Activating Public Space – Göteborg





tania bruguera

Please join us for a discussion about socially and politically engaged art in public space, arranged by Public Art Agency Sweden together with NY-based Creative Time, Institute for Contemporary Ideas and Art, and Skogen.

The conversation develops some of the most pertinent questions from Creative Time Summit: Stockholm 14–15 November to ask: How does art in public space make room for social and political acts and reflections? What conditions and pre-requisites make these processes possible? Concrete examples from the global and local art scenes will be used as starting points for a broader discussion.

Participants: Nato Thompson (Creative Time, NY) Tania Bruguera (artist, Havanna/NY) Anna van der Vliet (Artistic Director, ICIA, Göteborg) Haroon Natan and Carl-Oscar Sjögren (The non existent Centre, Göteborg) Moderator: Lisa Rosendahl, Public Art Agency Sweden.

–> MONDAY 17/11 @18.00 – 21.00.


Nato Thompson / Creative Time
Since January 2007, Nato Thompson has organized major projects for Creative Time including the annual Creative Time Summit, Living as Form (2011), Paul Ramirez Jonas’s Key to the City (2010), Jeremy Deller’s It is What it is with New Museum curators Laura Hoptman and Amy Mackie (2009), Democracy in America: The National Campaign (2008), Paul Chan’s acclaimed Waiting for Godot in New Orleans (2007) and Mike Nelson’s A Psychic Vacuum with curator Peter Eleey. Previously, he worked as Curator at MASS MoCA where he completed numerous large-scale exhibitions including The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere (2004) with a catalogue distributed by MIT Press. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including BookForum, Frieze, Art Journal, Art Forum, Parkett, Cabinet and The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. The College Art Association awarded him for distinguished writing in Art Journal in 2004. He curated the exhibition for Independent Curators International titled Experimental Geography with a book available by Melville House Publishing. His book Seeing Power: Socially Engaged Art in the Age of Cultural Production was published by Melville House in January 2012. Nato Thompson is the co-curator of Creative Time Summit: Stockholm with Magdalena Malm, Director of Public Art Agency Sweden.

Tania Bruguera
Tania Bruguera has never been one to shy away from challenging institutions of power and exposing governmental control. Frequently using performance, installation, and tactics of community organizing, her long-term projects often expose the social effects of the power of political force. Over the course of the past five years, Bruguera’s ongoing project Immigrant Movement International has developed into an art based socio-political movement, engaging and uniting local and international communities around the central issue of immigration reform. Initiated in collaboration with Creative Time and the Queens Museum, the project was two-fold, with the artist living with the conditions of an immigrant worker while also managing a storefront that currently provides necessary services like English classes, career, and legal support to the local community of Corona, Queens. Brugera has recently started the Migrant People Party designed to give migrants political representation with a goal of intervening in the Mexican electoral process.

Anna van der Vliet / Institute for Contemporary Ideas and Art
ICIA – Institute for Contemporary Ideas and Art is an organisation that unifies the analysis of ideas, art politics and artistic production. ICIA was founded in response to the need for an institute that works strategically with development issues within the art field. Clients include municipalities, regions, art organisations and institutions, as well as businesses that in various ways require professional consultancy regarding structural development areas within contemporary art. ICIA also initiates, runs and executes its own art projects, often in collaborations with other organisations or art institutions. ICIA has no permanent exhibition space of its own, but instead initiating projects with contemporary art that sometime takes place outside of the traditional institutions, and sometime in collaborations with existing institutions and exhibitions spaces. ICIA is politically unaffiliated, but politics is a strong driving force, especially the politics of art. Anna van der Vliet is the founder and artistic director of ICIA. She has previously worked as a curator and acting director of MAP (Mobile Art Production), project manager at Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art and chief editor of Paletten art journal. In 2014, ICIA curated the project Counterparts in various locations around Gothenburg.

Haroon Natan is an artist and human rights activist who works with issues concerning undocumented immigrants and the hidden society of undocumented individuals in Sweden. Haroon has participated in the film Den svenska demokratins historia, which has been shown at The Royal Dramatic Theatre, as well as the work A Gift from Haroon, which was shown at The Gothenburg City Museum. He lectures about human rights as part of Rädda Barnen STHLM.

Carl-Oscar Sjögren / The non existent Center is a new arena for contemporary art and thought in one of Sweden’s poorest municipalities. A 28 meter high mining tower in Ställberg village forms the basis for residencies, festivals and exhibitions. The artistic activities of The non existent Center are formulated from a global and interdisciplinary perspective. Key questions include: What are the potentials of an extended view of art as a social and political course of events? And how does place and representation relate to these events?

Skogen is an artist-run space and platform for performing arts. Skogen develops non-hierachical situations and formats for learning and sharing of knowledge through productions, residencies and artistic processes. To experiment with the formats for critical reflection and learning, Skogen organizes activities in the form of thematic ‘blocks’, some shorter and intensive, some longer or recurring over the years. During each block Skogen works together with an invited artist (or group of artists) to produce context and a public program around the artistic research being done. Besides showings of the invited artist, a block might might include additional guest performances, workshops, seminars, talks and dinners or the development of partnerships and interfaces with local communities, universities or festivals. Skogen was founded in 2012 and has its base in Gothenburg. Artistic director is Johan Forsman. Skogen is supported by the Swedish Arts Council, the City of Gothenburg, the Region of Västra Götaland and the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

Lisa Rosendahl / Statens konstråd
Lisa Rosendahl is Curator at Public Art Agency Sweden focusing on temporary projects in public space. In 2011-13 she was Director of Iaspis, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s international programme for visual art, architecture and design, and has worked extensively as a Curator and writer for Swedish and international art organisations and artists. Public Art Agency Sweden explores and develops the interaction between contemporary art and public spaces. Public Art Agency Sweden strive to contribute to the development of both contemporary art and public spaces through site-specific art, temporary interventions, urban development projects as well as discussions and publications.

A Temporary Roof: Processes and Dialogues
Publication. Kalv is a locality situated 80 km southeast of Gothenburg. With 380 inhabitants, surrounded by forests, agricultural landscapes and a lake shaped like a calf, Kalv historically provided important trade routes between Sweden and the continent. Like so many sparsely populated areas in Sweden, depopulation is now a reality and in 2008 the Kalv elementary school was closed down. In the winter and spring of 2014, thirteen artists from the Master of Fine Art Programme at Valand Academy developed projects that commented on, reinterpreted and activated the historical, economical, educational, cultural and spiritual past, present and possible future of Kalv. These works were presented in the old Kalv schoolhouse, in conjunction with an international symposium, during the exhibition A Temporary Roof. The limited edition publication A Temporary Roof: Processes and Dialogues sheds light on the processes, art works and dialogues emerging from the exhibition and the symposium. Authors: Jason E. Bowman, Sara Jordenö, Bob Kelly, Fredrik Svensk and artists: Britt Anderson, Maria Gordana Belić, Kanchan Burathoki, Matilda Enegren, Mourl Ferryman, Amanda Hart, Laura Hatfield, Martin Hultén, Peter Kädergård, Alanna Lynch, Bergthor Morthens, Emelie Sjunnesson och Azadeh Esmaili Zaghi. Designer: Niklas Persson.