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The Finnish Society for Curators went for a trip to Stockholm to visit their local art agents. Despite the upcoming vacations we had an opportunity to visit several places offering us information about their activities, goals and financing.

Of these three Iaspis (the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s international program for Visual and Applied Artists) concentrates on Swedish art and artists locally and abroad, Magasin III on building interesting and high-quality exhibitions, and Färgfabriken more on art projects, international contacts and making a change in society.

All these actors have their own model of financing. Iaspis has government funding that enables them to concentrate on local art and it’s networking. Magasin III is privately funded and gives its curators position to express their views without constraints. Färgfabriken’s financial structure is diverse, financiers ranging from city of Stockholm to Nordic trusts and private companies.

What they had in common was that their target group is more or less the traditional art audience with Iaspis focusing more on art professionals. At Iaspis and Färgfabriken we learned that in their international networking they were heading towards the new upcoming centres of art in addition of the old ones, like London and Berlin.

Throughout our visit it became obvious that the respect towards art could be sensed both in the office and exhibition spaces. Art seemed to be well financed. It would be great to see that attitude to be adapted here as well.

Sanna Sarva

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Södermalm

Three most interesting things from this year’s MFA show:

  1. Niki Lindroth von Bahr: Bördan C & Hotell Longstay

 

Niki Lindroth von Bahr succeeded in what often seems impossible: creating something unique that is at the same time severe and hilarious, beautiful and uncanny. Börden C is a floating sculpture representing a suburban area with block buildings, highways and dystopia like emptiness. Rotating piece is terrifying in a calm and distant way, and totally catches one’s attention for a long while. Animation Hotell Longstay transforms into a complitely different world and atmosphere. Animated short film starring singing baltic herrings made me laugh out loud in an inappropriate volume, and I am still not totally over the experience. What made the piece so powerful and the herrings so real was the way they were dealing with the void and the nothingness of the prolonged hotel life and things that lead to current situation.

 

2. Tor-Finn Malum Fitje: The Mystery of Bird Navigation

 

83 minute film was too much for one visit, but can be found from Youtube and Vimeo. Film combines visual materia, music, text, art and research into a fascinating hybrid that explores the enigma of flying. While document format makes the film plausible, it’s content is poetic, touching and enjoyable.

 

3. Anna-Karin Rasmusson: UTSLAG

 

UTSLAG, a video installation in the dressing rooms makes the best out of the former shop venue, and as a truly site-specific piece it mixes the borders of past and present and the experience of the place. Anyone ever played Silent Hill can maybe relate to the sense of still recognizing the abandoned place to be a mall, but at the same time finding it to be something totally different, scary and potentially dangerous. Multiple monitors and projections show a grotesque figure proceeding disturbing acts. Sounds, colours and the content itself is strongly abjective, fascinating and revolting at once.

 

Collect Yourself exhibition was self-organised by 22 MFA graduates, and even if it wasn’t curated it was very well managed entity in an interesting venue in the middle of one of central Stockholm’s busiest commercial zones. Exhibition also included lectures, discussions, workshops and performances.

Anna Jensen

Last weekend SKY made an excursion to the exotic Stockholm. Sverige-Finland fonden was kind enough to provide travels and accommodation for the trip. The happy traveler’s group consisted of the SKY board: Anna Jensen, Maija Kasvinen, Christine Langinauer, Sanna Sarva and Annu Wilenius.

Four days in hardly enough in a city filled with interesting art, but here is a photographic summary about some of the things we attended in out trip.

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Anna at IASPIS office.

We started at IASPIS (Iaspis is the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual and Applied Artists), where we got to meet the director Johan Pousette and Lena Malm. The artists-in-residence also have their studios on this hallway so the visit took longer than expected as we catched some of the artist and had a chat in their studios.

On the first day we also attended opening at Tensta Konsthall. Tensta, known for its extensive program, gave its best in terms of art: Viet Nam Diskurs Stockholm is a project by Marion von Osten and Peter Spillman, dealing with how the actions in Vietnam influenced the rise of radical political art in the 60’s and 70’s. There was also pieces by Ingela Ihrman, such as Jättebjörnlokan (more on these later on). What really made me happy was to see how the locals interacted with the konsthall – there was a lot of people passing by, good music, barbeque and general good mood in addition to art. When will we see this in an art institution in Finland?

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Ingela Ihrman: Jättebjörnlokan

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Opening/barbecue/party at Tensta Konsthall.

 

The night continued to Moderna Museet, where we celebrated the opening of Yayoi Kusama. The woman is truly everywhere!

Friday was booked with meetings. We started with Färgfabriken and Joachim Granit. Joachim told us about the history and program of Färgfabriken and the good discussion went on so that we almost missed the next meeting. Nonetheless, we managed to run through an exhibition by Bouchra Khalili ”The opposite of Voice-over”.

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Joachim Granit, chokladbollar and the studious curators at Färgfabriken.

Next up was Magasin III. Magasin III seems like one of the most hyped art institutions in the north. The name of the place can hardly be mentioned without admiring sighs ”amazing”, ”interesting program”. Unfortunately, we just missed the previous exhibition but curator Tessa Praun was kind enough to meet us for a discussion. Besides to the interesting program, we learned that Magasin III is truly in a good position with stable funding and free hands in terms of program. Tessa seems to have a dream job.

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Tessa Praun at Magasin III.

Friday was busy and from Magasin III we moved on to Index. Index (The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation) had an opening with the works of Flaka Haliti, Hanne Lippard, Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff. We were lucky to catch a performance with Hanne Lippard – a hilarious survey on the current lifestyle; communications, self-indulgelment and egoistic analysis.

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Me at Index opening. Taking selfies in opening pretty much sums up the topics of the exhibition: communications, self-branding and displaying connections.

On Saturday we had to choose among a discussion in Tensta, Marabouparken or Konsthall C. We decided to go for Marabouparken as the topic ”Is it still important to rebel?” from a feminist perspective gave promises on heated discussion. And as all good discussions (in Sweden…) it ended with a sing-along led by the artist Gittan Jönsson.

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Gittan Jönsson leading sing-along ending the event at Marabouparken.

Last day was reserved for strolling around in the galleries but to our great surprise nearly everything was closed. Maybe it was because of the summertime. In the end, we managed to see some art as we went to the final exhibition by Royal Institute of Art (KKH) ”Collect Yourself”. Judging by this exhibition the future of Swedish art does look bright.

More detailed texts about the exhibitions and institutions we visited will be available here at SKY blog soon.

Maija Kasvinen