Galerie Nordenhake

Mikael Olsson at Teatergrillen

30 january – 3 march, 2024

Self-portraiture has a long and meandering history. Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Sarah Lucas, Amalia Ullman, Rafia Santana. If portraiture can be categorised as a social encounter, the self-portrait is a perceptual encounter with one’s own body, and all the physical constraints that such an act entails. The physiological impossibility of seeing oneself has fascinated artists for centuries and inspired great works that play with these limitations. The self-portraits of Mikael Olsson – which are actually demi-self-portraits, as they only capture the top of his head and his bespectacled eyes – are a brilliant entry into the mirror halls of art history.

- Sinziana Ravini

Olsson’s self-portraits/selfies challenge the narcissistic use of selfies as well as the status of influencers. Further he destabilizes the composition of a traditional selfie where the eye line is recommended to be one-third down from the top frame. Through play and intuition, Olsson’s images are marked by both intimacy and distance, the role of his own physical presence and the perceptive relationship to the surroundings.