We were the second exhibiting artists in the newly established BAS konsthall in Barkarby, Järfälla municipality during the winter of 2022/2023.
During the industrial revolution, art goes from being a craft among others to becoming an elevated vocation in the search for authenticity and originality. This is when the first literary depictions of doppelgängers appear.
Romantic doppelgangers express an identity in crisis and challenge people's self-perception in the age of serialized manufacturing. The obsession with being a unique individual has remained with us to this very day. Being a copy, or no one in particular, is the worst (lack of) quality a modern person can manifest.
In the exhibition Doppelgangarna, the artists turn this reasoning around. The repeat function - copying and multiplying - is the most distinctive feature of digital technology. Reproduction need not be incompatible with art, and the artwork can accommodate the human ability to transcend the boundaries of time and space. Repetition becomes art, that is, an act that requires skill and precision. The illusion is nothing but the result of careful preparation.
By recomposing real-life optical illusions with digital 'magic', we embrace the hallmark tools of the illusionist. There is an tacit agreement between the illusionists (artists) and the audience regarding what will happen during the performance. Everyone agrees that the doubles are the result of sleight of hand, deception, rigged apparatus, mirrors and other tricks. The viewer goes from wanting to believe what the eyes see but reason says is wrong - to wanting to believe that what is wrong is actually right.
Due to its underlying hidden mechanisms, illusionism is often portrayed as an exercise in manipulation and control. In the gentle hands of Performing Pictures, magic becomes a practice of care, a form of relationality or mutual trust, involving selective attention where issues of power and asymmetry are allowed to take place.