body might not accept a central viewpoint
KIASMA Museum of contemporary art, Helsinki 2013

Between obvious form and supposed content
Kristianstads Konsthall, Sweden
19/10 - 12/1, 2013/14
Demonstration 7th september 2013, Swansea
photo: Richard Page
Work as method
project for Austrian Chamber of Labour, Vienna 2013
coloured pencils 289 x 572 cm
photo: Hertha Hurnaus
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Neoconcrete space
1:40 DVD Loop 2013

Demonstration 14th april, Bergen 2013
photo:Illimar Rekand
Demonstration 11th october, Mexico City 2012
photo: Lorena Moreno
Neoconcrete Ballet
Grad Cultural Center, Belgrade 20121
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Demonstration 16th august
Playing the city
Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt 2011
Photo: Cem Yücetas
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Primary structure
1,5 x 10,5 x 3,2 meter
Wanås Foundation, Knisslinge 2011
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Primary structure
size: 100 x 100 x 50 cm, 2012
photo: Jussi Tiainen


Item 1; Subject of art
size; 17,5 x 17,5 x 17,5 cm
photo: Tedd Soost
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This painting consists of folding rules from different manufacturers. The material is arranged in a perfect square.
The painting is made of both plastic and wooden folding rules, thus creating a variety of subtle color shifts, and play with materials. It has an Agnes Martin-like presence, in both colour and grid-pattern.

Units of measurments
folding rulers, 2012
size: 217 x 217 cm
photo: Tedd Soost
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Units of measurments
size: 800 x 200 cm
Workplace Gallery, Gateshead 2011
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Untitled endless cut
size: 168 cm in diameter, 2011
photo: Tedd Soost


Many industrial products are designed in a highly aesthetical fashion. Sandpaper comes in many colours, depending on grit size, and use. These paintings include both new and used sandpaper, which gives each part a special finish.  The works measure 23 x 28 cm, which equals a whole sheet of sandpaper. The compositions are kept simple, and the types of sandpaper vary. Some parts are made of sandpaper made for grinding machines, and these sandpapers come in different shapes. I also use the different grit sizes to create dynamic compositions. The dust caught in the grit resembles light strokes of paint; the solidness of the geometrical shapes is loosened by this effect.

Model for understanding the world
Sandpaper on metal plate, 2011
28 x 23 cm
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Colour reading and contexture
A-Foundation, Liverpool 2010
Size: 1700 x1400 x270 cm
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Colour Reading and Contexture is a small city of colour and form that has been constructed from piles of sourced materials, in a variation of colours and sizes. The assorted mounds of objects range from old, unwanted library books, to tiles, to chocolate bars, to essentially any object with four corners. The items are layered together with relation to their shape, size and colour. Months of collective activity, sourcing and gathering on a local scale, are involved in the development of the work. This, together with the direct reference to Josef Alber’s theories relating to colour and scale, result in a work that speaks about place, history, collection and catagorisation, but also about how the viewer engages, and reads the world around them.


Demonstration 14th of June, Headlands
Marin County 2009
Photo: Karla Nilzén
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As the second instalment of ‘the art march,’ Demonstration 14th of June departs from the traditional protest setting, becoming instead a sort of a pilgrimage, a building of community and as was the case, a short test of endurance. 35 participants, each carrying a recreation of Olle Baertling’s abstract painting in the form of a placard, initially imagined a short and/or circular walk; the reality was instead a 3 hour-long hike throughout the San Francisco countryside. Diverting from Demonstration 5 December 2007, this performance employs Baertling’s images as a tool for experience and the building of comaraderie, rather than the sole primary material for this performance work.


From art to life to art
Foodcans and steel, 2009
photo: Carl Kleiner
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From art to life to art takes the potential of phenomenological engagement with art to the next level. The contents of the cans are at first ingested and afterwards the casing is used as the primary material for these sculptural works. With reference to the legacies of various art movements, particularly post-minimalist and constructivist, these sculptures act as more than simple objects, but rather allude to notions of performance, economy and consumption.


Reykavik 1952
Cloth hangers and aluminium 2009
Size 300 x 200 cm
photo: Carl Kleiner
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Reykjavik 1952 takes the household coat hanger and transforms it into a geometric abstract painting. By positioning them side-by-side and in varying configurations, the coat hangers are completely transformed into something new, unrecognisable for their original purpose.


