Introduction to Per Fhager:
Crafts has taken a predominate role in the perspicuous world of art. The crafts ability to communicate, as well as emphasize on the skill that lays beneath the works of art makes them into artworks. There is a beauty and tension between the attractive and dissociation that contemporary art and then especially craftsmanship can take and use in its idiom as well as choice of material.
Per´s choice of material, technique and color gives us a perfect example of how traditional crafts can receive a new expression and context in the modern world. The embroideries differs largely in texture, technique and color density, these differences are important in the process of producing the needle point works. The handmade pictures arrives from video game stills where composition, narrative and memory plays its role.
The gaming industry is still in its youth though very soon to become the dominating genre in popular culture. Video games has quickly created its own subculture and codes, this very much in relation to the fast growing industry and especially to people born during the 70:s who grew up with the first generation of consoles 25 years ago, as Nintendo NES, Commodore 64 and Sega Megadrive. The combination of technical progress parallel with cultural baggage is an interesting socio economical aspect for understanding the work of Per Fhager. Per creates something permanent from a transient movement.
Stitched stills from digital fantasy worlds also relates to the historical genre of naturalistic and romantic paintings from the 1900 century. It´s beautiful and intriguing, at the same time as we almost experience the expression as superficial and shallow. Though we know that both Markus Larsson, Robert Zünd and their fellow collegues today are important figures that represent a time very often forgotten. A time when nature and nostalgia may played a different role than today. Per Fhager helps us to recapture this feeling in a new time with a different language.
Craft, art, and design are words heavily laden with cultural baggage. For me, they all connote the profound engagement with materials and process that is central to creativity. Through this engagement form, function, and meaning are made tangible. It is time to move beyond the limitations of terminologies that fragment and separate our appreciation of creative actions, and consider the "behaviors of making" that practitioners share.
Text by David Revere McFadden, Chief Curator, Museum of Arts & Design, NY