Those of the Unlight at PAPER in Manchester (UK)

Pär Strömberg – Those of the Unlight

Exhibition dates: 19 August – 30 September 2017

Private View: Thursday 17 August 2017, 6-9pm


For his solo exhibition at PAPER, Pär Strömberg will present a new body of work Those of the Unlight. This work marks a point of departure for Strömberg. Since working with PAPER, he had had to re-contextualise his practice within the ethos of the gallery. Focussing exclusively on work on paper, Strömberg’s practice has been revitalised, focussing on the participants in a subculture that the artist has been immersed in since his youth.
Pär Strömberg grew up in rural Sweden. The Scandinavian Black Metal scene offered a form of rebellion. An anti-everything mentality has inspired Pär’s practice and he continually draws from this period in his youth. More recently, the artist has noticed a new stirring in the subculture that offers a radical shift in outside perceptions of the scene. The Black Metal subculture is seen as male-centric, yet Pär has chosen to focus upon the female participants. In the series of portraits called Black Metal Girls, young women – mainly girls from catholic backgrounds – use the machoistic iconography of Black Metal bands to create their own statement of rebellion. Hashtagging themselves within social media as #blackmetalgirls, these women claim the subculture as their own. Making contact with these women in order to seek permission to use their ‘selfies’, Pär hopes to evaluate their status within the tropes of Romanticism in his charcoal and watercolour representations.
Pär will present a new body of work focussing on the female participants of the Black Metal Subculture. He will present the Black Metal Girls: Small portraits from BMG ‘selfies’ presented in an upside-down cross formation. Alongside this, he will present a number of large paper works that restage a variety of allegories and icons depicting death drawn from Pagan Cults and folklore traditions. Each of these images depicts a strong female role model revitalised as a contemporary martyr. The smaller works will be presented on a background of band posters that have been sprayed black and tacked to the wall of the gallery. We intend to create sections of posters, rather than covering the whole booth. The large works will be presented unframed.
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