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Contents

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From Editor to Travel guide MĂĽrten Janson and Sanna Svanberg on pluralism put to practice

Meet the Correspondents in Residence

 Âą7MRGIQ]VIWMHIRGI-½RHQ]WIPJMRXIVIWXIH MRFMKKIVUYIWXMSRW² °)HYEVHS2EZEW97% 20 “Every place we visited and every idea that came up we discussed from different points of view based on our heterogeneous experiencesâ€? — Ekaterina Krupennikova, Ryssland

28 “ I thought I needed time to review how P\ZRUNVĂ€WLQWRDELJJHUVFKHPHÂłD VRUWRIFXUDWLQJSRVWPRUWHPLI\RXZLOOÂľ   Âł 0HOLVVD0ERZHQL6RXWK$IULFD 34 “Experience and communication were the key elements of this tripâ€? — Shuyu Chen, Kina 40 “In two days I had eleven meetings!â€? — Weijun Cao, Kina

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Conversations with some of those who met the Correspomndents in Residence

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Cajsa Lagerkvist, Museum of World Cultures

52 Thérèse Kristiansson och Annika Enqvist, New Beauty Council Three reports A small selection of the 35 stories from the international exhibition field that Spana! was able to publish thanks to the special grant

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Playing with formats Berlin-based exhibition Detlef Chezweitz and Rose Epple invites to an exhibitioncocktail party.

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Art in a disaster area How do galleries cope with a worst case scenario, an incident that destroys all of their arts?

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Tradition’s new Clothes Late April is a good time to visit Nezu Museum, Tokyo. That’s when the irises outside are in full blossom.

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Essays

90 Code Switching: Artists and Curators in Networked Culture )HYEVHS2EZEWVI¾IGXWSRLS[I\LMFMXMSRW EVITYXXSYWIEWGSQQYRMGEXMZIXSSPWMRE [SVPHSJI\LMFMXMSRWGLEVEGXIVM^IHF]RI[ GSQQYRMGEXMSRVSYXIW 106

When Street culture becomes a Social Activist Ekaterina Kruppenikova on unwanted art and how her home city Moscow is turning into a battle field in the struggle between left and right

118 In Search of Bab’ Mbatha: A mental expedition 0HOLVVD0ERZHQLRQWKHFDQFHOOHG PHHWLQJZLWKDQH[LOHGDUWLVW

In this publication, we have only been able to offer a small selection of all the reports written as part of our project R International. Read the rest at www.riskutstallningar.se!

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From Editor to Travel Guide

Introduction

Photo: Katarina Grip Höök

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How can a governmental institution deal with cultural plurality and internationalism? This question became very relevant to the Swedish Travelling Exhibitions in 2008, as we were one of seven institutions that received a special grant from the government, in order to find new ways of integrating these issues in their work. For the Swedish Travelling Exhibitions, it was soon obvious that there was a close connection between this new task and the Spana on line magazine, which was already established. Mårten Janson, Editor of Global Perspectives, explains: “We started working with Spana in 2007. It is an online news and feature service that supports Swedish exhibition institutions with insights from all over the world.” Spana focuses on international institutions and their exhibition practices and inspiring persons from the exhibition sector from around the globe. 7


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The new brief, and the extra money that came with it, enabled the team to strengthen the Spana publication with a more frequent circulation in order to get a wider global perspective. Another focus was to raise the awareness of Spana through advertising in relevant publications. “During this three-year period, the number of subscribers has nearly doubled to a total of more than 2 000 subscribers”, Mårten Janson explains. “Increasing the number of subscribers was crucial to us, since this is something that we do for the benefit of the whole museum and exhibitions sector!” With the Correspondent in Residence program, a completely new take was also introduced. “There are many residencies on offer for artists and curators, but we believe our Correspondent in Residence program to be the first in the world to offer writers the opportunity to focus in-depth on issues related to exhibiting and the exhibition media”, Mårten Janson says. The selected researchers, curators and artists were invited to stay in Visby for a four-week research period. Based in Visby, they met curators, artists and other museum personnel through travels to major Swedish cities — Stockholm, Helsingborg, Malmö, Göteborg, Umeå. At the end of their residency the correspondents were expected to deliver two essays. In the main essay they were to write down their observations on the Swedish exhibition sector, make comparisons and analyze it by drawing from their previous experiences in their own countries. 8LIVIF]XLI]TVSZMHIHXLIXIEQ[MXLZEPYEFPIMRWMKLXW JVSQXLIMVMRXIVREXMSREPTIVWTIGXMZIW%WIGSRHTEVXSJ 8


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“We believe our Correspondent in Residence program to be the first in the world to offer writers the opportunity to focus in-depth on issues related to exhibiting and the exhibition media.�

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XLI'SVVIWTSRHIRXMR6IWMHIRGITVSKVEQ[EWXLI RIX[SVOMRKEWTIGX8LITEVXMGMTERXWZMWMXIHRYQIVSYW 7[IHMWLMRWXMXYXMSRWERH[IVIMRXVSHYGIHXSXLIWXEJJ 1SVISZIVXLI]LIPHPIGXYVIWEXXLIWIMRWXMXYXMSRWERH VITSVXIHSRXLIMVTVSJIWWMSREPTVEGXMGI 7ERRE7ZERFIVKWXEXIWEFSYXXLIXLVII]IEVTVS KVEQ±*SVERMRWXMXYXMSR[MXLERMRXIVREXMSREPQMWWMSR PMOISYVWMXMWSJKVIEXMQTSVXERGIXSGSPPEFSVEXIHMVIGXP] [MXLTVSJIWWMSREPWJVSQHMJJIVIRXGSYRXVMIWJSVEORS[P IHKII\GLERKI²1oVXIR.ERWSRI\TPEMRWJYVXLIV ±;SVOMRKJVSQ:MWF]SYVKPSFEPTIVWTIGXMZIQMWWMSRMW ERMRWTMVMRKFYXHEYRXMRKXEWOEXXLIWEQIXMQI²,I VI¾IGXW±;ILEZIFIIREFPIXSMRZMXIGVIEXMZI[SVOIVW JVSQ.SLERRIWFYVK7ER(MIKS1SWGS[ERH&IMNMRK QIIXXLIQJEGIXSJEGIERHLEZIFIIRMRHEMP]GSRXEGX [MXLXLIQHYVMRKXLIMVWXE]MR:MWF]8LMWSJGSYVWIMW GSQTPIXIP]HMJJIVIRXJVSQWMQTP]VIEHMRKFPSKWSVEVXMGPIW XSOIITMRXSYGL[MXL[LEXTISTPIHSMRSXLIVTEVXW SJXLI[SVPHSV[LEXGERFIEGLMIZIHXLVSYKLFVMIJ IRGSYRXIVWEXGSRJIVIRGIW² 8LIGVIEXMZIMRTYXSJXLIVIGMHIRGIIWMR¾YIRGIH XLIXIEQMRQER][E]W7ERRE7ZERFIVKVIGEPPWLIV I\TIVMIRGI±-X[EWYWIJYPXSLEZIEGSRWXERXHMEPSKYI [MXLXLIGSVVIWTSRHIRXWERHKIXWIGSRHSTMRMSRWJVSQ XLIMVTIVWTIGXMZI8LI]EVIEPPZIV]TVSHYGXMZIERHLEZI QER]WOMPPWWS-PIEVRIHEPSXXLVSYKL[SVOMRK[MXLXLIQ² ±;IQEHIKVIEXJVMIRHWERHMX[EWJYRXSWII XLIMVTSWMXMZIIRIVK]ERHLS[XLI]I\TIVMIRGIHXLIMV WXE]MR7[IHIR²7ERRE7ZERFIVKWE]W ±;IRS[LEZI½ZIGPSWIJVMIRHWFEWIHMRXLIWI JEVSJJTPEGIWXS[LSQ[ILEZIFIIREFPIXSHIZIPST WXVSRKXMIW²1oVXIR.ERWSRGSRXMRYIW “Next time someone from us is going to one of those places, we

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can just send an e-mail and hook up.â€? Nevertheless, their periods of stay was extremely work intensive. “None of us could draw from previous experiences of how to be responsible for someone’s four-week stay. It was a great experience for us and we gained a lot of knowledge on how to conduct such a programâ€?, MĂĽrten Janson says. Regarding the actual implementation of the residency, the team had to find the right balance for the participants between travelling and staying in Visby. “At this point I had to switch from editor to tour guideâ€?, MĂĽrten says. Regarding the Correspondent in Residence program, there are notable experiences that stay both with MĂĽrten and Sanna personally. For MĂĽrten, it was curator Melissa Mboweni’s research project that turned out to be much different from what they had expected. She had been searching for an exiled South African artist, Azaria Mbatha, in Sweden. Mbatha is a painter who left South Africa in the 1960s. He could have returned to his mother country after democracy was introduced in South Africa in the 1990s. But he didn’t. Finally, Melissa was able to track him down in the town of Lund and contacted him. However he refused to meet her although she travelled to Lund to visit him. MĂĽrten assumes, “Maybe he couldn’t stand meeting a part of the South Africa he left behind.â€? This incident gave the correspondent’s stay an unexpected, a personal and moving narrative and Melissa delivered quite an emotional essay. )RU6DQQDLWZDVKHUH[SHULHQFHLQ&KLQD, ´2IFRXUVHP\WULSWR%HLMLQJVWD\VZDUPLQP\ KHDUWWKHFKDQFHWRYLVLW:HLMXQ&DRLQKLVKRXVH DQGWKHPDQ\DUWLVWVDURXQGKLPVXFKDV=KDQJ

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Correspondent in Residence

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EDUARDO NAVAS

When attending the Correspondent in residency program in 2009, Eduardo Navas had just received his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of California. The San Diego-based curator has also been publishing numerous works, among other he was co-editor of the ‘Networked: A /networked_book /about/networked_art’ compendium. He is also known for his blog remixtheory.net. Prior to the Correspondent in residency, Eduardo Navas had been travelling to several countries for his lectures and presentation but he regrets that he couldn’t stay at one place for more than two week. “The one thing I wished for each of these opportunities was to stay longer and get to know the culture better,” Eduardo says. Finally, the Correspondent in residence program at The Swedish Travelling Exhibitions provided him with just that. Being based in the rural island town of Visby it 15


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was the perfect setting for Eduardo, as he stayed at ma^;Zemb\<^gmk^_hkPkbm^klZg]MkZgleZmhklÛee^] with like-minded writers. He recalls, “At night we would go out for dinner, or prepare dinner in the kitchen, and we would talk about our writing projects. It was the perfect environment to be productive as a correspondent in residence.” During his stay, Eduardo enjoyed working at ma^Lp^]blaMkZo^eebg`>qab[bmbhglh_Û\^pbmama^ staff. He appreciated the independence he had while staying in Visby. “I had complete freedom in how I allocated my time, and I received very good feedback on what I produced.” He is very thankful for the support from the team to help him for his research project. “I was able to look at places of interest beforehand, and Mårten Janson and his colleagues went out of their way to make sure that I would be able to visit and do research at the places I wanted,” Eduardo says. Regarding his research, he tends to move between art and media. As relevant institutions he visited he names Färgfabriken (a centre for contemporary art, architecture and society in Stockholm), IASPIS (the international program of the Swedish Arts Grants Committee), Magasin 3 (a contemporary art institution in Stockholm), and in addition the Interactive Institute and the Museum of World Culture in Göteborg. When it comes to the crossover of contemporary art and new media, for him the most interesting institution would be Mejan Labs at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm. “They have a unique mission statement and are aware of how media and art cross

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over. More places like Mejan Labs should be supported, not only in Sweden but all over the world,” Eduardo explains. Speaking of financial means: during the Correspondent in Residence program Eduardo interestingly observed that “it seems that both in the States and Sweden it is very unlikely that a person will become rich when working for a cultural institution meaning one has to love what one does. As I went around different institutions, I realized that I connected with many people who hosted me because their approach to what they do is quite similar to that of my American colleagues. This is a great thing to share because it made my time in Sweden very productive.” Indeed, the residency has provided Eduardo with fresh ideas that led his research in an additional direction. He explains, “Since my residence I find myself interested in bigger questions. I’m still invested in the arts, but much of my writings are now about media, communication and culture.” Being exposed to different cultural institutions in Sweden has given him insights in how various areas of culture are connected, and how to write about these links. That is why he thinks the Swedish institutions should be much more known outside of Sweden — which they aren’t enough yet. He suggests, “Developing an online presence that is truly global would help the institutions a bit. Because during my stay in Visby, I learned of so many things that are produced by The Swedish Travelling Exhibitions which are often missed even when a documentation is placed online.” For the next residency program, he would 17


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wish for the correspondents to have an extra week of freedom to explore spaces for themselves. He believes that getting to know one of the cities better by going to places of their own interest would help in developing a sensitivity about Swedish culture in a way that would not be attained when the corre-­ spondents are short on time to move from one place to another. “Writing needs some breathing room for reflection, and I think this would help a bit. This already happens to some degree when the correspondent stays in Visby, but to do this in Stockholm or Göteborg would equally help,” Eduardo says. Other than that, his last words only are: “I feel very lucky to have participated!”