I, the world, things, life
Interactive dart board installation
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I, the world, things, life removes the hand of the artist, and instead functions more as a series of instructions. The wall of the gallery is measured and dartboards are purchased to fill the space; the optical illusion begins. Accompanying darts are placed in boxes on the floor and thus the audience is invited to engage with the work. Scoring a bullseye should be easy with so many chances, but the more you try to focus, the more the targets move. The darts are thrown until the boxes are empty, then they are retrieved and placed once again from whence they came, and the canvas is blank once again; the process continues.

Heaven is a place on earth
Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm 2006
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Referencing the minimalist tradition of exploring the relationship between the body and the object, Heaven is a place on earth takes this association one step further and invites the viewer to become at one with the art object. Far from the industrially fabricated materials of its minimalists, the recognisable, readymade IKEA scales act as a clear request for engagement. With its differing formations, this work allows for an assortment of encounters and subsequent readings of each instalment – from an evaluation of minimalist forms and methods to institutional critique, to an orchestration of the audience’s movement throughout the gallery, Heaven is a place on earth merges the everyday with the legacies of modernist art with ease.

Constructing a new world
Painted steel 350 x 350 x 400 cm
Umedalen Skulptur, 201


Demonstration 5 december 2007, Stockholm
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Demonstration 5 December can be seen to be borrowing from life and the history of art as the primary materials for this performance piece. Three hundred organised participants gathered and walked with police escort throughout the cordoned off streets of Stockholm carrying painted placards, though these marchers are not protesting against anything, or expressing views on any political issues. By appropriating the format of the demonstration as well as paintings originally made by Swedish modernist artist, Olle Baertling, this work explores notions of the spectacle, expectation and history.

14 days with red and white
curated by Jacob Dahlgren
21.9-4.10 2009
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Thisis ongoing project in which I see myself as a geometrical painting moving about the world; I invite people from various backgrounds and areas of interest to curate shows from my collection of over 1000 and I wear these each day for the duration of the exhibitions. Each day I take a photograph of myself wearing the shirts, these pictures together with accompanying abstracted images of the prints from each of the selected shirts, the exhibition’s title and accompanying text, are formatted into documentary posters that act as archives for each curatorial project.

The year 2005 sees the centenary of the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden. This exhibition will tour the Swedish-Norwegian border in Riksutställningar's Expomobile during the summer. Some ten artists who work in various ways with the nature of boundaries have been invited to take part. Tourism, national identity, being an outsider, cross-border trade, isolation and travelling are some of the topical themes that are being treated. The aim is to create encounters between the public in local situations along the border in the wake of the centenary celebrations of the union's dissolution and to be represented at summer events. The tour is being arranged to fit in with local festivals, camping sites, public art galleries, town squares and entertainment parks.
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Untitled endless column
P.S.1 Contemporary art Center 2006
Cloth hangers
Height: 420 cm
Photo: David Yellen
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Untitled endless column constructs an artificial, seemingly never-ending column inside the museum. Composed of inexpensive, household coat hangers, the viewer’s inability to access both the starting and finishing points of the work makes certain that this everyday material is transformed into something completely new.

The Wonderful World of Abstraction
Silk ribbons and aluminium
Moderna Museet Stockholm, 2006
Foto: Per Anders Allsten/Moderna Museet
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The Wonderful World of Abstraction removes the geometric, optical painting from the canvas. From the outside the work comes to life as others negotiate the contents, step inside and disappear in the sea of multicoloured satin, no sooner have you entered than you are invisible to all around you. Quite the opposite of the ‘please do not touch’ works that we are familiar with; The Wonderful World of Abstraction turns hardedge abstraction into a colourful wonderland where you can become lost in the luxury of the touch and texture.


Signs of abstraction
Performance with people dressed in stripes in gamblinghall
Turner contemporary, Margate 2009
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Signs of Abstraction breathes new life into the once flourishing seaside township of Margate, whilst once a mecca for British vacationers, the town now paints quite a different portrait. X local residents were invited to come together and spend 2 hours together at the local arcade parlour dressed in specified striped attire; a revitalized community was achieved through shared experience. Similarly to other striped shirt performances orchestrated by Dahlgren, Signs of Abstraction makes the intentions of op art quite literal, animating the geometric painting, and creating new configurations with each movement.


