Marie Karlberg

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Artist Statement

I started making art, especially performances and videos, as a reaction against prescribed forms of social existence. This reaction came most importantly from being identified as a woman, a sexualized other, which formed the basis of my performance, “A Woman for Sale,” a work in which I transform myself into product through cultural assumptions of femininity. In the performance “77 comments” I read the comments from a 2013 Youtube video of my piece “A Woman For Sale”, a video that was posted without my knowledge and somehow managed to garner about 2 million views and almost 200 “trolling” comments. I reprised this text-from-without for “The Comments,” a performance that involved a group of seven people reading them out loud while walking in circles during the course of a gallery opening. In the video “C/L/A/S/S/W/A/R/S,” a woman finds herself trapped in an aristocratic old castle and finds a way out by dancing and grinding her body on the furnitures where she turns into a turtle swimming out into total freedom.

Images 3-6 reflect my exploration of other artistic strategies, namely installation, in order to provoke more atmospheric forms of confrontation. Assembled from materials such as rubber and textile fabrics, and further embellished with drawings and embroidery, the perverse craft and haptic sense of these installations seek to take space in much of the same way that my performative works do. They nevertheless reflect a continuous process of imaginative thought that informs my practice in general, largely aiding me in exploring the communicative range of this practice’s somewhat conventional gestures, primarily finding ways of rendering artistic marks in the interest of performative attitudes.

In images 11- 15, I started focusing on what could be described as more conventional, object-oriented exhibitions. In my Vilma Gold show, produced in tandem with artist Lena Henke, I embossed a plethora of conventional, full-length mirrors with graphics that I found to be both personal and confrontational – be it the renaissance motif of Death and the Maiden, recycled drawings from other projects or, quite literally, with images of my nude body.

My recent work consist mostly of watercolors that dabble in the grotesque presentation of bodies (Images 1-2 and 16-17)

Images 7-10 are works where I convert my sexualized body into an atomized image that serves an industrially produced plexiglass symbolic deçor that interpellatively filters outside and in. These functionality of these performative images is further extended in their iteration as design material for wearable scarves. These works repurpose the generic use of the female body as a photographic object so as to construct a situation in which my body engenders a play of concealment particular to this typically feminine accessory, a play of revealing and concealing its wearer’s skin with that of another’s.

Generating situations that enable one to confront the conventionalized methods of distributing space, particularly along lines of sexual differentiation, has served as the conceptual core of my recent work. Alongside the works described above, which can all be seen as a response to the feminist call to “Take Space,” I also respond to this injunction with a number of collaborative projects—be it in the form of a guerrilla art exhibition with M/L Artspace, role reversal within art-gallerist relations with my on-going collaborations with Jeanne Graff or, even in the simplest way, works on paper that parasite the host centers of contemporary group exhibitions.



One and Two Person Exhibitions


Marie Karlberg, Issues, Stockholm, Sweden

Marie Karlberg and Satoshi Kojima, Tramps at Nansensgade 62, Copenhagen, Denmark

One step away from further Hell (with Lena Henke), Vilma Gold,  London, UK

C/L/A/S/S/W/A/R/S, Buenos Tiempos, Int, Brussels, Belgium


Your Lips Are So Soft, Sandy Brown, Berlin, Germany



Stranger in the Dark,  Reena Spaulings Fine Art, NY, USA

Tes Yeax curated by Jeanne Graff, Anne Dressen and Catherine Chevalier, Le Bar, Paris, France

Boundaries, Capricious, New York, US

The Eight White Columns Annual curated by Pati Hertling, White Columns, New York, US


Infested (with Leigha Mason, Nic Guagnini, Keith Connolly, Emil Bognar-Nasdor) Artist Space, New York, US

Freak Out, Greene Naftali, New York, US

Paris and Wizard, Musical by Ei Arakawa, MoMa, New York, US

Salad at Das Bunker curated by Gavin Russom, MoMa PS1, New York, US

Marie & Jeanne, Graff Morgue D’Algue, Geneva, Switzerland


A Woman For Sale, 1;1, New York, NY

Throw Up (with Stewart Uoo, Joseph Heffernan and Nathan Whipple), Canal 47, New York, US

Group Exhibitions


Curated by_vienna 2015, curated by Catherine Chevalier and Benjamin Hirte, Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna, Austria

Kunsthalle Wichita, Kansas, US

186f Kepler, Basel, Switzerland

Please Respond- M/L Artspace during Venice Biennale initiated by Marta Fontolan, Venice, Italy

Strangers, Company Gallery, New York, US

Boulevard curated by Centre of Style, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia

Together Forever curated by Taylor Trabulus and Scarlett Stephenson-Connolly, New York, US


Body Anxiety, Online exhibition, New York, NY


AUTO BODY, Spinello Projects, Miami, US

Artificial Complexion co-curated with Amy Yow, Various Small Fires, LA, US

Dolce Far Niente, Marbriers4, Geneva, Switzerland

Lady Work Work, Tramps, London, UK

It Gets Better curated by Stewart Uoo, Artists Space, New York, US

Mario and John, 186f Kepler, Basel, Switzerland

WARM MATH curated by Alexander May, Balice Hertling, New York, US

Psycho Futurism, Scandinavian Institute, New York, US

Under the Oak Tree, M/L Artspace, Paramount Ranch Art Fair, LA, US


Nail Us, M/L Artspace, New York, US

9 Artists, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, US (Exhibition traveled to Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014)

Savoir Murir, Sandy Brown, Berlin, Germany

All the best People, 1:1, New York, US


Yoga Slave (with Anna Uddenberg and Sara Litzen), Gallery Bohman, Stockholm, Sweden


DEAD MUSE, Gallery Bastard, Stockholm, Sweden

Collaborate Projects

2013 – present M/L Artspace, on various locations

2013 – present Jeanne and Marie, on various locations

2012 – present  Xtapussy, New York, US

2012 – 2013 1:1, New York, US

2011 – present Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York, US

2008 – 2010 Dead Muse, Paris, France


Kevin McGarry, “In Venice, Plenty to See Beyond the Pavilions”, The New York Times, 2015

Geir Haraldseth, “Vennskapet er viktigst”, Kunstkritik, 2015

Andrew Russeth, “A Three Day Show In Venice”, 2015

Lena Henke, “TOP TEN”, Artforum, 2015

Caroline Busta, “Basic Instinct / Cyber-channels and the female pose”, Texte Zur Kunst, 2015

Andrew Durbin, “Marie’s Struggle”,  Adult Magazine, 2014

David Riley, “Marie Karlberg: “A STRANGER IN THE DARK”, Topical Cream, 2014

Dan Duray, “Hey If You’re at Frieze Why Don’t You Watch ‘Slapped’ by Marie Karlberg?”, Observer, 2014

Thor Shannon, “The Real World: Marie Karlberg”, Out Of Order, 2014

Michael Musto, “Marie Karlberg”, Art in America, 2014

Desi Santiago “Selling Marie” Document Journal, Summer 2013

Michelle Kuo “1000 Words: Antonio Blair, Marie Karlberg and Stewart Uoo” Artforum, Summer 2013

Caroline Busta “All the best People” 1:1 Artforum, March 2013

Alexis Swerdloff “Because the Wildest Nouveau Rave in Town Is Thrown By a Jubilant, Militant Feminist” New York Magazine, December 2012


TwoHOTEL, Piracanga Beach, Bahia, Brazil

Talks and Panels

La Nuit des Temps, organized by Julie Boukobza with Glenn O’Brien, Spencer Sweeney and Sofia Lamar at Marianne Boesky gallery, New York, US

In Bed With M/L, Swiss Institute, New York, US