© Magnus WALLIN


ArtistMagnus WALLIN
Material/ Technique3D animated film
Size/ Duration3 min. 34 sec.
Copyright Notice© Magnus WALLIN
Year of acquisition/ donation2003
DescriptionBorn in Malmö, Sweden in 1965. Lives and works there.

Magnus Wallin casts doubt on the social distinction between the able-bodied and the physically disabled, highlighting fixed notions such as good and evil, right and wrong, and beauty and ugliness that derive from the illusion of the image of a perfect, ideal human body and creating works based on his observations of alienated ‘others.’ Referencing movies and iconography from the past, including the works of the 15th century painter Hieronymus BOSCH, Wallin throws into relief the value systems and power structures on the basis of which people have alienated others throughout history.

In "Exit", eight people with physical disabilities are chased by raging flames and try to escape down a corridor where loud cheering and applause erupts. The eight characters are based on figures from paintings by the 15th century artist Hieronymus Bosch. The intense breathing of the eight people who are trying to escape impending death, the hollowness of the noise of their being mercilessly consumed by fire, and the triumphant cheering that arises at this moment ring throughout the venue. The result is a piece that exposes hypocrisy and presents harsh reality. In "Limbo", a helicopter carrying the three survivors who have escaped the raging flames approaches a safe haven modelled on the Olympic stadium from the Nazi Germany era, but as it does so the Olympic flame is extinguished and the helicopter is forced down through an opening in the ground by a crowd of angels. The helicopter continues falling until it passes through the eye of God, which is adorned with Venus’s shell, the Olympic rings, the double helix supporting the structure of DNA, and images of goldfish symbolizing genetic engineering. The characters eventually arrive at a pool where cloned figures representing the human ideal of beauty are swimming in perfect synchrony. This work casts doubt on the idea of the ‘perfectible’ human form and the value system that underpins it. The title refers to the Christian concept of a place where the unbaptised and those who lived in pre-Christian times, who are unable to go to either heaven or hell, go when they die.