Fredrik Raddum

Ars Fennica candidate 2013

Three-dimensional comic strips and episodes

In Fredrik Raddum’s art the viewer is absorbed like a child into a comic book. ‘The return of the world of childhood’ could serves as a subtitle to Raddum’s art, since being faced with his works allows us to re-experience the games and unfettered imagination of the child. Both exhibit an astounding ability to re-envisage the world. Raddum’s genre can best be described as tragicomic, since the homely and the uncanny are present in it simultaneously. This duality reflects the way that the familiar becomes strange, while the most outlandish visions can be portrayed in the most real-feeling way. This ambivalence links Raddum both with art history and with contemporary art’s ability to open up our ordinary, everyday world to a new context. Raddum sees himself primarily as a sculptor, but the hybridization of different techniques and traditions is obvious in his works. In them Nordic life and the accompanying nationalism and exoticism are given an ironic treatment that connects them to social realities and debates. At the same time, his art takes its audience back to the world of childhood and to its subjective tangibility, since, like comic books, Fredrik Raddum uses moments of visual insight to create multiple meaningful events.

Juha-Heikki Tihinen, PhD