Felix Gmelin (b. 1962 in Heidelberg) is a visual artist currently based in Oslo, Stockholm and Sarajevo.
He studied fine art at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm 1983-1988 (MFA 1988) and has been teaching since 1992 mainly at Konstfack in Stockholm, but also at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, Staedelschule, Frankfurt a.M.; De Ateliers in Amsterdam and the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts.
Over the last few years he has been exploring the role of language learning its cultural, political and historical specificity. His methods have been re-enactment, re-interpretation and juxtaposition, historical and geographical comparition, including the ready-made as a method but also painting as an activity. All this understood in the traditions of performance and happening coming from the 70-ties considering the dematerialization art in our time.
He employs painting and video as a means to investigate political imagery and language, utopia and dogmatism, while comparing contemporary political activism with that of times past. His method of questioning the aestheticization of politics through historical comparison has been seen in variety of art institutions and became available to wider audiences through exhibitions at PORTIKUS, Frankfurt a.M., the 50 and 52 Venice Biennale and at the Berlin biennale 4.
His field of interest is in developing how artistic methods can be used in times of social change, and how social change, in turn can become part of personal cultural practice. How can we bring our personal experience into the work we do by looking back at our own history? How make retrospective reflections of forgotten utopian potentials of 20th century art productive again? How make traditional techniques look new after having fallen into oblivion? These to Felix are essential questions to ask his students for the future in Oslo.