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Correspondent in Residence

Art Historian, Curator and Artist Moscow, Russia

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Photo: Katarina Grip Höök

Ekaterina Krupennikova


EKATERINA KRUPENNIKOVA

Ekaterina Krupennikova is an independent curator and press manager at BAIBAKOV art projects, a non-profit cultural initiative based in Moscow. Cur rently she is completing her master’s degree in Art History at the Moscow State University for Humanities. Co-curating with artist Anton Polsky of MAKE, she’s been involved in a series of container exhibitions in Moscow including young artists and photographers from Russia and Belarus between 2008 and 2009. In 2010, she has been curating two exhibitions as part of Quo Vive, the Biennale of Young Art, at Russian Vostochnaya Gallery and Nauka Publishing House. As an artist herself, she has been producing a video work titled ‘Dao’ about the urban environment that opposed footage of various events taking place in a city courtyard at 7 a.m.

The topic that attracted Ekaterina Krupennikova to the Correspondent in residence program in the first

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place was spatiality. She explains, “Generally I’m intrigued by the processes of contemporary society that are most directly influenced and embodied by architecture. I’m particularly interested in following transitions in the urban environment and the evolution and interaction between architecture and contemporary art.” Last summer she started planning a curatorial project based on the representation of architecture as it figures within contemporary art. Before the residency program, she knew Sweden’s cultural society only from a couple of galleries that had been exhibiting at the Art Basel fair, such as AndréhnSchiptjenko, Nordenhake, Andersson/Sandström and Index. Besides that, she notes, that Sweden takes an important place in Moscow at the moment, “We buy Swedish fashion brands and design our concept stores and arty cafes in a typical Swedish style.” Staying in Visby, first of all Ekaterina Krupennikova found the Swedish Travelling Exhibitions’ building remarkable: with its clear form and stark contrast to its neighbourhood, yet it is still inscribed ideally into the landscape. “Visby is a special experience of both inspiration and meditation,” she adds. Regarding the residency, she extremely appreciated the stay together with Chinese artist Shuyu Chen in order to share mutual experiences and ideas and get inspirations from each other. “Every place we visited and every idea that came up we discussed from different points of view based on our heterogeneous experiences. As a result, both of us gained more from this program than we could ever get on our own.” Moreover she appreciated the idea of a conference unifying museum workers from all over Sweden 22


EKATERINA KRUPENNIKOVA

“I’m particularly interested in following transitions in the urban environment and the evolution and interaction between architecture and contemporary art.”

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to share their experiences and come together for possible collaborations. It was arranged by Swedish Travelling Exhibitions in December 6-8. “I believe that such meetings are extremely important within the contemporary situation. I think this practice has to be spread internationally,” Ekaterina stresses. During her stay she was introduced to many creatives from the Swedish exhibition sector. Mostly PUÅ\LU[PHSMVYOLY^HZ[OL/WYVQLJ[HJP[`WSHU UPUNWYVQLJ[[HRPUNWSHJLPU/LSZPUNIVYN[OH[HPTZ[V develop the harbour area with a public art program by urban planners, architects, curators and artists. It is curated by leading urban planner Lia Ghilardi of British Noema Research and Planning Ltd. and Swedish independent curator Jessica Segerlund of the Far Away So Close curatorial residence program. Ekaterina Krupennikova was also quite impressed by the “Image at Work” exhibition at Index — The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation and especially I`[^VWYLZLU[LKHY[PZ[Z)Q€YU3€]PUHUK;HTHZ :[(\I`-\Y[OLYTVYLZOLLUQV`LKILPUNPU[YVK\JLK to Iaspis, the international program of the Swedish Arts Grants Committee to nurture international exchange for artists where artists get their own spaces. But also for her own work, the residency program had an impact on her. Currently she is rethinking her ideas on the representation of architecture as it ÄN\YLZ^P[OPUJVU[LTWVYHY`HY[[VTHRLP[KLLWLY and even more provoking as intended. And for her theoretical research, she is planning to include several examples from Swedish practices. Furthermore, from the many people she met during her stay she will keep them as contacts and use them to expand her 24


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international practice in the future. To give an example, she is in touch right now with artist Juri Markkula for a possible collaboration. When it comes to comparing the Swedish exhibition sector and her own context in Moscow, Ekaterina Krupennikova pointed out a couple of differences. For example, in Russia, and specially in Moscow, the commercial aspect is predominant whereas in Sweden it is a social one since most Swedish institutions and museums are public. In Russia, everything is run by oligarchs who are collectors at the same time. “This condition allows only more or less commercial exhibition practices, with the non-commercial ones striving. 7KHUHDUHQRDUWLVWUXQJDOOHULHVDQGYHU\OLWWOHQRQSURÀW activities in Moscow,” says Ekaterina. Another big difference is the concept of public art in Sweden, Ekaterina observes, with the urban space in Stockholm being controlled by the Beauty Council, The New Beauty Council and the Public Art Council. “The government seems to be concerned with what the citizens perceive around them and they really care about the urban environment,” she says. However, maybe there is too much care, she assumes, “The odd thing about Stockholm is that street art is only allowed temporary — it has to be cleaned up within 24 hours.” This made her come to the conclusion that “the 6ZHGLVKJRYHUQPHQWKDVDGHÀQLWHLGHDRIZKDWNLQG of society they want to form in the future. There is a number of advantages and disadvantages of this plan. 6WLOOLWORRNVOLNHDÀQDOL]HGDQGIRUPDOL]HGLGHDµ Whereas in Russia there would never be a piece of public contemporary art commissioned by the government with an exception being the Perm

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project, an urban planning project in the Russian city of Perm. Overall, it was Ekaterina’s first residency program and she didn’t know what to expect from it beforehand. However, she is deeply grateful for the experiences she was able to make. She concludes, “Otherwise — why did I meet all these beautiful people?”

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Correspondent in Residence

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Photo: John Hodgkiss

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MELISSA MBOWENI

Melissa Mboweni is an independent curator, writer and artist from Johannesburg, South Africa. Currently she works as managing director of Akani Creative Consulting (Pty.) Ltd., a company that offers consulting services in the fine arts industry ranging from investment art for private and corporate collectors to organising and curating fine art exhibitions. Previously, she held a curatorial position at Goodman Gallery in Gauteng. “I am an independent curator who became one rather through necessity than choice. An artist by training, I found that the South African industry — perhaps more in Johannesburg — needed more curators than it did artists. South Africa was also at a time post democracy when artists were making interesting commentaries on the change of the socio-political landscape. 7MRGIPIEZMRKXLI+SSHQER

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MELISSA MBOWENI

My project for the residency was finding a renowned South African printmaker living in Sweden, Azaria Mbatha. One of the reasons I had wanted to meet with him was to find out how his experience of living in a different country since the 1960â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s has influenced his creative process. I am interested in the notion of spoken and written language and how artists work with it â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or are in a conflict with it when living in another country. Mbathaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s earlier art had a somewhat biblical reference and I was interested in seeing what he had gotten up to since leaving South Africa. Finally I was able to track him down in the town of Lund. However he refused to meet me in person. Suffice to say there was a little bit of naĂŻvetĂŠ on my part as I took his work for his personality and who he had become since leaving South Africa. I was also a little silly in thinking that his experience of race â&#x20AC;&#x201D; being black in Europe â&#x20AC;&#x201D; could be one shared by other African refugees currently living and working in Sweden. I am still trying to figure out what can come out of the search for Azaria Mbatha. For now, I wrote about this experience in a text for Spana magazine. Regarding the Correspondent in residence program, I think it would be a good idea to extend the duration of the stay to two or even three months; one needs to adjust and acclimatize. I also think the program should consider catering more specifically to its various recipients. As I understood, the program serves to as wide an audience such as artists, curators, lecturers who are all at varying points in their careers.,IIRUH[DPSOHGXULQJDORQJHUUHVLGHQF\ FXUDWRUVZRXOGEHDEOHWRSDUWLFLSDWHPRUHDFWLYHO\ LQWKHVWDJLQJRIDQH[KLELWLRQWKDWLVGXHWRWUDYHO

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Correspondent in Residence

Researcher and Writer Beijing, China

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Photo: Katarina Grip Höök

Shuyu Chen


SHUYU CHEN

Beijing-based architectural researcher and writer Shuyu Chen has already collaborated with prestigious names in the architectural field. From 2004 until 2007 she worked as an architect and project coordinator for famous artist Ai Weiwei at FAKE. Since 2007 she holds the position as art director of MAD.exe, the editorial and investigative office of renowned MAD architects from Beijing. For them she has been in charge of MADâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contribution at the Venice Biennale 2008 as well as the realization of their MAD Dinner publication that was released by Spanish publisher Actar. Shuyu Chen is the co-artistic director of The Institute for Provocation (IFP), a workspace for the contemporary arts that provides artistic research as an independent research discipline with its own context and infrastructure based in Beijing and Antwerp. Moreover, in 2009, she was the architectural curator of the Iden35


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tity program of art and design festival NOTCH 09. When Shuyu Chen was part of the Correspondent in residency program in 2010, she was already familiar with Gotland — at least as a far away location. It was when Swedish architect Anders Johansson had created designs for the NOTCH 09 festival in Beijing where Shuyu Chen had been working as architectural curator. Through his designs, he tried to link Gotland with Beijing dwellers and that is how Shuyu a^Zk]h_ma^ieZ\^_hkma^Ûklmmbf^' Previously she had been working with several Swedish creatives and her impression of them and their work process made her want to explore more of the Swedish exhibition sector.

?hkf^%Lp^]^gl\nemnkZelh\b^mrbl\aZkZ\m^kized by a fully explored individualism and a very strong public infrastructure that supports and manages the cultural activities,”says Shuyu Chen. However, her stay in Visby turned out to be pretty intense: due to family reasons she had to shorten her residency to just three weeks, and the extreme weather conditions often made her marching through piles of snow to get to places and meetings. However this added to her own experience for her work. “Experience and communication were the key elements of this trip, and they are based on a quite personal experience. Maybe this is how I am trying mhÛg]frb]^gmbmrmakhn`afrphkd%frh[l^koZmbhgl and my expression,” she concludes. Fortunately, these conditions were the only hardships on her. Shuyu felt that her stay had been very well prepared in advance. She says, “At the same time, I could feel the warmth and the professionalism

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SHUYU CHEN

of this organization,” and wishes the program would be extended to six weeks. Staying in the medieval town of Visby, Shuyu realized that Swedish Travelling Exhibitions had been re-located to Gotland for a reason: to use nature as the base for cultural activities and research. This setting encouraged her her to think in new categories. She says, “Gotland’s nature is beautiful and powerful. Compared to that, its historical relics are humble and silent. History and Nature created such a calm balance on this island which allowed me to think very openly about the present and future.” But also, as part of the program, Shuyu met many people coming from different directions who proved to give her new ideas and inspiration — in a greater context. She explains, “I think to be influential is to show people a new way of looking at their life, and to inspire others to think about their own existence. So, to be creative is to create new experiences for people. It is hard to say what in Sweden was most influential for me. Diversity and intensity always reach me. This can be very direct; it can also be subtle.” Shuyu was quite impressed by a young artist from an art group called Radio Love who regarded his resistance as a way to survive in a well developed social democratic system such as Sweden. Shuyu took part in the program together with Russian curator Ekaterina Krupennikova, so that the two of them could have discussions and share their reflections and ideas on their experiences in Sweden. Constantly they kept comparing the differences of art and cultural reality between Sweden and their own countries, Russia and China. Shuyu observes, 37


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“Interestingly, the starting point was that these three countries have more or less a communist system. In this sense, we could explore how art is reflecting the ideological transition in each coun-­ try, how art fuels the discussion within society about power and democracy, and how art and economy are dancing together.” And she goes on to compare the Swedish environment with the Chinese: “In Sweden, the majority of the art com-­ munity is working progressively with the natio-­ nal culture foundation; a good system is almost like a default setting. Whereas in China, art is very much related to the attention from the outside. Because on one hand, the cultural investments from the government are mostly spent for propaganda about a unified, nationalist harmony. On the other hand, the independent artists are quite challenged by the booming art market which is following the world’s attention. Art is always fighting for power of the powerless, and the curator is working as the mediator.” When asked what final insights the residency in Visby gave her and what she took with her for her future projects, Shuyu answers, “We will see what we can do to break the limitation of the perfect, find the energy in the imperfect, and exchange inspiration coming from the struggles of both sides.”

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Correspondant in Residence

Curator and Art Critic Beijing, China

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Photo: Katarina Grip Höök

Weijun Cao


WEIJUN CAO

Weijun Cao is a Beijing-based independent curator and art critic. Apart from numerous art essays he has been working recently as curator for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, and as curator and manager for the Shanghai Gallery of Art among other activities. While taking part in the Correspondent in residence program in 2010, one of Weijun Caoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intended projects was to explore the notion of space and spatiality in Sweden. Regarding the program, a first contact with Swedish Travelling Exhibitions had been established earlier through a mutual friend of Weijun and contact of Sanna Svanberg. It was Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya, curator of Para/Site Art Space in Hong Kong, who introduced the two to each other and recommended Weijun warmly.

