If shoving, stacking and cramming things into the smallest possible box-shaped spaces were an extreme sport, Michael Johansson would be leading the pack(ing) by far. Storage and shipping professionals could learn a lesson or two from this master-packer as well, not to mention present-wrappers and possibly trash-compactors. In the words of an entirely different kind of rapper: “pack it up, pack it in, let me begin …”
These bizarre sculptural installations have appeared in all kinds of amazing and offbeat locations, from the undersides of public staircases and street entrances of buildings to exterior concrete patios and interior museum spaces. This first ‘boxed set’ contains everything you could want from a personal luxury library, complete with leather-bound books, faded brown furniture and vintage glassware.
In fact, one time he took the liberty of sticking all of technical support items from a museum storage closet to create a piece before a gallery opening … which worked out fine until they needed the ladder (which framed the work) to adjust the lighting:
The objects he uses in his works are as varied as the places in which he installs them. Sometimes there seems little rhyme or reason to the particular things he includes . These theme-free installations are often placed to catch passers by off guard:
In other cases, each perfectly stuffed-in item is chosen for its place along the color spectrum, organized a relationship to the given storage space or packed around a core theme:
Humorously titled Green Piece, one such ‘themed’ work is a small green boxes that simply features commonplace gardening objects for everyday backyard use – others revolve around rooms, storefronts and other spatial situations.
These remarkable works revisit classic performance arts and aged sculptural crafts from circus contortionist acts to Russian nesting dolls. These retro references are made even more vivid and compelling given the genuinely old objects used in many of the pieces. If only you could hire him to make a packing list and help you box everything up for your next vacation, right? Or maybe not: