Born in 1986 in Gällivare (Sweden)
Lives and works in Göteborg (Sweden)
Olof Marsja’s work analyses and mixes ultra-contemporary reality with the tales and traditions of the Sámi, his Lapland people. Avoiding the sleek productions enabled by today’s technologies, the artist plays with irregularities to offer glimpses of his Duodji (Sámi craft) skills. His finger and tool prints thus depict a precious temporality: the time of the artist and artisan.
Through his handiwork and the repetition of materials, the sculptor has invented a tradition without a past. His creations – a selection of which are on show at Young International Artists – toy with a fake historicity: they appear to have emerged from a real world that could never be located in time or space. His often-figurative sculptures are positioned as welcoming, considerate figures; but they exude a strange, almost unsettling aura that conceals a profound examination of Sweden’s identity, its waning traditions and its colonial history.