From the first day of his residency in Visby, Weijun Cao enjoyed the surroundings very much.

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“Gotland looks like paradise to me, there is no place like this ever in China.”. He is grateful that both Sanna Svanberg and Mårten Janson made a lot of time for him and effort to help him whenever he needed explanation and further information when he had difficulties with Swedish on site. Weijun enjoyed working at Swedish Travelling Exhibitions, “a very well structured governmental institution doing solid work and located in a medieval town,” as he says. There, he went through all the departments in the building and enjoyed accompanying their work process of planning exhibitions two years in advance. He observed quite some huge differences and explains, “The way all the work is put together, and also the nature of my own work is so completely different from this institution. This organization comes with a very good budget. And this seems to make people very calmed down during work since they have a more stable job and are fully paid. They take their time to make sure that they are on the right track. Communication is always on time, and problems often get solved right after a meeting.” As an independent curator, Weijun Cao has never experienced such an extremely stable schedule and he is thankful that the residency provided him with this fresh experience. One of the most obvious disparities between the exhibition context in Sweden and China was the latter having an ubiquitous censorship present unlike the former, as other European countries. “Sweden is a country where everything seems to be very well organized, and decision making is an act of democracy,” he observes. The same goes for public art. “Decisions

are made following a complicated and compromising 42


WEIJUN CAO

â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the most obvious disparities between the exhibition context in Sweden and China was the latter having an ubiquitous censorship present unlike the former, as other European countries.â&#x20AC;?

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WYVJLK\YL^P[O[OLVMÄJPHSI\KNL[WSH`PUNHTHQVY YVSL¹>LPQ\UL_WSHPUZ(UK[OPZHJ[VMKLJPZPVU making was a very interesting detail for him. An institution in Sweden that he found most impressive was Iaspis, the international program of the Swedish Arts Grants Committee to nurture international exchange for artists where artists get their own spaces. While staying in Stockholm, the people from Iaspis helped him a lot with scheduling his appointments with artists and managing his lectures. >LPQ\UYLJHSSZ¸0U[^VKH`Z0OHKLSL]LUTLL[PUNZ¹ With this abundant exchange, of course he had talks about possible future collaborations. For example, in /LSZPUNIVYNOLTL[^P[OJ\YH[VY1LZZPJH:LNLYS\UKVM the Far Away So Close curatorial residence program. >LPQ\U^HZ]LY`PU[LYLZ[LKPUOLY^VYRVU[OLSVJHS /WYVQLJ[[VYLZ[Y\J[\YL[OLOHYIV\YHYLH In addition, in the last three days of his residency, >LPQ\UTL[^P[OH:^LKPZO;YH]LSSPUN,_OPIP[PVUZ curator for contemporary art, Johan Pousette, who introduced him to several Northern European curators for inspiration. “This helped me a lot enlarging my ]PZPVUVM5VYKPJHY[¹>LPQ\UZH`Z(UKHM[LYOPZZ[H` PU=PZI`>LPQ\U^LU[VU[V]PZP[HY[PZ[ZPU+LUTHYR For this trip, Johan Pousette helped him getting support from the Danish Art Council. As a suggestion for the Correspondent in ResiKLUJ`WYVNYHT>LPQ\U^V\SK^PZOHSVUNLYZ[H` [VNL[IL[[LYHKQ\Z[LKHZOL^HZHYYP]PUNMYVTZ\JO a distant location.

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Museum of World Culture: Cajsa Lagerkvist

Correspondent in Residence: Collaborator

Gothenburg, Sweden

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MUSEUM OF WORLD CULTURE

Cajsa Lagerkvist is Head of Exhibition and Knowledge Development at the Museum of World Culture in Göteborg. This museum approaches world culture in an out of the ordinary manner. It regards itself as a forum for discourse and reflection, one of the museum’s challenges is “the aim of changing conceptions about the other and breaking up old ethnographic traditions by working cross-disciplinary and internationally,” as Cajsa Lagerkvist explains. In 2009, Cajsa Lagerkvist and her curatorial team met with curator Melissa Mboweni from South Africa and researcher Eduardo Navas from USA for talks and an exchange of ideas. Further-more both correspondents gave a presentation to which Cajsa invited colleagues from several museums in Göteborg. In addition, Cajsa Lagerkvist arranged meetings for Melissa and Eduardo with the curatorial teams from

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“The Museum of World Culture always works internationally and all good networks and contacts are potential future co-operations.”

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MUSEUM OF WORLD CULTURE

the Art Museum, the City Museum and the Maritime Museum, all in GĂśteborg. As Head of Exhibition and Knowledge Development, Cajsa Lagerkvist gained a lot from the meeting, especially with researcher Eduardo Navas and his area of expertise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;His presentation gave me new insights about â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;digital curatorshipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; which was a new way of ORRNLQJDWRXUĂ&#x20AC;HOG+HSUHVHQWHGVHYHUDOQHWZRUNV of art curators who are contributing to a common website,â&#x20AC;? she says. Cajsa also very much appreciated curator Melissa Mboweniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s presentation stemming from her own South African context about the role of contemporary art exhibitions within a society with great social challenges. Cajsa concludes, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Overall both talks further nurtured the Museum of World Cultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strong imperative to display contemporary art in exhibiWLRQVGHDOLQJZLWKGLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOWVRFLDOLVVXHVÂľ In terms of a possible collaboration or work on IXWXUHSURMHFWVWRJHWKHU&DMVDLVFHUWDLQO\DIĂ&#x20AC;UPDWLYH although nothing concrete has come out of this very Ă&#x20AC;UVWH[FKDQJH6KHVWDWHV´7KH0XVHXPRI:RUOG&XO ture always works internationally and all good networks and contacts are potential future co-operations.â&#x20AC;? The same has to be said for the Correspondent in residence program: Cajsa Lagerkvist sees a lot of good potential in it. With the correspondents visiting many different institutions within the sector, there is potential for collaborations in the future. Especially the variety of Swedish institutions the correspondents encountered gave way to new possibilities. Cajsa explains, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Both the curators, Melissa Mboweni and Eduardo Navas, told us how inspired they had been by museums of areas they did not generally consider to be their field.â&#x20AC;?

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To sum it up, the Correspondent in Residence program is â&#x20AC;&#x153;a great opportunity to meet, exchange ideas and hear presentations by international colleagues,â&#x20AC;? says Cajsa Lagerkvist.

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The New Beauty Council: Thérèse Kristiansson and Annika Enqvist Correspondent in Residence: Partner

Stockholm, Sweden

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THE NEW BEAUTY COUNCIL

Founded in 2007, The New Beauty Council (NBC) is an ongoing collaborative initiative that uses conversations, re-readings, art projects and curatorial methods to analyze the public space, how it can be understood and used. The organisation was awarded for its activities by the Swedish Association of Architects. Founding members Thérèse Kristiansson and Annika Enqvist met Shuyu Chen and Ekaterina Krupennikova, for an extended talk to get to know each other for the first time and hopefully exchange ideas for collaborations. Thérèse says, “The meeting we had was too brief to formulate concrete ideas. But a contact has been established and we understand Shuyu Chen’s work better than before.” Both Shuyu and The New Beauty Council had been involved in Beijing’s NOTCH festival before but haven’t actually worked together yet. 'IVXEMRP]8LI2I[&IEYX]'SYRGMP

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[SYPHPMOIXSGSPPEFSVEXI[MXLFSXL7LY]YERH)OEXIVMRE MRXLIJYXYVI%RRMOE)RUZMWXEHHW±;IEVIWYVIXLEX PSXWSJMRXIVIWXMRKMHIEWGSYPHFIHIZIPSTIHMRXSEGXYEP TVSNIGXWWMRGI[ILEZIQYXYEPMRXIVIWXWWYGLEWXLI TYFPMGEVIEERHLS[MXGERFIYWIHERHTIVGIMZIHERH I\TPSVMRKXLIFPYVVIHFSYRHEVMIWFIX[IIRREXYVI ERHGYPXYVI² 8LI2I[&IEYX]'SYRGMPWIIWEQIIXMRK[MXL EVXMWXWERHSXLIVGVIEXMZITISTPIEWTEVXSJXLI'SVVIW TSRHIRXMRVIWMHIRGITVSKVEQLMKLP]ZEPYEFPIJSVXLIMV S[R[SVOMXMWETVIGMSYWRIX[SVOMRKIZIRX8LqVrWI /VMWXMERWWSRI\TPEMRW±-XMWMQTSVXERXERHRIGIWWEV]JSV YWXSFIGSRRIGXIHERHKIXMRWMKLXWSRTVEGXMGIWMR SXLIVTPEGIWERHPIEVREFSYXMRWXMXYXMSRW[LSHIZSXI XLIQWIPZIWXSXLIWEQIMWWYIWEW[IHS;IGERPIEVR XLVSYKLXLIHMJJIVIRGIWERHTEVXMGYPEVMXMIWEW[IPPEW XLIWMQMPEVMXMIW²*SVI\EQTPIEHMJJIVIRGIGERFIKIRI VEXIHEPSRIXLVSYKLXLIGSRXI\X 8LqVrWIJYVXLIVWE]W±8LIMHIEERHQIERMRKSJE &IEYX]'SYRGMPXLEXTVSXIGXWXLILMWXSVMGEPWMXIWERH FYMPHMRKWSJEGMX]MWZIV]HMJJIVIRXMR7XSGOLSPQXLIRMJ XLI'SYRGMP[IVIXSFIPSGEXIHMR1SWGS[SV&IMNMRK %PWSXLI[E]TYFPMGWTEGIMWYWIHERHXLSYKLXSJMWMR QER][E]WI\XVIQIP]HMJJIVIRX²8SFIQSVIWTIGM½G WLIEHHW±-´QXLMROMRKSJXLIHEMP]QSVRMRK[SVOSYXW TVEGXMGIHF]QMPPMSRWSJ'LMRIWIMRXLITEVOWSJ&IMNMRK SVXLIRI[WLSTTMRKQEPPWMRXLIWEQIGMX]LSWXMRKRSX SRP]WLSTWFYXEPWSQER]SJXLIGMX]´WEVXKEPPIVMIW² 8LIJEGXXLEXSRIGSVVIWTSRHIRX)OEXIVMRE /VYTIRRMOSZEMWJVSQ6YWWMEERHXLISXLIVSRI7LY]Y 'LIRJVSQ'LMRESTIRIH8LI2I[&IEYX]'SYRGMP XSEHMJJIVIRXTIVWTIGXMZIAnnika Enqvist says about their organization, “As our name indicates,The New

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THE NEW BEAUTY COUNCIL

“Since the performative aspects of our built environment and how it facilitates and limits our lives is the Beauty Council’s main interest, both Moscow and Beijing are very interesting to us.”

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Beauty Council is interested in how the idea of Beauty and Ugliness is constructed and what values and ideas are built into and manifest themselves through buildings and cities.To some extent, China, Russia, and Sweden share similar political and economical reforms in certain areas.”Thérèse perceives, “It is interesting to investigate the different discourses used when building and expanding cities all over the world. Moreover we would like to delve into from a sociocultural perspective and find out how the use of the cityscapes varies from city to city.” Furthermore, the two curators and the New Beauty Council have a common cause. Thérèse explains, “Since the performative aspects of our built environment and how it facilitates and limits our lives is the Beauty Council’s main interest, both Moscow and Beijing are very interesting to us. These are spaces for co-existence that are growing in an unimaginable pace and that will shape the lives of so many people for a long time to come.” Both Katia Krupennikova and Shuyu Chen want to investigate that. “It would be great to do it together some day!” Thérèse confirms once more. Finally, The New Beauty Council has some suggestions and additions to make for the next Correspondent in residence program:They would like to have the actual meeting event better prepared and organized.Thérèse’s and Annika’s conclusion is, “It is a fantastic occasion to meet foreign artistic practitioners. Such meetings need a form of curating when it comes to space and time, and there has to be an agreement before about the commitment for the meeting.”

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Playing with Formats

Report

Verena Dauerer

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PLAYING WITH FORMATS

In the hands of Berlin-based Detlef Chezweitz and Rose Epple, an exhibition can turn into a book, or a cocktail party. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Often people stand in front of the texts and keep reading them instead of looking through the exhibition. This is a shed opportunityâ&#x20AC;?, Rose Epple says to Verena Dauerer.

