Common Patterns

Anna Ådahl

06/06/2015 - 25/07/2015

CCA is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Swedish artist Anna Ådahl.

Using video, sculptural works, and ready-made objects associated with methods of control, order, decoration and display, Common Patterns examines the conditions of the ‘mass ornament’ (a notion developed in the early twentieth century by cultural critic Siegfried Kracauer).

The exhibition explores how urban patterns and the choreography of our bodies in the city shape our behaviour and further our subjecthood. It acknowledges the gallery as a space where movement is negotiated and constrained; where the presentation of materials is regulated and brought into physical relationship to the viewing body.

Common Patterns includes a work filmed in London that incorporates sequences shot during a workshop organised by the artist at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Contemporary Dance. The video offers a protean insight into how individuals and collective masses are coordinated; how public space is abstracted and human movement is reduced to the rational, symmetrical choreography that is favoured by late capitalism. Also included in the exhibition are two sets of sculptural work: an arrangement of locally sourced street bollards, and a structure made of ornamental plaster cornicing with styles that derive from Edwardian and Victorian periods, as well as those from the 19th century Arts and Crafts movement. These works not only present themselves as physical barriers to the movement of the body, but also point to the relationship between the decorative expression and ideology of public space. The context of Derry~Londonderry, with its histories of colonialism and architectures of control, provides a further activation of these ideas.

Anna Ådahl is a visual artist and member of the editorial committee of OEI. She studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts de Paris; the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, and Central Saint Martins, London. Her recent projects include Dual Visions at Taiga Space, St Petersburg; B-open, Hordaland Art Centre, Bergen (2014); Reims Scène D´Europe, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims (2013); Public Matter, Botkyrka Konsthall, Fittja-Stockholm, Sweden (2013); Rencontres International Paris/ Berlin/Madrid, at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2013), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2009), and Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (2008); and Tell a friend, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2008).

She is currently undertaking a year-long IASPIS (The Swedish Arts Grants Committee's International Programme for Visual Artists) residency in London in collaboration with Cubitt and ACME.


This project was kindly supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; IASPIS (The Swedish Arts Grants Committee's International Programme for Visual Artists), the Embassy of Sweden (London), TransportNI/the Department of Regional Development.

Anna would like to thank Tal Amiran, Sophia Arvanitis, Stella Dimitrakopoulo, Azadeh Fatehrad, Fatima Hellberg, Dorothea Jendricke, Hans Rosenström, Kim West, and Ellen Wettmark.

Trinity Laban workshop organiser: Stella Dimitrakopoulou. Performers: Claire Ridge, Sophia Arvanitis, Valeria Famularo, Carolina Ravaioli, Susan Sentler, Caitlin McAfee, Adam James, Zoe Georgallis, Therese Steele, Stella Dimitrakopoulou, and Anna Adahl.