The artist Leif Haglund is now all over the Nordic Music Days, as an artist in the project The Sad Truth and as our designer and web designer. Leif Haglund is from Karlstad Sweden, educated at Houvedskou’s Painting School, as well as Art Science and Philosophy at the University of Gothenburg.
He is active in his own company Urbane Guerilla with art and visual communication in digital as well as traditional artistic materials. Separate and collective exhibitions nationally and internationally, public art decoration, installations and performance. Represented by the State Art Council and several county councils and municipalities in Sweden.
He is artistic director of Årstad’s very temporary Konsthall, Falkenberg.
Works with web design, stage design for theatre and concerts, graphic design for print and web, project manager, teacher, lecturer and musician.
Together with Grete Helle Rasmussen he designing the pedagogical platform for music education called Plattform12.
P12 is a digital platform for the development and sharing of knowledge, driven by an ambition to give music interested children and young people the best possible education.
Beeing at Fleinvær with the Sad Truth porject must have been a very intense week and you worked both with your own ideas and projects, helping on other projects and some collective things. How do you like this form of togetherness?
Meeting and working with other artists and art forms is important in order to be able to develop and understand our time. The different means of expression, the languages we use has the same starting point: to view, express and shape stories about the reality in which people are in together.
When we collaborate, it expands and deepens the work’s meaning for the viewer and gives the artist new insights and more tools to work with.
It is as important today as it has always been, to choose the tools and materials that best express the content: visual art, sound, movement, spoken and written text, music, sculpture, video, Landart, digital media, performance, installations, fragrances …
I know that you keep painting the philosopher Wittgenstein over and over again, and that is something you have done for many years. Why him?
Wittgenstein’s thoughts on and studies of the language have followed me through my work with visual language; how the language affects what I express and tell.
In order to create images, I needed to understand the elements of the image, color, shape, concepts, technology, materials … What do they really mean, where do they come from, how and why do we use them?
Wittgenstein, sometimes structural, sometimes intuitive, always fragmentary, has scales off what we think we know and opens the language for other meanings and functions. In visual art, it is called To see.
In the 1970s and 80s in Sweden, visual art represented the problems of society, art as a political tool, a means of social change. A kind of realism that depicted, claimed and responded.
W did not document. He was in a process. I read W as poetry, fragments that create relationships. I do not depict my world. I’m trying to understand it.
What place do music and sound have in your life or/and art?
I often work with music in the room to close out and shut in, to find rhythm and concentration. The sound picture and the sound are then more important than the piece of music, genre or artist.
Throughout my life, I have played music as a bass player. When I work with a picture it reminds a lot about playing with other musicians.
I play with the picture, along with it. I have to see, listen and be humble. Control and let me be controlled. Only then will it become a picture.
What is Truth, in art? Are the wordless expressions, freer than other art forms? Any thoughts on this?
Art has to be true. All true art is about truth. The artist can only describe his or her reality as true and honest as possible, for others to experience and interpret. Truth is itself enough.
There is no freedom. All art forms have their prerequisites but contain the same basic element. We talk about screaming colours and sharp shapes, sounds and music that are blue or hard, black texts and listen to languages that evoke sounds from foreign places.
The different art forms limit what we can describe or express, what we can see and understand. The important thing is that the art forms develop and collaborate with the needs and conditions that contemporary life demands.
All experience of art is wordless. Independent of any style of art.
Truth is something else than technology and craftsmanship.
The Sad Truth
On May 20th the project “Sad Truth” gets underway, where six artists are gathered for a week on the small island of Fleinvær, outside Bodø. There they will collect sounds, pictures, and films, and collaborate on digital artworks.
“Human beings are perhaps the first beings on Earth who can and must make a choice about whether to live in equilibrium with nature as a whole, or take care of its diversity. Why then do we choose not to do that which is obviously correct and important? We are the first generation to have both the knowledge and tools to take action – if we had the will. So, when the words that form the social debate are drained of their power, perhaps a space opens up for art and music to meaningfully contribute.” Works by Gyrid Kaldestad, Tine Surel Lange, Håvard Lund, Leif Haglund, Espen Tversland & David Rothenberg