Stemming from complementing fields, The duo has been working together for nine years: Detlef Weitz is a trained architect whereas Rose Epple comes from a graphic design background. Their aim is to create complex scenographies on several levels. :LWK´VFHQRJUDSK\¾RQHPLJKWWKLQNRIDWKHDWUH VHWZKHUHDVZLWKH[KLELWLRQVFHQRJUDSK\WKH %HUOLQEDVHGEXUHDXUHOLHVRQXVHUH[SHULHQFHDV DFRPPRQDUFKLWHFWXUDOSUDFWLFHDQGXWLOL]HFRP SXWHUJDPHVWDQGDUGVVXFKDVSUHYLVXDOL]DWLRQWR YLVXDOL]HWKHH[KLELWLRQFRXUVH³DOOWRERLOWKH 59


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GHVLJQGRZQWRRQHEDVLFTXHVWLRQ+RZGRHVLWIHHO WRZDONWKURXJKWKHH[KLELWLRQ" +RZFDQZHPDNHSHRSOHVWD\LQWKH H[KLELWLRQ" ,QKHUEXVWOLQJRIÃ&#x20AC;FHLQWKH%HUOLQ0LWWHQHLJKERXU KRRG5RVH(SSOHUHPHPEHUV´:KHQ'HWOHIZDV ZRUNLQJIRUWKH*HUPDQ([SRIDLULQ+DQRYHULQ WKLVZDVWKHÃ&#x20AC;UVWWLPHZHXVHGWKHWHUP ¶VFHQRJUDSK\·IRUH[KLELWLRQGHVLJQRQRUGHUWRH[ SUHVVWKHPDQ\OHYHOVRIZKLFKWKHGHVLJQKDVWREH ZRUNLQJµ:RUNLQJZLWKVFHQRJUDSK\PHDQVGHDO-­ LQJZLWKDQH[WHQVLYHOLVWRILVVXHVÃ&#x20AC;UVWKRZLVWKH GUDPDWLFFRPSRVLWLRQRQZKDWOHYHOVDUHZHWU\LQJ WRUHDFKWKHYLVLWRUKRZLVWKHFRPPXQLFDWLRQ IURPWKHRXWVLGHKRZGRHVWKHYLVLWRUHQWHUZKDW NLQGRIDWPRVSKHUHLVLQWKHVSDFHKRZFDQZH PDNHSHRSOHVWD\LQWKHVSDFHLVLWDQHGXFDWLRQDO VSDFHZKHUH\RXKDYHWRZDONWKURXJKDFRXUVHWR JHWVRPHLQVLJKWVRULVLWDSXEOLFVSDFHLQZKLFK \RXOHDUQPRUHXQFRQVFLRXVO\KRZGRHVLWIHHOWR EHLQWKLVVSDFHDWDOO"´:KHQSHRSOHWDONDERXW H[KLELWLRQDUFKLWHFWXUHLWVRXQGVDVLI\RXVLPSO\ KDYHWREXLOGVKRZFDVHVµ5RVH(SSOHPXVHV â&#x20AC;&#x153; ,GRQ·WZDQWWRVHHEUXVKHV,ZDQWWRVHH SLFWXUHVµ 7KHGXRKDVEHHQGHYHORSHGVHYHUDOH[KLELWLRQ GHVLJQVLQYROYLQJÃ&#x20AC;OP:g]]^Zebg`pbmaÃ&#x203A;efbgZg exhibition poses extra challenges to convey the content without being tedious or giving the user too 60


Stills from ‘P.P.P. – Pier Paolo Pasolini and Death’


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fn\ah_ZoblnZeho^kÜhp'Khl^>iie^lmZm^l% Gh one will look at a 90-minute movie if you simply ieZ\^ZMOl^mbgma^liZ\^':g]rhnlbfier\Zgm show the scripts in shadowboxes. I once read a \hff^gmbgZÛeffnl^nflZrbg`%Pa^gB`hmhZg Zkmfnl^nfB]hgmpZgmmhl^^[knla^lZg]\ZgoZl3 BpZgmmhl^^ib\mnk^l' ?hk^qZfie^%Zmma^bk^qab[bmbhgZ[hnmeb_^Zg]phkdh_Ûef]bk^\mhkIb^kIZheh IZlhebgb%Pahblf^%ZmLpbllFnl^nfLmkZnah_bg Zürich last year, the bureau chose a merely visual implementation to convey the subtext, such as Pasolini standing in the spotlight, his self-representation, and his different roles. Since the director had been an ^qmk^f^in[eb\ik^l^g\^%ma^l\^gh`kZia^kl\Zf^ up with conveying the information through fake tabloids and magazines covers. Accomplish in advance what exactly you want to convey with it Whereas for their previous Pasolini exhibition in 2005, “P.P.P. — Pier Paolo Pasolini and Death”, at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, they indeed lahp^]Ûef[rlrlm^fZmb\ZeerZgZerlbg`ma^mhib\l themselves: their team disassembled the movie ]bk^\mhklmp^eo^fZbgphkdlZg]\hfibe^]l\^g^l about landscape, the presentation of women, the portal to the city, and so on. Then the bureau \k^Zm^]Zlmhkr[hZk]_hkZÛefbglmZeeZmbhgpbma_hnk walls and twelve semi-transparent screens in total ]blieZrbg`Z+0&fbgnm^Ûefehhi'For that they generated a computer previsualization to achieve a three-dimensional walk-through the exhibition space.

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PLAYING WITH FORMATS

The result was a compilation, so to speak, serving as introduction to Pasolini and summary of his oeuvre. Rose Epple explains, “The aim of an exhibition is not just displaying something, you have to accomplish in advance what exactly you want to convey with it. Often this is frowned upon since people might get the feeling that the exhibition isn’t complex enough. But a good exhibition has to claim something, it has to determine matters and demonstrate them.” Chezweitz & Roseapple encountered similar issues when preparing for their exhibition about Wilhelm Meister — who had been published 200 years ago — at German Literaturhaus München this August: how to convey an exhibition about literature; how to review that without simply showing a manuscript, a quill or a show of the artist? For the coming exhibition it was their idea to systematically work with the history of the book as object; how books did change regarding fonts, composition, and binding. The exhibits would be each a book compiled on these topics. Rose Epple explains, “So when you flip through one you can follow the chronological development throughout the last 200 years. This time it is the material that speaks for itself without further analysis or interpretation.” Speech bubbles instead of the usual two-part wall texts Elsewhere the scenographers even try to change the way texts are presented within an exhibition. Often, Rose Epple observes a lack of playfulness when it comes to conveying actual information. “Exhibition texts have to be short and the visitor has to grasp 63


The flyer for the exhibition â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Modell Bauhausâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; presented the colour wheel in all its beauty


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just by looking at the format what the text is deal-­ ing with. You have to think in formats and not only that the content can be conveyed through text only. Often people stand in front of the texts and keep reading them instead of looking through the exhibition. This is a shed opportunity!” For exam-­ ple, for the ‘Celebrities. Andy Warhol and the Stars’ exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, in 2008 the team didn’t want to simply utilize two-­part wall texts with Warhol’s citations and explanations of certain techniques of his, such as silkscreen printing. Instead they came up with the concept of a party where people talk to each other through speech bubbles. As party dialogue one would ask, “What’s this?” and another person would explain. “This proved to be quite difficult when it came down to persuading the curators to write the exhi-­ bition texts as dialogue. We feel that often there is the need for a writer to switch between several text genres easily and play with the formats. What about texts in text messaging format or even Twitter messages?” asks Rose Epple. The colour wheel as orientation However, regardless of the texts it is the signage and its graphic approach that should give the visitor an overall orientation. Chezweitz & Roseapple implemented their concept very well at their most popular exhibition so far, ‘Modell Bauhaus,’ an extensive Bauhaus retrospective at Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, last year. Here, a struc-

ture was crucial for the visitors to grasp the mass of

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PLAYING WITH FORMATS

“You have to create a strong concept for the exhibition, but at the same time be able to break it or spin it”

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exhibits and information. Since a chronological setup inside the building was already developed by the curators, the scenographers came up with the idea of a colour wheel. In the main hall they built a façade with three entrances in the shape of the three basic geometrical forms. Entering from one side, the visitors were facing the colours from the colour wheel; however when looking back, the façade was kept in plain black and white. This concept was implemented within the whole building. Rose Epple tells, “We chose black and white since the image one usually has in his head about Bauhaus seems to be black and white, which is partly a result of the many black-and-white photos we have from the Bauhaus era. However, the actual building was quite colourful which was only seen after its renovation last year. Hence we chose the strong colours to demonstrate the opposite and the colour wheel.” This concept further stretched on to the indexation in the catalogue and the flyer that, when unfolded, presented the colour wheel in all of its beauty. So far for the exhibition’s scenography, anything else? “You have to create a strong concept for the exhibition, but at the same time be able to break it or spin it,” concludes Rose Epple.

Verena Dauerer worked for Spana during 2010, based in Tokyo www.szenografie.org www.modell-bauhaus.de 68


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Art in a Disaster Area

Report

Alexander Buehler

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ART IN A DISASTER AREA

How do galleries cope with a worst case scenario, an incident that destroys all of their arts: Alexander Buehler reports from earthquake-ridden Haiti where Musée Nader and curator Gerald Alexis among other are trying to restore the cultural landscape.

It just took a few hours to change every aspect of life in Haiti. Around 5 p.m. local time on January 12th, 2010, the tectonic plates started moving and didn‘t cease until the next morning. Around 200,000 people had died or were going to die from their injuries the following days. Hundred thousands had lost their homes. Smoke, ashes and dust filled the air. In Léogane, a regional metropolis 30 kilometers to the capital Port au Prince, eighty percent of the buildings had been razed. In Port au Prince itself the downtown area with all the main governmental and cultural institutions was reduced to rubble. 71


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Apocalyptic scenes after the earthquake Soon after the international help started pouring in such masses that the airport was cloaked. Search YLZJ\L[LHTZMYVTHSSV]LY[OL^VYSKO\YYPLK[VÄUK signs of human life under the piles of cement that had been houses; they saved many lives. At the same [PTL/HP[PHUZZ[Y\NNSLK[VZ\Y]P]L·ZVTLVM[OLT looting. They pulled out of the wreckage whatever they could either sell or eat. )\[P[^HZHSZV[OL/HP[PHUJ\S[\YL[OH[OHK received a nearly fatal blow. When ICOM, the International Council of Museums in Paris, tried to JVU[HJ[[^LS]LT\ZL\TZ[OL`JV\SKVUS`YLHJOÄ]L! the Musée du Panthéon National, the Musée d’Art /H{[PLU[OL*VSSLJ[PVU4HYPHUUL3LOTHUU[OL4\ZtL de Guahaba, and the Parc historique de la Canne à Sucre. And it was not only because the communication lines had been destroyed, main cultural sites like the renowned Musée d‘Art or the Musée Nader had collapsed entirely. The Musée and Galerie Nader had one of the IPNNLZ[JVSSLJ[PVUZPU/HP[P"WPLJLZVMHY[OHK ILLUJVSSLJ[LK[OLYLZPUJL[OL »Z¸;OLT\ZL\T is completely destroyed,” tells Georges Nader, the director of the collection. In an effort to rescue some of the art works buried under tons of now collapsed building material, the Naders organized several WLVWSL[VOLSWI`[OLTZLS]LZMVY[OLÄYZ[[^V^LLRZ ¸>LOHKMHTPS`TLTILYZ[OLU[OLOLSWVMH/HP[PHU NYV\WHUK[OLUJHTLHJP]PS[LHT¸(M[LY[OH[ÄYZ[ period their support grew steadily, Nader adds. “Then we got the help of a Haitian minister, of the United 72


ART IN A DISASTER AREA

1DWLRQV0LVVLRQLQ+DLWLDQGĂ&#x20AC;QDOO\WKHVXSSRUWRID Japanese team who were experts to get some of the artwork out,â&#x20AC;? he says. Digging art out from under the rubble â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had a collection of about 15,000 paintings in the museum. We took 12,000 of them out of the rubble, but about 2,000 are damaged,â&#x20AC;? says George Nader. $GLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOWPLVVLRQQRWRQO\IRUWKHKHOSHUVWKHPVHOYHV who risked caving in the mounds of loose bricks and cement but also for the vulnerable pieces of art they had to pull out from literally under their feet. Those that could be saved were stored in the Nader gallery located in the more secure environment of Port au Princeâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s luxury quarter PĂŠtionville. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are building a new storage based in the museum and have established a section in the gallery where the damaged works are being restored,â&#x20AC;? Nader adds. However for many other institutions the prospects are bleak. â&#x20AC;&#x153;None of the museums have survived except for the National Museum which is small,â&#x20AC;? says art critic and former longtime director of the MusĂŠe dâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Art in Port au Prince, Gerald Alexis. The MusĂŠe dâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Art â&#x20AC;&#x201D; known for its excellent reputation and its outstanding collection of popular art â&#x20AC;&#x201D; was destroyed completely. Even though some of the items could be saved, much has been lost. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many of these works were done on hard board that has been broken into tiny pieces under the debrisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; weight,â&#x20AC;? explains Gerald Alexis.

