In a series of magnetic photographs, sculptures, drawings and performances, Ekholm explores the medical myth and mysticism associated with the use of magnets to treat illness. Taking Franz Mesmer’s concept of animal magnetism as a starting point, the photographs and sculptures use magnets and iron filings to demonstrate the energetic transference between animated and inanimate objects, making their inorganic forms appear alive and organic. Mesmer’s ideas have influenced modern theories surrounding the healing power of magnets, and these works explore the relationship the healer and the believer in society’s ideas of nature, science and the body. Ekholm often uses "the hand" in his work to reference the performative acts in the gesticular, symbolic and cultural meaning of the hand.
Roberto Ekholm’s work includes sculpture, performances, and photography. His work draws on a fusion between science, pseudoscience, believes system around identity and cultural references. He plays on ideas around what he calls “commodity of survival”; the tenuous boundaries between life and death and the value of survival as a commodity.
Roberto Ekholm is features in the Thames and Hudson publication Nature Morte: Contemporary Artists reinvigorate the Still-Life tradition, 2013 by Michael Petry
The Piece The Healer was exhibited in the touring exhibitoon Nature Morte