Johan Wik | Untitled

14 November — 11 December, 2011

Johan Wik


Johan Wik presents his new work Untitled (2011). The video depicts a series of men engaged in a fistfight. For Wik, fistfights and fights in general existed only in the realm of Hollywood films and Tv action dramas.

sought to gain insight into the brutal reality of such aggressive acts

Moreover the graphic violence carried out by the overtly masculine men portrayed in these media outlets fascinated Wik. They represented a caricature of masculinity that was not present in his everyday life.

In Untitled Wik attempts to penetrate the role of this particular masculine stereotype via an experiment, in fact a performance, consisting of real violence. The brutal punches depicted in Untitled are not the result of special effects. The impact of each blow was experienced fully by the men and faithfully recorded by Wik’s camera. Wik himself participated in the performance, and, in the process, lost a tooth. Before Untitled, Wik admitted that he had never witnessed a fight in reality nor had he ever been punched. For Wik the experience of being struck was extremely painful; however, he sought to gain insight into the brutal reality of such aggressive acts, removed from the stuff of movie making, glamour, and special effects.

In fact, no visual effects were applied to Untitled. Wik merely slowed down the action so that we may study it. Between each impact there exists only a meditative silence. The meditative space created by Untitled gives us respite from the action of each blow. Beautifully lit and shot in slow motion, the men appear fluid in contrast to the hostility of their actions. Untitled provokes a dialogue on male gender roles and asks us to reflect upon the ever-increasing demand for violent imagery in popular culture.

Johan Wik (b. 1975) graduated from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm in 2011. His work has previously been shown at Moderna Museet and Konstakademin.



Fotografiska is proud to present 3 x VIDEO, a series of exhibitions, each dedicated to an up-and-coming Swedish video artist. Klara Källström (Sept. 2 – Oct. 9), Joanna Rytel (Oct. 10 – Nov. 13), Johan Wik (Nov. 14 – Dec. 11)