Stormtrooper helmets meet fine art
George Lucas' first Star Wars movie dazzled audiences more than 35 years ago. Now a group of 20 Swedish artists will participate in an exhibit in which an iconic image from the film, the black and white helmet of the evil stormtroopers, is made into modern art.
"It's a way of transforming the dark side to the art side," said Olof Persson, an art director for the 3:e Våningen art space in Gothenburg where the exhibit will be opened this Saturday to Swedish Radio's local station in the city.
The idea of transforming the recognizable stormtrooper helmet was hatched in London by artist Ben Moore. The famous Saatchi gallery in London exhibited 20 stormtrooper takes by English artists in 2013.
Now the Swedes will take a turn, and art director Persson said that the Swedish pieces were a bit wilder. 20 relatively well-known Swedish artists had accepted a helmet and taken up the challenge of making it into something artistic.
"It's very different actually. People have added to them or changed materials in them, used veneer. But the form is very recognizable. They are icons, these helmets. Everyone knows what they look like," he said.
Persson hopes that the exhibition will attract both fans of the movie and fans of art.
"It's a way of broadening the circle around modern art. Some people wonder what's it's good for, so we connect with a whole new audience. Both children and adults who are fascinated by this can come and see," he said.
Some artists, said Persson, had not changed the helmet per se. They instead thought about where the helmet should be. The organizers, he said, had received a phone call from a movie theater in Gothenburg. One of the helmets had been left by a ticket machine. The installation piece was called "Lost and Found."
"There's a great range in this." said Persson. "That's a part of the point here also. These storm troopers are clones, actually. And they're supposed to look identical. But here they've been given a sort of individuality."