Being Alexander Lervik
Walking into the exhibition Being Alexander Lervik is walking down the alleys of his mind. Two steps in you are greeted welcome by a luminous brain, a result of an MRI scan Alexander did some ten years ago. The brain theme continues as you are lead down a corridor where a carpet with pink and purple brain matter graphics covers the floor and words are written on the wall. Ego, creativity, anxiety, laziness, empathy, force. These words are the starting point of the retrospective exhibition showcasing his 20 years of design, art and innovation.
Alexander Lervik isn’t just showing the public what he’s been doing the last two decades, he’s also telling us about his less favourable sides such as being afraid of conflict, laziness and egoism.
Graduating from Beckmans College of Design in 98 with a graduation project that aimed for and succeeded in dwarfing his fellow student’s dittos, Alexander’s ego grew. With the project Ten Stools – Ten Decades Alexander was the first Swede who was invited to Salone Sattelite (the youth pavilion) in Milan and then the exhibition was flown around the world, viewed by over a million people.
The kick was enormous, but how to top that? Next year in Milan Alexander Lervik completely disappeared in the noise and went home disappointed. The year after that he returned with a single item, the Brighthandle, a luminous red and green door handle communicating with light whether a toilet is occupied or not. Once again, success! And once again when success fades and the world moved on he felt down and realized he’d become addicted to attention.
He tells me this story as we’re slowly moving through his retrospective, while looking and pointing at sculptures that are representations of the personal qualities written on the wall in the corridor. From those years and onwards Alexander has had to face more ups and downs, fears, failures and success. He tells me this without any noticeable expectation of… well of anything really, and that’s why it feels so honest.
A retrospective of this proportion taking of in one person’s ego might seem pretentious.
But after seeing the somewhat 200 objects displayed at the third floor of Kulturhuset in Stockholm, listening to sound showers, peaking into cabinets with tributes hidden inside and swinging on swing made of light and hearing Alexander Lerviks story it just feels honest and straight forward. If you happen to be in Stockholm, don’t hesitate, journey into the mind of a true innovator.
The exhibition Being Alexander Lervik will be open until August 5.