READ DEAR - Camden Art Centre

Karl Holmqvist is an artist whose primary material is language.

His inventive re-renderings of words and phrases take various forms including artist’s books, posters, wall drawings, sculpture, videos and live performances. Borrowing from generic types of speech or written word, ranging from common sayings to literary references, from popular music to political activism, Holmqvist repositions these sampled fragments in new contexts, allowing for ambiguity and double meanings to emerge.

This exhibition comprised of new printed canvases, a knitted blanket, concrete poetry published as leporellos, wall drawings and a video. Collectively, these works unpacked the many operations of language, how it can occupy space and provoke images within the viewers’ imagination. The title READ DEAR is a visual word game and a playful command that invokes Gallery 3’s previous function as one of Hampstead Central Library’s reading rooms, before the Victorian building was repurposed as an art centre in 1965.


Images Artist Film The Artist Supporters Events

This film was produced on the occasion of Karl Holmqvist's exhibition READ DEAR at Camden Arts Centre (24 March - 5 June 2016).

The Artist

Karl Holmqvist (b.1964, Sweden), lives and works in Berlin. Holmqvist participated in the 2003 and 2011 Venice Biennial. His work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language, 2012), the Performa performance art biennial and during the Serpentine Gallery summer pavilion marathons. This spring he opens an exhibition of new works at the Power Station in Dallas, Texas.

Live: Karl Holmqvist: What is it that comes crawling in the morning?

Wednesday 1 June, 7.00 – 8.00pm / free

To coincide with his exhibition READ DEAR on view at Camden Arts Centre until Sunday 5 June, Karl Holmqvist organises an evening of talks and spoken word readings in our Café and Garden, ‘bringing poetry and thoughts to the flowers and the trees and the people that love them.’

There will be talks, readings and performances by Harry Burke (with audio by SADAF), Roger Cook, Karl Holmqvist and Sophia Le Fraga with picnic blankets made by Karl Holmqvist in collaboration with Mundi Vondi.

A limited number of free posters will be given away at this event with contributions from Jeremy Deller and the artists involved in the evening.