Ilja Karilampi, Hendrix Incident, 2013, © Ilja Karilampi

Ilja Karilampi

12×12. Die IBB-Videolounge

Ilja Karilampi’s (*1983 in Gothenburg/Sweden) works build around phenomena of pop culture ranging from mainstream to sub-culture. Another focus of his output is the discovery of urban space and the impact it has on the people who live there. In the two pieces on display at the Berlinische Galerie, Karilampi combines these two themes into narratives which fluctuate between fact and fiction. Karilampi studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main and the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. He lives in Berlin and is currently sponsored by Swedish Arts Council.

Hendrix Incident, 2013

Karilampi’s latest video work was inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s visit to Gothenburg in 1968. After trashing his hotel room, the musician was instructed by the police not to leave the city for the next two weeks. Karilampi depicts the superstar’s stay in placid Sweden in an essay-like format. Taking the situation of this stranded visitor as his starting point, he reflects on what it feels like to be on home ground and to be a stranger in foreign parts, on urban and provincial life, on anonymity and fame – today, in our world of social media, Hendrix would hardly pass unnoticed. Apart from new material of his own, Karilampi draws on found footage of diverse origin, opening up the terrain to all manner of associations. He also incorporates home video sequences from his teenage years, creating an analogy with that explosive youthful energy that presumably led the young Hendrix to demolish his hotel room.

The Chief Architect of Gangsta Rap, 2009

A few years ago, the music magazine Rolling Stone called the American musician Dr. Dre the “chief architect of West Coast Gangsta Rap”. Karilampi takes this quote at face value, but he also latches onto a rumour that the rapper actually wanted to be an architect before he turned to music. Karilampi creates associative links between the rap style forged by Dr. Dre and the architectural landscape in which he grew up. Chains of argument based on fact alternate here with purely speculative invention, resulting ultimately in an alternative narration of (musical) history.




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