Martin Thelander


NO, NO!!

A text about Martin Thelanders art.

I often find myself thinking about Martin Thelanders art, there is something very elusive and intangible that I want to grip. To an inexperienced art viewer Thelanders works can be perceived as ?typical modern art?, whereas an accustomed viewer can perceive them as embarrassing and extremely trivial (even though it is the complete opposite).

The other day I was reading the beginning of Dag Solstads book ?T Singer? and I automatically came to think of Thelanders works again.

?Singer suffered from a peculiar kind of guilt, that didn?t torture him every day, but that now and then appeared, like a reminder of an embarrassing misunderstanding of some kind, and that made him take a halt, as hard as a log, with an expression of despair in the face, a face that he soon hid by placing both hands in front of it, whilst he loudly shrieked: No, No!?

I think that Thelander is tempted to place himself in the situation that Singer finds so unbearable, but without humour, cynicism or attitude and definitely without a punch line. What remains?

A thought that occurred when I read about the French expression ?dumb as a painter? is that the Neanderthal yammer that so many painters fight to conquer is something that Thelander is also preoccupied with, though he is using conceptual art as tool (dumb as a conceptual artist?). Maybe it isn?t so much about yammering as it is about a sort of dry, sophisticated naiveté. As in the early paintings by Bror Hjort, or perhaps even more like the early Eric Hallström. This is how these two painters must have been perceived in the late 1910´s and early 1920´s. Unintelligible and naïve, without sweetness.

Maybe this explains why Martin Thelander is reluctant to show his work? No, that?s not the case, Thelander disapproves of all opinions. Were he to like his own art it would be impossible to make that kind of work, it is completely impossible to open a new door if one already knows what?s right and what?s wrong. The kind of insecurity that this work method entails can be very tiring even if it is based on pure joy. One thing evident is that it demands something from the viewer.

/ Andreas Eriksson, artist