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Annihilation of culture Cultural landmarks like the Cathédrale of Port-auPrince have vanished, the famous murals of the Holy Trinity church have been reduced to tiny specks of colours. Somebody collected those tiny pieces and has put them into boxes, Gerald Alexis recalls. “Maybe we could fit them together like a puzzle and exhibit them on fibreglass to re-create a small part of the murals — just to show that it existed,” he suggests. According to Alexis the part of the museum‘s collection that could be salvaged was taken out of the building‘s rubble and stored. He puts his hopes on a program organized by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington where technicians take on the restoration of these works. He presumes that the majority of the works will be restored within the next five years. “But we have lost a lot of things that are beyond repair,” he concludes. “It seems that paintings are a part of life here” And yet there is a rootedness of art in Haitian culture that gives him and others — such as curator Kent Shankle from the renowned Waterloo Centre for the Arts — new hope. “There is something very particular about Haiti,” Alexis explains. “It seems that paintings are a part of life here. People seldom leave a surface blank: they paint murals on the façades of the houses; they paint their furniture — everything. Art in itself seems to be something that is naturally acquired.” %XXLIWEQIXMQIEVXERHIWTIGMEPP]TEMRXMRKWEVI 74


ART IN A DISASTER AREA

WIIREWWXEXYWW]QFSPWXLI]MQTP]E[E]SJGPMQFMRKYT XLIWSGMEPPEHHIVERHXSQEOIEPMZMRKSVIZIRFIGSQI [IEPXL]±&IJSVIXLIIEVXLUYEOI]SYRKTISTPIYWIHXS ZMWMXXLIQYWIYQSRXLIMV[E]XSERHJVSQWGLSSPXS WII[LEXERHLS[EVXMWXWLEHFIIRTEMRXMRK²%PI\MWEHHW )ZIRRS[NYWXEJI[QSRXLWEJXIVXLIHIZEWXEXMRKERH XVEYQEXM^MRKIEVXLUYEOIXLIWXVIIXWEVI½PPIHEKEMR[MXL EVX½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±4ISTPI[LSLEZI HIEPX[MXLRI[WMXIQWLEZIKSRIRS[LIVI1]SFNIGXMZI LEWEP[E]WFIIRGSRWMHIVIHXLIEIWXLIXMGERHEVXMWXMG UYEPMX]SJXLI[SVOFIJSVIXLIGSRXIRXW-XMWRSXFIGEYWI SJWLS[MRKXLIIEVXLUYEOIXLEXEVXMWRIGIWWEVMP]KSSH ERH[SVXLXSFIWLS[RMRERI\LMFMXMSR²LIWXEXIW 8SKIXLIV[MXL-'31LIMW[SVOMRK[MXLSXLIVW SREPMWXSJQIEWYVIWXLEX[MPPTVSXIGX,EMXMERGYPXYVI ERHTVITEVIERI[TSWMXMZIIRZMVSRQIRXJSVMX One of the first steps is to set up a “red list” that registers cultural items — including ritual objects of the voodoo

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cult — in a brochure to prevent stolen objects getting lost to the illicit art market. “The ICOM is also advising on conservation procedures and on how we can go about restructuring the museum environment,” Gerald Alexis adds. “In a way, I would like to see the earthquake as an opportunity to restructure the art and museum management, and the museums’ structures for new procedures for inventories; to make it all more professional. Fortunately, we have the support from museums worldwide, and they are willing to advise and support us.”

Alexander Buehler is a freelance investigative reporter based in Hamburg www.galeriedartnader.com www.icom.museum

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Traditionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New Clothes

Reportage

Verena Dauerer

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TRADITIONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NEW CLOTHES

Late April is a good time to visit Nezu Museum, Tokyo. That´s when the irises outside are in full blossom. It is also the only time of the year to see the precious screen with iris motif, a national treasure. This traditional institution recreated itself through a new spectacular building and a new identity.

After more than three years of extensive renovation one of Japanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most traditional collections, the Nezu Museum, host of seven national treasures, 87 objects registered as important cultural properties, and 7 000 works of traditional Japanese arts and crafts, reopened again in October 2010. Located in Aoyama since 1941, one of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s glitzy shopping magnets, and despite the direct vicinity of world famous architecture of the likes of Sanaa, Tadao Ando, or Toyo Ito, the new premises still manage to draw large crowds.1RZRQGHUWKH 79


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EXLOGLQJLVDQRWKHUEROGZRUNRIVWDUDUFKLWHFW .HQJR.XPD+HHOHJDQWO\WDLORUHGDQHZUREHIRU WKLVKLJKO\FRQVHUYDWLYHPXVHXPWKDWH[XGHVWUDGL WLRQDOVKDSHDQGWDVWHZLWKXWPRVWFRQWHPSRUDU\ ORRNVDWUDGLWLRQDOVW\OH-DSDQHVHKRXVHGRPLQDWHG E\WKHURRI·VVORSHWKDWEOHQGVLQSHUIHFWO\ZLWK WKHJUDGLHQWRIWKHWUDGLWLRQDO-DSDQHVHJDUGHQ -XVWRQHDVSHFWFDQEHWKHNH\ 6LWWLQJLQWKHJDOOHU\DERYHWKHVSDFLRXVHQWUDQFH KDOO1D]X·VKHDGFXUDWRU<XNLNR6KLUDKDUDVD\V ´:HWKRXJKWKRZFRXOGZHFRPSHWHZLWKDOOWKHVH VKRSVDURXQGLQ$R\DPDDQGDSSHDOWRD\RXQJHU JHQHUDWLRQ"7KH1H]XLVDSHUIHFWFRPELQDWLRQRID FRQWHPSRUDU\DSSHDUDQFHWKURXJKWKHDUFKLWHFWXUH DQGLQVLGHWKHUHLVWKHWUDGLWLRQ7UDGLWLRQDODUW VXUHO\LVQRWRQO\IRUWKHHOGHUO\EXWDOVRIRUWKH WHHQDJHUWRWKHWKLUW\VRPHWKLQJV6RLIWKH\DUH LQWHUHVWHGLQMXVWRQHDVSHFWRIWKHDUWWKHDUFKL-­ WHFWXUHWKDWLVWKHZLQGRZWRJHWWKHPLQWHUHVWHG LQWUDGLWLRQDOFXOWXUHDVZHOO:KDWWKH\RXQJHU RQHVDUHLQWHUHVWHGLQDOVRLVWKHPXVHXPVKRS ZLWKWKHPHUFKDQGLVH7KHUHIRUHZHRIIHUVSHFLDO HGLWLRQVWKDWDUHRQO\DYDLODEOHWKHUHµ,QWHUHVWLQJO\ WKHLUXVXDODXGLHQFHLVDFHUWDLQ-DSDQHVHGHPR-­ JUDSKLF´2XUPDLQWDUJHWJURXSZDVDQGVWLOOLV PLGGOHDJHGDQGHOGHUO\-DSDQHVHZRPHQRIWKH PLGGOHFODVVThey gather, meet friends, go window shopping and visit museums,” Yukiko Shirahara explains.

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“Our main target group was and still is middleaged and elderly Japanese women of the middle class. They gather, meet friends, go window shopping and visit museums.”

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Short-term exhibitions timed with the changing of the seasons To keep the audience returning to the Nezu, the curators have come up with a series of short-term exhibitions showing only a few selected items that are timed with the changing of the seasons: “We have eight exhibitions per year spanning only four to Ûo^p^^dl^Z\a'Mablblma^lmZg]Zk]_hkfZgrfnl^ums in Japan that display fragile exhibits like these. When we are showing a national treasure like the Irises screen by Ogata Korin for only two weeks from the end of April, the exhibition deliberately coincides with the real irises blooming outside in the garden thus making it a yearly event. In autumn, for example, there is again a reason to visit the museum since the famous Nachi Waterfall is exhibited for only two weeks. But the new building was only part one of the extensive rejuvenating project: director Koichi Nezu decided to commission a foreign company for the new CI — and that in Japan where projects are very reluctantly given to outsiders. It was Peter Schmidt Group from Hamburg who redesigned the corporate identity and the visual communication from the fnl^nfleh`h`Zkg^k^]pbmama^k^]]hmZpZk] — to the porcelain in the garden tea house. Bridging the cultures But why, of all people, Germans? I meet Armin Angerer, managing partner of Peter Schmidt Group, in his bright Hamburg office with its main attraction

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being a beautiful golden Chinese folding-screen that stretches over the entire wall. “The collection itself is ultra traditionalist. So it was Mr. Nezu’s request to depict the spirit behind the art and demonstrate its relevance for contemporary times; especially the Zen approach of reducing all to the essential is so important when it comes to sustainability. It was crucial for him to demonstrate this to the Western world. That is why it had to be Western designers in the end,” says he. But that was not the only reason, the GermanJapanese links seem to go deeper: “If there is someone bridging the gap between Western world and Japanese society than it simply has to be Germany. There is a reason why so many German architects — such as Walter Gropius or Bruno Taut — were able to understand the Japanese approach so well. There is a certain closeness between these two cultures and I believe that we as Germans have the ability to understand its essence.” Combine Kanji with Western font Peter Schmidt Group introduced quite some changes for the logo’s rejuvenation: The museum’s former English name ‘Institute of Fine Arts’ was simplified to ‘Nezu Museum’. “The ‘N’ and ‘M’ became the basis for the logo’s graphic design. Consisting of vertical lines they recall the many folding-screens in the collection, such as Ogata Korin’s Irises. The line grid also references bamboo thus aptly echoing the greenery outside and vertical cladding of the building’s exterior. The Japanese lettering for its name, ‘Nezu Bijutsukan’, is based on the elegant style of 83


Nezu Museum, Tokyo, has one of Japansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; most traditional collections


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ancient Chinese styles,” Armin Angerer says. And how can a logo bridge the two cultures? Armin Angerer recalls: “Next to the name in Western font stands Kanji drawn by a famous tea master in an ancient calligraphy style. We recom-­ mended to use both the Western font and calligra-­ phy to demonstrate its core message: a declared belief in the Asian way. We didn’t want to interpret that or even translate it for a Western audience; in fact it was the opposite.”

www.peter-­schmidt-­group.de www.nezu-­muse.or.jp 86


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'SHI7[MXGLMRK %VXMWXWERH'YVEXSVW MR2IX[SVOIH 'YPXYVI )HYEVHS2EZEW

Essay

‘Wall Drawing #51’, by Peter Le Witt, june 1970. All architectonic points in a room, connected by straight lines. Courtesy LeWitt Collection, Chester,

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During my travels as Correspondent in Residence for The Swedish Traveling Exhibitions during October and November of 2009, I visited museums and public institutions in Gothenburg and Stockholm that, in varying degrees, approach exhibitions as tools of communication. It became evident to me that their curatorial methods are sensitive to emerging trends in networked communication linked to the tradition of appropriation in the fine arts. In what follows, I examine how the use of appropriation as a tool of selection is part of curatorial and art practice, as well as exhibitions at large. The Artist as Medium

Lucy Lippard, in her essay, ‘Escape Attempts,’ reflects on her role as curator during the heyday of conceptual art in the 1970’s. She quotes Peter Plagens’s review of

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her exhibition ‘557,087,’ written for Artforum: “There is a total style to the show, a style so pervasive as to suggest that Lucy Lippard is in fact the artist and that her medium is other artists.”1 Lippard adds her own comment and elaborates, “of course a critic’s medium is always artists.” It should be explained that Lippard was both critic and curator. Lippard’s proposition resonates in New Media curating. In 2008, New Media curator Steve Dietz proposes that curators should stop thinking of themselves as “gatekeepers” and instead should rethink their roles as “creators of platforms that any artist who meets the articulated criteria can ‘join’ and build on.”)2 Dietz actually makes this argument while discussing an example of an artist run software online resource called Runme.org. Along these lines, Sarah Cook, another New Media curator, refers to curators as “facilitators and commissioners.”)3 Furthermore, Cook embraces the development of curatorial projects that recontextualize the exhibition space as a place of constant flux rather than of permanent display. She elaborates: “Curatorial practice has shifted in the past twenty to thirty years from museology to a more processbased methodology that focuses on temporary exhibitions and the specific context of their audiences.”)4 It is worth noting that Cook’s remarks move beyond New Media to curatorial practice across institutions, which is relevant to institutions I visited in Sweden. New Media curators, such as Cook and Dietz, are quite sensitive to new exhibition approaches that YLKLÄUL[OLJ\YH[VY»ZYVSLMYVTHYIP[YH[VYVMJ\S[\YL to a type of collaborator that may at times borrow organizational strategies from artists. Their approach 


