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Johan Furåker: A Quest to Eliminate Self

Who was Albert Dadas?

This is a question Johan Furåker asked himself, and began to investigate an unusual personality. In painting after painting, the artist has re-created places Albert Dadas might have visited; a man who lived at the end of the 1800s and suffered from a condition which was diagnosed as ‘Pathological tourism’, a compulsive need to go to foreign locations. Johan Furåker followed in his footsteps and the result of this exciting research trip is now presented in his first solo exhibition at Galleri Flach+Thulin.

In different sequences Furåker has painted places, people and details of environments such as Vienna, Nice and Moscow. There are motives that bear typical traces of the turn of the century, a time when new and escapist behaviours among middle class people began to take shape. The term “tourism” was now being developed, as was the whole concept of foreign and fascinating things and objects, beautifully exposed in major department stores that were built in large cities.

 

The fact that the visual effects have been of great importance is evident when you meet Furåker’s paintings. Skilfully painted details from different environments are seductively reproduced, evoking memories from a bygone era. The artist works freely with different forms of representations, techniques and formats. Every motif is a single statement, and the realistic painting could just as well be broken by a abstract visual patterns. For the artist’s part, the psychedelic pattern is another dimension of the psyche of Dadas, as a reference to the hypnosis he underwent as treatment for his symptoms. But they also serve as art historical comments, in which realistic and abstract “styles” are different artistic approaches.

 

Johan Furåker graduated from Malmö Art Academy in 2009. Already as a studenthe had a great interest in investigating environments and people by mixing fiction and reality. To set “rules” has in all times been a strategy among artists for how and why a new artwork should be produced. In an interesting way, Johan Furåker mixes his own explorations as an artist with another person’s urge to travel and experience the world with his own eyes.