Signes d'abstraction
Performance with 300 people dressed in striped T-shirt in a shoppingmall in Stockholm 2005
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Signes d’abstraction is a performance piece in which 300 people ranging from 1-88 years old were invited to wear a striped t-shirt and spend the day in a shopping mall. People were grouped together and given instructions on where they should place themselves at various stages of the day; one group was instructed to visit the café and be replaced in their seats only by those who were also wearing striped t-shirts, while another group was instructed to enter H&M all at once, and so on. It wasn’t long until the entire mall was overrun with striped shirts. The solidarity that was formed amongst the performers presented itself quickly, this newly united contingent became quite comfortable amongst their newly occupied environment, creating their own spaces with their own rules for engagement.


Colour reading and contexture
Malmö Konsthall 2005
Size: 1100 x1100 x200 cm, photo: Vegar Moen
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Colour Reading and Contexture is a small city of colour and form that has been constructed from piles of sourced materials, in a variation of colours and sizes. The assorted mounds of objects range from old, unwanted library books, to tiles, to chocolate bars, to essentially any object with four corners. The items are layered together with relation to their shape, size and colour. Months of collective activity, sourcing and gathering on a local scale, are involved in the development of the work. This, together with the direct reference to Josef Alber’s theories relating to colour and scale, result in a work that speaks about place, history, collection and catagorisation, but also about how the viewer engages, and reads the world around them.

Peinture abstraite is a series of paintings based on my T-shirt collection, which now consists of over 900 different striped T-shirts. I’ve been wearing one everyday since 2001. The real work is me moving around in the world, the paintings are replicas of the T-shirts
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Various size
Photo: Carl Kleiner
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NCS-Collage makes reference to the legacy of geometric abstract painting but instead of paint however, these works implement paint swatches as their primary material. Each colour in this readymade geometrical abstraction is complete with its coordinating colour code; removing the romantic notion of the painting these works make the process and materials transparent for the viewer.


Best Before
Oil on plexi, 2009
Photo: Carl Kleiner
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The works in the series Best Before are more than abstract paintings. While the first impression of each of these works may be that they are simply explorations of shape and colour, it soon becomes apparent that there is in fact something familiar in the design of the works. Continuing with the early abstract tradition of using reality for the departure point for creating works and combining this with a pop sensibility that finds beauty in the banality of daily life, these works sit comfortably between the popular and the critical.


Sydney 2006
Coffea mugs and aluminium, 2008
Size 191 x 161 x 18 cm
Photo: Tedd Soost
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Sydney 2006 converts run-of-the-mill coffee mugs into a geometrical abstract painting. By stacking these mugs at varying angles, the illusion of an optical painting is created; only to become muted as the tactility of the mugs become apparent.


Palermo 1996
Size 184 x 149,8 x 3,5 cm
Eldorado food package, magnet and metall
Photo: Tedd Soost
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Palermo1996 explores the allure of the supermarket and removes items directly from the shelves in order to create this contemporary geometric abstraction. As a result of the construction elements, metal and magnets, this work also functions very much as a performance piece, through the building of the work at the start of the exhibition to the potential multiple arrangements that could be achieved for the duration, and ending with the final removal of the boxes. This work combines the everyday, abstraction and a performative process in order to consider the relationship between the world, the body and geometry.


Early one morning; yellow, umber, black
spray painted doors, size: 204 x 217,5 cm
Photo: Magnus Odevik
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Early one morning; yellow, umber, black uses Blinky Palermo as its departure point. Reproduced however, in three varying door sizes, it is the missing door handles and hinges that separate these works from more conventional geometric paintings. Combining a fascination for the everyday and moments of abstraction that can be found almost anywhere, with a relationship and reverence to modernist art’s legacy of abstraction, these works explore the nature of geometric abstraction through colour, scale and materials.

Item 2; bohemians
Size 160 x 170 x 175 cm
Lamps, wood, paint and aluminium
Photo: Jan Almeren
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collaboration with Andreas Eriksson
Södersjukhuset , Stockholm 1998
Foto: Stefan Zimmermann
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Item 5; dadaist
Size 48 x 100 x 100 cm, 2004
paint wood on glass
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