CODE SWITCHING

overlaps with Lippard’s philosophy on curating conceptual art during the seventies, as Lippard saw her YVSLPUJVUJLW[\HSHY[MHPYS`VWLULUKLKHZ^LSS!¸;OL times were chaotic and so were our lives. We have each invented our own history, and they don’t always mesh.”)5 New Media actually has gone through a similar process. The writings of curators such as Cook and Dietz are sensitive to the process of writing new media’s history, and at times they also do not mesh. Consequently, these three curators expose the interim role of the curator as artist, which has been a key element in the legitimation of New Media as a valid art practice. In what follows, I will explore in some detail the curator’s role when appropriating artistic Z[YH[LNPLZHZ^LSSHZP[ZJV\U[LYWHY[!HY[PZ[HZJ\YH[VY PU5L^4LKPHHUKP[ZSPURZ[V[OLÄULHY[ZWHY[PJ\SHYS` conceptual art. The Curator as Artist *OYPZ[PHUL7H\S[OL(KQ\UJ[5L^4LKPH*\YH[VYH[ the Whitney Museum of American Art, organized º*VKL+VJ»PU:LW[LTILY-VY[OLL_OPIP[PVU Paul provided twelve selected artists with instructions “to ‘connect and move three points in space.’”)6 The artists in turn took the instructions as a starting point [VKL]LSVWZVM[^HYLHY[WYVQLJ[ZPU^OPJO[OLJVKLPZ put upfront in deconstructive fashion, so that online visitors are able to examine the creativity in writing code. The users then have the option of running the code to experience it visually. Keeping in mind Lippard’s understanding of the curator as a type of artist, in this case, Paul functions along the model of 91


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FRQFHSWXDODUWPRUHVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;FDOO\DOOHJRUL]LQJWKHVWUD tegies of Sol Le Witt, who is well-known for writing instructions that are meant to be executed by other artists or PXVHXPHPSOR\HHV :HZLOOUHWXUQWR/H:LWWEULHĂ \

To be precise, I will focus on three of the artists who considered Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s instructions with drastic differences. Golan Levin interpreted three points in space in terms of global politics and created an interface that exposed economic ties between different countries. His contribution consists of the map of the world, where any three countries can be connected.7 For example, if the user were to choose Mexico, Iraq and Venezuela, the software application would produce the following statement: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Axis of oil producing countries.â&#x20AC;? Mark Napier, another invited artist, created an interface in which three points are connected with green lines to create an abstract composition that can be adjusted by the user according to how she moves the triangular IRUPZKLFKFRQVWDQWO\Ă XFWXDWHVRQLWVD[LVOLNHDQ accordion.8 The points leave an off-white trace of their travel on a grey background, as they move across the screen. Sawad Brooks, another participating artist, interprets Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s instructions by taking the html pages of three newspapers, the New York Times, the Guardian, and Asahi to combine them in one page.9 The end result is an overwhelming amount of information that is unreadable, yet still carries a sense of authority due to the international recognition of the three newspapers. As is evident, the works in the exhibition are openly legitimated as creative responses to Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proposition. Paul here is acting along the lines of Lippard, who also argued â&#x20AC;&#x153;Critics are the original appropriators.â&#x20AC;?10 To this effect, Paul herself is quite aware of

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the code switching between the artist and curator in new media practice. She actually reflects on curating as a tool for artists who develop projects to which participants can contribute according to pre-established parameters that, conceptually speaking, are not so different from her own instructions for CodeDoc: …[A]rtists set parameters by means of software or a server and invite other artists to create ‘clients,’ which in and of themselves again constitute artworks. The initiating artist plays a role similar to that of a curator, and the collaboration often results from extensive discussions (sometimes on mailing lists established for the purpose).11 In both instances of artist as curator and curator as artist, the key element is feedback and communication. It is this element that new media shares with other institutions. All this is to say that the curator is no longer “curating” in the traditional sense, but more or less working like a conceptual artist, while the artist is extending conceptual art practice in New Media. The Artist as Curator Casey Reas is an artist who shares similarities with Paul. -R.YRI6IEWMREWWSGMEXMSR[MXL.EVIH8EVFIP 6SFIVX,SHKMRERH;MPPMEQ2KER[EWGSQQMWWMSRIH EPWSF]4EYPXLIGSPPEFSVEXMZII\LMFMXMSR³7SJX[EVI 7XVYGXYVIW´12JSV[LMGL6IEWPMXIVEPP]XSSOXLVIIFEWMG 7SP0I;MXXHVE[MRKMRWXVYGXMSRWERHQEHIEHNYWXQIRXW 93


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XSXLIQMRXLIJSVQSJWSJX[EVIETTPMGEXMSRWIEGLSJ LMWGSPPEFSVEXSVWMRXYVRVIMRXIVTVIXIHXLIQSHM½IH0I ;MXXMRWXVYGXMSRWXS[VMXIWSJX[EVIETTPMGEXMSRWSJXLIMV S[R8LIQENSVHMJJIVIRGIMR6IEW´W[SVOJVSQ0I;MXX´W MWXLEXXLIWSJX[EVIMWHIWMKRIHXSVYRSREPSSTYRXMP XLIYWIVGPSWIWXLIFVS[WIV[MRHS[[LMPIXLIEPKSVMXLQ

MRWXVYGXMSRW JSV0I;MXX´W[EPPHVE[MRKWLEZIERIRH EGGSVHMRKXSXLI½REPSYXGSQIXLEXXLIEVXMWXJSVIWIIW 2IZIVXLIPIWWXLIGSQTYXIVI\IGYXIWXLIEGXMSRMR WMQMPEVJEWLMSRXSXLITIVWSR[LSI\IGYXIW0I;MXX´W MRWXVYGXMSRW (YVMRKQ]6IWMHIRG][MXLXLI7[IHMWL8VEZIPMRK )\LMFMXMSRW-[EWVIQMRHIHSJXLITS[IVSJ0I;MXX´W HVE[MRKMRWXEPPEXMSRW[LIR-ZMWMXIHXLIEVXWTEGI1EKE WMRPSGEXIHMR*VMLEQRIR JVIITSVX 7XSGOLSPQ;LIR ZMI[MRK0I;MXX´W[SVOXLIKEPPIV]ZMWMXSVGERRSXLIPTFYX FIWXVYGOF]XLIJEGXXLEXXLIEVXMWXWERHKEPPIV]EWWMWXERXW [LSI\IGYXIHXLIMRWXVYGXMSRWTPEGIHEKVIEXEQSYRX SJGVIEXMZMX]MRXLIGSQTPIXMSRSJXLIMRWXEPPEXMSRW]IXMR EWXVEMKLXJSV[EVHHIWGVMTXMSRSJXLITVSGIWWXLI][IVI QIVII\IGYXSVWSJEPKSVMXLQW°WMQMPEVXSGSQTYXIVW %JXIVLEZMRKZMWMXIH1EKEWMR-GEQIXSVIGSRWMHIV 0I;MXX´WFEWMGEPKSVMXLQWXSFIIZIRQSVIVIPIZERXMR RI[QIHMETVEGXMGIXLER-½VWXXLSYKLX[LIR-IRGSYR XIVIH6IEW´WVIMRXIVTVIXEXMSRSJ0I;MXX´WMRWXVYGXMSRW 1SVIMQTSVXERXP]XLII\LMFMXMSREX1EKEWMRMWE VIQMRHIVJSVGSRXIQTSVEV]ERHRI[QIHMEEVXSJXLI MQTPIQIRXEXMSRSJGSRGITXYEPWXVEXIKMIWF]EVXMWXWXS TVSHYGIEVX[SVOWEWGYVEXSVW8SXLMWIJJIGXMXMW[SVXL RSXMRKXLEX0I;MXX[EWEGSRXIQTSVEV]SJ0MTTEVHEW 6IEWMWXS4EYPThe code switching between artists and curators, as it becomes evident at this point, is not new or particular to New Media. What is different,

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however, is that the sharing of methodological codes may no longer be expected but demanded in both fields of art production. How and why this happens in the first decades of the twenty first century needs to be evaluated. Code Switching Between Artists and Curators New Media art has its own specialized community; yet, the influence of the technology upon which it is defined has become embedded in various areas of culture throughout the world â&#x20AC;&#x201D; certainly in direct relation to the exhibition as a medium of communication.This is possible because networked technology supports a new cultural attitude dependent on modular architecture, driven by the design of software and hardware to be swappable and to be used for multiple interests.The result is that the computer as a multitasking machine has a major influence both functionally as well as ideologically across disciplines, and enables people to take on multiple roles. Multitasking enabled artists in the early stages of New Media to produce work and to also promote it individually or as part of group exhibitions. An example of this trend is the work of Alexei Shulgin, who in 1996 curated â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Refresh,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; an online exhibition in which any artist who wanted to join could contribute an online project of their choice to the exhibit.The projects were designed to be seen through automatic redirections (refresh) from page to page.131RWHWKDWKHUH 6KXOJLQLVZRUNLQJDVDFXUDWRUPXFKDORQJWKH OLQHVWKDW3DXOGHVFULEHVDQGZKLFKVKHDOVR SUDFWLFHVKHUVHOI

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$QRWKHUH[DPSOHIURPWKLVHDUO\SHULRGRI,QWHU QHWDUWLVWKHQHWDUW/DWLQRGDWDEDVHQHWZKLFK ZDVFXUDWHGEHWZHHQDQGE\%ULDQ 0DFNHUQ7KHRQOLQHUHVRXUFHFRQVLVWVRIDVHULHVRI OLQNVIURPFRXQWULHVLQ/DWLQ$PHULFDLQRQH SDJH140DFNHUQOLNH6KXOJLQLVDQDUWLVWZKRRXW RIQHFHVVLW\WRVXSSRUWQHZPHGLDZRUNSOD\HGWKH UROHRIFXUDWRUZKLOHGHYHORSLQJKLVFDUHHUDVDQ DUWLVW$UFDQJHO&RQVWDWLQLLVD0H[LFDQDUWLVWZKR LVDOVRWKH&XUDWRURI5XÃ&#x20AC;QR7DPD\R·V&\EHU ORXQJHLQ0H[LFR&LW\156LPLODUO\WR0DFNHUQDQG 6KXOJLQ&RQVWDQWLQLGHYHORSHGKLVSUDFWLFHZLWK DQDZDUHQHVVRIWKHPXOWLSOHUROHVDUWLVWVKDGWR SOD\LQWKHHDUO\VWDJHRIWKHQHZPHGLDÃ&#x20AC;HOG$QG *XVWDYR5RPDQRLVDQ$UJHQWLQHDUWLVWZKRDOVR WDNHVRQWKHUROHRIFXUDWRURQDUHJXODUEDVLV+H KDVSURGXFHGVHYHUDOSURMHFWVQRWRQO\LQ$UJHQWLQD EXWDOVR6SDLQ$WWKHWLPHRIWKLVZULWLQJKHLV FXUDWLQJDQHWDUWGDWDEDVHIRU0XVHR([WUHPHQRH ,EHURDPHULFDQRGH$UWH&RQWHPSRUDQHR 0(,$&  LQ%DGDMR]6SDLQ16 ,Q1RUWK/RQGRQ(QJODQGDUWLVWV0DUF *DUUHWWDQG5XWK&DWKORZZKRIRXQGHGWKHRQOLQH UHVRXUFH)XUWKHUÃ&#x20AC;HOGDOVRDGPLQLVWHU+773JDO OHU\ZKHUHWKH\KDYHFXUDWHGVHYHUDOQHZPHGLD H[KLELWVVLQFH173ULRUWRWKLVWLPHSHULRGLQ DUWLVW0DUN7ULEHIRXQGHG5KL]RPHRUJD QRQSURÃ&#x20AC;WRUJDQL]DWLRQFXUUHQWO\DIÃ&#x20AC;OLDWHGZLWKWKH 1HZ0XVHXPLQ1HZ<RUN18 $QGOLNHDOOSUHYL-­ RXVO\PHQWLRQHGDUWLVWV7ULEHKDVFXUDWHGH[KLEL-­ WLRQVWROHJLWLPDWHQHZPHGLDSUDFWLFHLQWKHDUWV19 New Media inherited the tradition of artists taking the role of organizers or curators from pre96


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vious art movements. In the seventies, again, conceptual artists not only in New York, but also throughout the world, as eloquently noted in the Exhibition Catalogue Global Conceptualism, edited by Luis Camnitzer, et. al., organized exhibitions that challenged exhibiting institutions at the time.20 Some of the better known artists from South America that fall under this global trend are Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica, who approached art as process, as a means to experiences. In their work the object was not necessarily dematerialized in the way that it was in New York conceptualism. This approach is similar to the philosophy of various institutions I visited in Sweden. The recent tradition of artist as curator is now part of the international art market, as was acknowledged by Curator Jan Dubbaut during the Lrfihlbnf%FhngmZbglh_;nmm^k%EZd^lh_Pbg^% which took place at the Stadsteater, Stockholm on November 7, 2009. Dubbaut explained that artists who function as curators support a market driven art ikh]n\mbhgZliZkmh_Zgbgm^kgZmbhgZek^\hgĂ&#x203A;`nkZtion of funding for exhibitions.21 As the emphasis at this point has been deliberately on artists as curators, it becomes evident that artists are quick to reinvent their roles in order to share their work. Curators, however, are not able to claim openly a position as artists. They can only appropriate art strategies to develop innovative approaches for their curatorial practice. The reasons for this tendency cannot be fully entertained in the limited space of this publication, but a key element that can be evaluated briefly, which separates curators and artists as professionals, is that artists can move

