Legacy and mortality, adversity and triumph. No matter what circumstances and conditions you happen to live with, you can’t escape the power of these forces. Swedish House Mafia have decided to share their story of the group’s challenging process from death to rebirth, through their work with artist Alexander Wessely, in Swedish House Mafia - Purgatorium.
When Swedish House Mafia return from the dead, they do it with love for what they’ve been through, resulting in great art. Art not just in the form of new music but also an exhibition of photography and film created by Alexander Wessely. Opening at Sweden’s centre for contemporary photography, Fotografiska on 30th April until 5th May, the exhibition will showcase twelve pictures and a film projected on the walls, during the intense week the trio perform three, back-to-back, sold out shows in Stockholm.
Wessely is a Swedish artist, photographer and director known for pushing boundaries technically and creatively to create high impact visuals, incorporating and reimagining themes central during renaissance-era art: life, death and Christian mysticism. In Swedish House Mafia - Purgatorium, he presents the trio through his unique spectrum where the dark, the bizarre, and the graceful meet. Purgatorium - the process of going through a tough, cleansing period filled with suffering that ultimately leads to development - is a true representation of where Swedish House Mafia find themselves at present.
“Alexander has been able to follow our journey like no-one else could. He sees, hears and interprets everything that we do, visually. His incredibly strong aesthetics are very near to our hearts and mirrors the journey of life almost perfectly” says Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell.
Formed in late 2008, the group has since reached world renowned status, with sold out live performances in arenas spanning the globe, Grammy nominations and platinum records. After deciding to split in 2013 and explore individual ventures, Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell have reunited and resurrected Swedish House Mafia.
“It has been a thoroughly organic and almost obvious process from the start. For me, Swedish House Mafia is about so much more than just three musicians. They are the definition of a cultural wave and have always explored ways to stretch the limits of what is possible. To be able to present this exhibition together with them at Fotografiska means so much” tells Alexander Wessely.
The exhibition Swedish House Mafia - Purgatorium, by Alexander Wessely, visually interprets the artists’ mental state and emotions during this period. The title alludes to the fact that human nature develops through adversity, that we go through a purgatorium in the process of change.
“After having been close to all three for a while now, I have seen sides of them not a lot of people get to see. I have tried to interpret their different personalities as much as possible, and I want this to show in every single piece of work that I have made for this exhibition. Each piece carries a different message - I sometimes see the work as an unconscious projection of myself, like an exorcism but also the other way around. To be able to remove and add details, the things you see in my work are things that never happened...” tells Wessely.
“They all carry different messages. I sometimes see the work as an unconscious projection of myself, like an exorcism but also the other way around. To be able to remove and add details, the things you see in my work are things that never happened…”.