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Johan Wilén



Year of birth: 1977

Place of birth: Malmberget

Contact: +46 (0) 70 364 74 78

Johan Wilén’s Verkförteckningen (Catalogue of Works) comprises a list of 215 objects and phenomena from widely differing categories: books, states of mind, cryptic challenges, assertions, etc. The objects and phenomena are potential artworks that Wilén can then realise. When Verkförteckningen was first exhibited in spring 2007 the list itself was displayed, in the form of a green book in a5 format, plus a handful of the potential works in a real physical form: a glass display case housed a cd, postcards, a few books, some small, black, carefully wrapped packages. 202 of the list’s 215 items still remain to be translated from text into objects and actions. The project is representative of Wilén’s practice. His work is text-based throughout, and often refers to concept art (in the case of Verkförteckningen to Lawrence Weiner and La Monte Young). But Wilén’s interest is not primarily playing with art-history references. His work involving words, images and objects seems above all to be about language’s paradoxical ability to register what is simply possible, and to reproduce memories of events that perhaps have not yet had time to shift into the pass.

Kim West