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back and forth, and openly claim to be curators from time to time because the very foundation of modern art practice is based on such reposition as a gesture of resistance. One can go back to the 1850’s and notice that the French artist Gustave Courbet, when his painting The Studio of the Painter was not accepted to the ‘1855 Exhibition’ in Paris, was quick “to curate” an exhibition of his single painting inside of a circuslike tent just across the official exhibition. Art historians consider this incident as a defining moment of the avant-garde.22 In contemporary curatorial practice, even after conceptual strategies as explored by Lippard are incorporated as valid conceptual tools to organize exhibitions, it is unlikely that curators would ever label themselves as both artists and curators, perhaps because they have always appropriators, as Lippard noted. After all, the curator’s foundational methodology is to appropriate in order to take care, contextualize, organize and administer. Most recently curatorial practice, as is evident in this brief survery, was reconfigured along the lines of conceptualism; but certainly, curators are unable to produce actual work from “scratch” as artists can when desired. It is only after appropriation became commonplace in conceptual art practice that the roles of artists and curators came to share apparent methodologies. The importance of the brief survey of code switching between artists and curators is worth consideration in relation to exhibitions at large because of two key elements mentioned by Cook and Paul respectively. As previously quoted, Cook argues that museums have adopted a process based 98


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approach to exhibitions in the last thirty years, while Paul when discussing the role of artists as curators emphasizes the importance of collabora-­ tion and discussion among artists and their support groups. At the end of the first decade of the twenty-­ first century, process, collaboration, and discus-­ sion are important elements in curatorial practice at large. Conclusion: Code Switching in Exhibiting Institutions In a previous text I wrote for the Swedish Traveling Exhibitions titled ‘When the Action Leaves the Museum: New Approaches to the Exhibition as a Tool of Communication,’23 I discussed the approach of various Swedish institutions to the exhibition as a medium of communication. One thing that became apparent in the philosophical mission of places such as the Museum of World Culture and the Maritime Museum in Gothenburg, as well as the art space Färgfabriken in Stockholm, and The Swedish Traveling Exhibitions in Visby among many others is that curators and adminis-­ trators approach the public with a process based attitude, and the eagerness to create forms of feed-­ back very much as defined by Cook and Paul. The shift of exhibiting institutions from monolithic spaces to friendlier hybrid spaces that embrace the feedback from their audience is the result of the same new media technology that enabled artists to develop their own exhibitions.

The general tendency in new media is for the viewer or

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participant, who for the most part had been passive prior to New Media, to become active by providing constant feedback. In the arts, as already noted, artists became pro-active at a fairly early stage of the Internet in creating their own models. Eventually, as access to the Web became commonplace, people grew accustomed to constantly opine; this was the norm at the end of the 1990’s with the growing popularity of group mailing lists, as well as the development of Web 2.0 in the early 2000’s, when blogs — and most recently — Facebook and Twitter evolved into the default forms of networked communication for the average online user. Institutions like the ones I visited in Sweden obviously are sensitive to this shift. As noted in my previous article, The Museum of World Culture, for example, “wants to be an arena for discussion and reflection in which many and different voices will be heard.” This is really the same philosophy that led many artists in the early stage of the Web to develop list-serves for discussion among people who shared interests in the arts and its role in culture at large. Consequently, the curators at many of the institutions in Stockholm and Gothenburg that I visited did not see themselves as “gatekeepers” or “quality controllers,” but rather as facilitators and collaborators, much along the propositions of Cook, Dietz, and Paul. In brief, the role of curators across institutions has been redefined. Curators have become selective appropriators who need to be invested in emerging social media to be able to develop relevant exhibitions because feedback, conversation, and constant communication are ubiquitous in global culture, proper. 10 0


CODE SWITCHING 1 Lucy Lippard, ‘Escape Attempts,’ Reconsidering the Object of Art: 1965–1975, ed. Ann Goldstein and Anne Rorimer (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: 1996), 29. 2 Steve Dietz, ‘Curating Net Art: A Field Guide,’ Christane Paul, ed., New Media in the White Cube and Beyond (Berkley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2008), 78. 3 Sarah Cook, ‘Immateriality and Its Discontents: An Overview of Main Models and Issues for Curating New Media,’ Ibid, 32. 4 Ibid, 29. 5 Lippard, 18. 6 Christiane Paul, curator, CodeDoc. September 2002, artport.whitney.org/exhibitions 7 Golan Levin, September 2002, artport.whitney.org/commissions/codedoc/levin.shtml. 8 Mark Napier, September 2002, artport.whitney.org/ commissions/codedoc/napier.shtml. 9 Sawad Brooks, September 2002, artport.whitney.org/ commissions/codedoc/brooks.shtml. 10 Lippard. 11 Christiane Paul, ‘Challenges for a Ubiquitous Museum,’ New Media in the White Cube […], 65. 12 artport.whitney.org/commissions/softwarestructures/ 13 sunsite.cs.msu.su/wwwart/refresh.htm 14 netart.org.uy/latino 15 www.museotamayo.org/historial-cyberlounge 16 netescopio.meiac.es 17 www.http.uk.net 18 For Tribe’s interdisciplinary activity see marktribe.net 19 For a good account on the history of early new media production, see Josephine Bosma, ‘Constructing Media Spaces: The novelty of net(worked) art was and is all about access and engagement,’ Medie Kunts Netz, www.medienkunstnetz.de/themes/public_sphere_s/ media_spaces/scroll/ 20 Luis Camnitzer, Jane Farver, Rachel Weiss, editors, Global Conceptualism (New York: Queens Museum of Art), 1999.

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R U INTERNATIONAL? 21 For an evaluation of this and other relevant issues, see my essay ‘When the Action Leaves the Museum: New Approaches to the Exhibition as a Tool of Communication,’ also written for The Swedish Traveling Exhibitions. 22 This is a well-known historical moment that can be found in many modern art history books. For a detailed account which includes excerpts of letters and statements by Courbet, see Thomas Crow, et. al. Editors, ‘Courbet’s The Studio of the Painter,’ Nineteenth Century Art: A Critical History (New York, Tames & Hudson), 236–237. 23 http://www.riksutstallningar.se/Templates/ ExtNews____35970.aspx

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When Street Culture Becomes a Social Activist Ekaterina Kruppenikova Essay

10 4


WHEN STREET CULTURE BECOMES A SOCIAL ACTIVIST

“ You might not see things yet on the surface, but underground, it’s already on fire.” — Y.B. Mangunwijaya Indonesian writer, July 16, 1998 (taken from ‘NO LOGO’ by Naomi Klein) La donna è mobile. Your AD here — 24×7, no brake for lunch. Just 20 years ago, USSR was a clear example of an utopian communist existance. All public space was strictly planned by the government: powerful constructions, broad avenues, sublime monuments, absence of any sort of advertisement. Paradoxically, AD in Russian language means Hell. Today — Moscow is a huge AD, an example of

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social disorder mastering the country: powerful constructions have turned into their plastic models: a good example is Stalinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous eight sisters and their new born copy â&#x20AC;&#x201D; named Triumph Palace (please take a notion of the name, as it is a popular trend in capitalist Moscow to name things like â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Prince Plasaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Triumph 3DODFH¡WRPDNHWKHVHSODVWLFFRQVWUXFWLRQVJOLWWHU  Billboards and other ads are settled according to a principle of â&#x20AC;&#x153;nature abhors a vacuumâ&#x20AC;?, and architecture heritage is reconstructed according to the needs of QHZRIĂ&#x20AC;FHVDQGVKRSSLQJPDOOV2QFHZLGHDYHQXHV become dead backwaters for thousands of cars. Usually, when thinking about capitalism one's mind draws a picture of money, power, market, corporations, currency exchange and the assumption that everything could be sold and accordingly bought. Today LWLVFRPPRQWRKHDUWKDWFDSLWDOLVPLQĂ XHQFHVPRVWRI space aspects â&#x20AC;&#x201D; from construction of buildings to social behaviour. In his work â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Production of Spaceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, Henry Lefebvre poses a question for the exact way of WKLVLQĂ XHQFHÂłWKHLGHDDERXWWKHIRUJRWWHQDVSHFWRI capitalism, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the one which is certainly bound up with the functioning of money with the various markets, and with social relations of production but which is distinct from these precisely because it is dominantâ&#x20AC;?. He calls this aspect â&#x20AC;&#x153;hegemony of one classâ&#x20AC;?. The concept of â&#x20AC;&#x153;hegemonyâ&#x20AC;? was earlier introduced by an Italian writer, politician, political theorist, linguist and philosopher Antonio Gramsci, one of the Ă&#x20AC;UVW,WDOLDQFRPPXQLVWVZKRVHZULWLQJVDUHKHDYLO\ concerned with the analysis of culture and political leadership. Gramsci worked on this idea in order to describe the future role of the working class in the

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building of a new society, but it is also as useful for analyzing the action of the bourgeoisie, especially in relation to forming space. According to Gramsci, “hegemony” is exercised over society as a whole, culture and knowledge included. Hence, it is exercised over both institutions and ideas. The ruling class seeks to maintain its hegemony by all available means, and knowledge is one of such means. Why I make these references is because I want to open a conversation about Moscow as a battleground of Russian power games, which are aimed to change the society from right to left or vice versa every several years. After the Second World War, under the Stalin’s plan of reconstruction, the baroque and neoclassical face of old Moscow assimilated with the strong and strict soviet-order of so-called Stalin architecture, a representation of power which is nowadays slightly dying under the power of the “capitalist glare of contemporary Moscow” — the arrogant center of luxury and ignorance of the country. We don’t need no Public art, we don’t need no thought control Lefebvre states: “What we call ideology only achieves consistency by intervening in social space and in its production, and by thus taking on body therein. Ideology per se might well be said to consist primarily in a discourse upon social space.” 8LIHMWGSYVWIMWMQTSVXERX-XLEWFIIRWYTTSVXIH F]ERYQFIVSJ[SVPHJEQSYWI\EQTPIW IZIV]VIZS PYXMSR SVIZSPYXMSR QYWXTVSHYGIERI[WTEGISVMX 107


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[SR´XVIEPM^IMXWJYPPTSXIRXMEPERH[MPPEGXYEPP]FIEJEMPYVI °EWXSFIEFPIXSGLERKIPMJIMXWIPJ]SYLEZIXSVIGSR WXVYGXMRFVMGOF]FVMGOERHFVMRKYTERI[KIRIVEXMSR [MXLMRXLIWTEGI8LMWMHIEMWWYTTSVXIHF]0IJIFZVI´W GSRGPYWMSR±%WSGMEPXVERWJSVQEXMSRXSFIXVYP]VIZSPY XMSREV]MRGLEVEGXIVQYWXQERMJIWXEGVIEXMZIGETEGMX] MRMXWIJJIGXWSRHEMP]PMJISRPERKYEKIERHSRWTEGI °XLSYKLMXWMQTEGXRIIHRSXSGGYVEXXLIWEQIVEXI SV[MXLIUYEPJSVGIMRIEGLSJXLIWIEVIEW² -XQMKLXPSSOWXVERKIFYXJSVXLIPEWX]IEVW 6YWWMERKSZIVRQIRXWIIQIHXSLEZIRIZIVGEVIHEFSYX TVSHYGMRKXLIVMKLXWTEGIJSVXLI±EJXIVTIVIWXVSMOE² MHISPSK]%FERHSRIHMXLEWFIIRKVS[MRKEGGSVHMRKXS XLITVMRGMTPIWSJXLIQEVOIX %PPWSVXWSJEVXXLEXWSQILS[GSYPHFIHIWGVMFIH EWTYFPMGLEWFIIRGSRGIRXVEXIH[MXLMRGVIEXMZIGPYWXIVW KIRXVM½GEXIHGIRXIVWJSVGSRXIQTSVEV]EVXMR1SWGS[ ;MR^EZSH*PEGSR6IH3GXSFIV-XPSSOWPMOIGSRXIQTS VEV]TYFPMGEVXMR1SWGS[LEWRSXFIIRMRGPYHIHMRXS XLIWIXSJMRWXVYQIRXJSVWSGMEPGLERKIW 7XMPPXLIVIMWEGSQQYRMX]SJ]SYRKERHEGXMZI TISTPIMR1SWGS[[LSRIIHGLERKIWERHXLI]TYXXLIMV WQEPP]IXMQTSVXERXGSRXVMFYXMSRXLVSYKLWSGMEPEGXMZM XMIWXSGLERKIXLIWSGMIX]JVSQXLI±FIPS[²8LI]QEOI TVSZSOMRKMRXIVZIRXMSRWMRXSTYFPMGWTEGIEMQMRKXSKIX TISTPIXLMRO[MHIV-WIIXLIMQTSVXERGIXSHIWGVMFI XLIMVEGXMZMXMIWMRQ]IWWE] ;LSMWSRHYX]XSHE]#7LSVXLMWXSV]SJ6YWWMER WXVIIXEVX Russian street art, like most other varieties of Western culture, was established in Russia after the

