Running Box

Solo Exhibition at Konsthall 16, Riksidröttsmuseum · Stockholm · Denmark · 24 May - 29 September · 2019



By creating new contexts for his works, and how he communicates about contemporary art in general and his own practice in particular, John Kørner explores ways of dealing with the challenge of making art that is relatable to a large public. The visitors are an essential part of the exhibition, more important than the artist himself, he explains. The theme of the exhibition often springs from a political or social issue, but creating the works remains an intuitive process.

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The exhibition title – Running Box – refers to a few recurring themes in Kørner’s practice. One of these is time and our subjective approach to it. How do we live our lives, and how do we relate to the passing of time? Three paintings show anonymous runners moving towards or away from us. A couple of them appear against a bright yellow background that seems to practically engulf the characters. The runners serve as metaphors for the ubiquitous acceleration that the artist observes in society, expressing the perpetual desire for things to move faster.

John Kørner’s installation embraces the custom-made carpet with numbered running lanes, inviting us to move, but also to reflect on the paths we choose in life, where we encounter obstacles along the way. One of the lanes is similarly blocked by a high concrete barrier of the kind used to stop traffic. But a further couple of runners have been painted on this barrier. The sense of being on a predetermined path is accentuated by a site-specific forced-perspective mural that guides our vision into an endless corridor. The “Box” in the title refers to the physical boxes that encase us – our homes and workplaces, and, of course, the white box of the art space – and the mental boxes that can confine our own minds. Kørner explores the box metaphorically and physically, and how it relates to painting.

By appropriating sports imagery, John Kørner creates an integrated totality that engages us on several levels. The exhibition comments on the role of sports in society as a social phenomenon that influences the economy, politics and our bodies, and raises social and existential issues of time, movement and art and how we interact with each other and ourselves in everyday events.

Ulrika Léven, Curator at Konsthall 16


Photographer: Johann Bergenholtz

Konsthall 16

Djurgårdsbrunnsvägen 26