Mats Hjelm is one of Sweden’s most prominent video artists and documentary filmmakers. Since the early 1990’s, his monumental video work has been shown world-wide, and the documentary film Black Nation (2008) has received international acclaim over the past years. In a number of large-scale video installations, such as Black Like Him (2008), Father’s Day at the Shrine of the Black Madonna (2006), and the Trilogy (White Flight /Man to Man/Kap Atlantis, 1997-2003), the history of the Civil Rights movement is in focus. Poetic images interwoven with documentary footage tell stories of oppression, pride and the complexity of integration. But Hjelm’s work also encompasses more down-to-earth video works such as After Hours (2010), where dancers in business suits perform an incredulous dance with the office space as a backdrop.
Mats Hjelm (b. 1959) holds an MFA in Sculpture from University College of Art, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, and he has also studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in the US, Stockholm University and University of Industrial Arts, Helsinki. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Museum of African American History, Detroit, Dubai International Film Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Venice Biennale. In the summer of 2017, the comprehensive project The Other Shore was shown at Museu de Arte Moderna – MAM, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2019 Hjelm has an upcoming show at Norrtälje konsthall based on the same project. He is represented in several private and public collections including Moderna Museet, Malmö Art Museum, Uppsala Art Museum and Public Art Agency Sweden. Hjelm was recently awarded the Royal Institute of Art’s residency at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2019.