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WHEN STREET CULTURE BECOMES A SOCIAL ACTIVIST

“perestroika”. From about 1985, Russia tends to outlook and put on Western values together with absorbing Western culture. Everything labeled “Western” is considered cool. Since there was a lack of information, all Western stuff came to Russia through Western magazines, movies and music. After the Iron Curtain was lifted in the late 80’s, early 90’s, Russia has rushed into the emerging wave of hip-hop culture, rap and graffiti. Hence, breakers and rappers were simultaneously the first graffiti artists. Russian street art has been shaped by Western street culture and has grown from graffiti. This transformation happened in early 2000’s by such names as: Code and Fet, MAKE, Who and others. In 2003 the first Russian street-art-events ‘Don’t Copy me’ and ‘Access’ gave a start to multiple Russian street art festivals and shows. As a result, Russian street art moved to the next level — instead of hooligan attacks, it turned into a new form of contemporary art. Contemporary researchers of street art culture and even the artists themselves have often criticized Russian street art, calling it a faceless imitation of Western school.Though, Moscow street-artists nowadays tend to become active social players, organizing various public events, which become popular in press and among city inhabitants. MAKE SO SERIOUS. USELESS. MOSCOW 2020 In her book ‘NO LOGO’, Canadian journalist Naomi Klein criticizes the capitalist society based on advertising and branding.$ORQJZLWKKHUDUJXPHQWVVKH

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XVHVWKH576TXRWH´7KHSULYDWL]DWLRQRISXEOLF VSDFHLQWKHIRUPRIWKHFDUFRQWLQXHVWKHHURVLRQ RIQHLJKERUKRRGDQGFRPPXQLW\WKDWGHÀQHVWKH PHWURSROLV5RDGVFKHPHVEXVLQHVV¶SDUNV·VKRS-­ SLQJGHYHORSPHQWV³DOODGGXSWRWKHGLVLQWHJUD-­ WLRQRIFRPPXQLW\DQGWKHÁDWWHQLQJRIDORFDOLW\ (YHU\ZKHUHEHFRPHVWKHVDPHDVHYHU\ZKHUHHOVH &RPPXQLW\EHFRPHVFRPPRGLW\³DVKRSSLQJ YLOODJHVHGDWHGDQGXQGHUFRQVWDQWVXUYHLOODQFH 7KHGHVLUHIRUFRPPXQLW\LVWKHQIXOÀOOHGHOVH-­ ZKHUHWKURXJKVSHFWDFOHVROGWRXVLQVLPXODWHG IRUP$79VRDS¶VWUHHW·RU¶VTXDUH·PLPLFNLQJWKH DUHDWKDWFRQFUHWHDQGFDSLWDOLVPDUHGHVWUR\LQJ 7KHUHDOVWUHHWLQWKLVVFHQDULRLVVWHULOH$SODFH WRPRYHWKURXJKQRWWREHLQ,WH[LVWVRQO\DVDQ DLGWRVRPHZKHUHHOVH³WKURXJKDVKRSZLQGRZ ELOOERDUGRUSHWUROWDQNµ 576LVDQLQWHUQDWLRQDOFRPPXQLW\RIDFWLY-­ LVWVVWDQGLQJIRUFRPPRQRZQHUVKLSRISXEOLF VSDFHVRSSRVLQJWRWKHGRPLQDQFHRIFRUSRUDWH IRUFHVLQJOREDOL]DWLRQDQGWRWKHFDUDVWKHGRPL-­ QDQWPRGHRIWUDQVSRUW $QWRQ3ROVN\RQHRIWKHÀUVWJUDIÀWLDUWLVWV LQWKHHDUO\·V XQGHUWKHQDPH0$.( LVQRZD-­ GD\VWKHÀUVWSHUVRQLQ0RVFRZWRVWDQGIRUVXV WDLQDEOHGHYHORSPHQWWKHHPHUJLQJELF\FOHFXOWXUH DQGWRLQWURGXFHVRFLRSXEOLFDUWLQWHUYHQWLRQV$V DFRQWHPSRUDU\DUWLVWGXULQJ²0$.( SDUWLFLSDWHGLQDQXPEHURILQVLWHH[KLELWLRQVDQG FRPSHWLWLRQV,Q²,ZDVFROODERUDWLQJ ZLWKKLPIRUDSXEOLFDUWDFWLYLW\¶&1715·ZKLFK ZDVDQRQFRPPHUFLDOSURMHFWXVLQJDPDULQH FRQWDLQHUDVDQDUWVSDFH The idea was both to 110


WHEN STREET CULTURE BECOMES A SOCIAL ACTIVIST

support a non-mainstream young art and to provoke people to perceive art as an environment. He felt that what he did for indoor exhibitions and art fairs was sort of “commercial art”, in a way esthetically good, still not useful and he wanted to be more close to changing urban environment through his oeuvre. :lma^ÛklmKMLZ\mboblmbgKnllbZ%F:D>aZl organized a community of co-thinkers (www.pixelchannel.ru). “Through spontaneous illegal street parties, young people all over the world are aggressively reclaiming space from the corporate world, ng&[kZg]bg`bm%`n^kkbeeZ&lmre^';nmma^^__^\mbo^g^ll of the cool hunt also set the stage for anticorporate activism in another way: inadvertently, it exposed the impotence of almost all other forms of political resistance except anti-corporate resistance, one cutting-edge marketing trend at a time”. (Taken _khfFZgb_^lm[rF:D>hkb`bgZe3GZhfbDe^bg GHEH@H" First pro-sustainable-city activity organized by MAKE was a USELESS map, a bicycle map of Moscow and a social project involving people to join bicycle culture. Most routes drawn on the map pass through small alleys, wide pedestrian roads and bridges as well as through the embankments and parks. Besides the map indicates the special bicycle parking (a really seldom device in Moscow), as a sign of respect for cyclists. Still, Moscow is not used for riding bikes. To make the city more sustainable, MAKE proposes to put higher taxes on car use and or charging car owners the entry to the city center and some of its other areas along with promotion of special services, cargo transportation, car sharing for a

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ride to work. MAKE and the followers of his idea (as now his ideas become more and more popular among young Moscow cosmopolitans) are aiming to focus public attention and thus develop bicycle infrastructure within the city of Moscow. “There is a sense that architecture, urban sculpture, public art and streets are best experimented during a trip by bicycle. The guide noted the most interesting examples of architecture with an emphasis on modernism, urban sculpture and places where the street art, as well as museums and galleries in the city and interesting places that it’s best to get it on the bike” — says MAKE. The work on USELESS map is continuing — in the future there will appear city guides, listing all the places caring for the convenience of cyclists and developing the concept of an open, democratic city. As mentioned above, Moscow government doesn’t care about placing contemporary public art, so MAKE has expanded his project to the direction of public art. To fill this gap MAKE installed a number of ware sculptures with tablets saying that the work was “NOT COMMISSIONED by the government” imitating signatures under the works of the Russian Museum in the city streets with underlying utopian mission — to create a transparent open society and urban space, including comfortable and eco-friendly urban transport routes. The next step made by MAKE was to partici-­ pate in ‘The Global day of Action’ (2010–10–10) — the day of global joint efforts involving hun-­ dreds of thousands of people all over the world who are willing to roll up our sleeves and work for 112


WHEN STREET CULTURE BECOMES A SOCIAL ACTIVIST

“greener” and harmonious future for and try to make their best for restoring the climate balance on the planet. On the Global Day of Action MAKE presented his manifest ‘Moscow. The city of Future’, an ambi-­ tious and in a way utopian project is to popularize the idea of creating alternative urban environ-­ ment and forming a new geography of Moscow. In the manifest MAKE mentioned a number of facilities Moscow lacks such as: ability to carry a bicycle in the subway, developing the city con-­ sidering suburbs, building a new ring of railways and high-­speed trains that connect directly to the city suburbs, frequent usage of railway-­trains within the city as environmentally friendly trans-­ port, bike-­ticket for public transport (you and the bike), bike parking near metro stations, public bike-­parking, eco-­cars (from 30 to 60 km per hour in traffic), bike-­paths, low borders (for cyclists as well as for wheelchairs and baby carriages), creative bus stops, public art installations in an urban environment, rollers, skateboards, skates – as convenient and environmentally-­friendly vehicles, development of cohousing — a joint housing and communal (common ideological or good neighbors), development of guerrilla gar-­ dening, green roofs and community gardens, consumer cooperatives, ability to buy eco-­meal, available both geographically and financially parking facilities throughout the city (so that they do not overlap pedestrian and bicycle paths),

development of gas networks, change of public transport into gas- or electricity-run, high-quality road

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surface (not shifted to 2 times a year asphalt) and so on. In the year 2011 MAKE is invited to participate in Moscow Biennale for contemporary art which means that street culture, social activism and contemporary art tend to join each other and stay for the future of Moscow. I would like to summarize this essay by joining my opinion to one more MAKE’s quote: “I think all of us want to live in an eco-friendly and convenient city with special bike paths, green parks, responsible citizens, convenient transportation, etc. We are disappointed by what is Moscow today. Map-creating and informal bike-markings aim to visualize the dreams of a better city. We may be aware of what is evil and the way we don’t want to live, but the best strategy — is not a criticism of the current situation, but forming the image of the new reality. We need to show people that we need them instead of thinking and showing them that the way they live is wrong. We need to come out with a dream and to encourage people to believe in it to be and ready to do whatever we can to implement it”.

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,Q6HDUFKRI %DE路0EDWKD D0HQWDO([SHGLWLRQ

Essay

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IN SEARCH OF BAB’ MBATHA’: A MENTAL EXPEDITION

Ink Spot — ‘Jim Comes to Joburg’1 I have always considered myself quite the “city girl”, perhaps this was a precondition I inherited from my grandmother, Edith Damoyi who always spoke with pride about her Boksburg ‘city girl’ status. I grew up in Soweto in the eighties, a time in South Africa when I had (and possibly still have) naive notions about my identity, skin colour, tear gas raids, helicopters flying overhead - all the while attending a convent school in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. My mother played vinyl records by the Manhattan Brothers, Miriam Makeba, West Nkosi, Letta Mbulu, Dolly Rathebe and the African Ink Spots. At the time I didn’t understand the magnitude or solace of this sound that was fused with joy in spite of it all. Even when my sister and I were sent to Clare117


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mont in Kwazulu Natal during school holidays to where my grandparents eventually moved, I still felt quite the city slicker walking through a township I deemed “rural”. Mind you this “village” was big enough for me to get lost in one day when my grandmother asked me to take a shoe in for repairs. But it still didn’t tarnish my “kleva”2 etched image of myself. 4`ÄYZ[LUJV\U[LY^P[OHY[JHTL^P[OT`VSKLY sister teaching me colours in Afrikaans — she had already started primary school and had proved to be quite the quick learner. Through the years I learned to fake “answering questions correctly” in class — I say “fake” because I would read the notes my sister had written in the text books she had handed down to me and when the teacher asked would answer what was ^YP[[LU¸2SL]H¹OHKHKHW[LK[V¸ZJOVVSZTHY[¹0HT a child of popular culture who grew up in awe of images (to varying degrees) of works by Salvador Dali, 4HYR9V[ORV7LUU`:PVWPZ/LSLU:LIPKP+H]PK .VSKISH[[1VOU4\HMHUQLNVHUK(aHYPH4IH[OH The invitation to be in a correspondence in residence at the Riksutstallningar was on some level ZLYLUKPWP[V\Z/H]PUNILLUPU:^LKLUILMVYLVU an exchange programme between the Wits University School of Arts and the Konsthogskolan in Umeå, I thought it would be an opportunity to re-view some VM[OLPZZ\LZ0OHK[HJRSLKPUT`HY[^OLUÄYZ[[OLYL But a lot had changed within my artistic path. The last time I was in Umeå I was a student making art that processed some of the thoughts I had had about an essential African identity. My medium of choice had been hair — synthetic, then goat skin attained through traditional ritual. Since 2001 I had stopped 118


IN SEARCH OF BABâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; MBATHAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;: A MENTAL EXPEDITION

making art and delved rather lightly into my interest in curating. I worked for the Goodman Gallery for a few years and began to respond to curatorial issues of H[KLELWLRQUHSUHVHQWDWLRQDJHQF\ȤZKRKDGDULJKWWR VD\ZKDWDERXWZKRP DUWLVWLFDOO\VSHDNLQJ LQWKH contemporary art scene in South Africa. I therefor came a curator out of necessity and reluctance. Times were tumultuous in the transition to democracy and VRPHRIWKHDUWWKDWZDVĂ&#x20AC;QGLQJLWVZD\WRWKHIRUZDV somewhat questionable. Our government had with our new democracy released the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage.3 There seemed to be disjuncture between this policy and how it eventually ended up Ă&#x20AC;QGLQJIRUPDWLQGXVWU\OHYHODQGVRPHZKHUHDORQJWKH line the visual arts and its importance historically took a back seat and craft-as-an-empowerment-tool came to the for. Artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; individual prowess became clumped rather carelessly in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;massâ&#x20AC;?. All the while great black artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; stories went unwritten and we ended up with was an archive that UHĂ HFWHGPRUHH[WHQVLYHO\RQ*HUDUG6HNRWRDQG Dumile Feni. I am in no way saying that their art was not worth the recognition it received, I am merely saying that others fell through the metaphorical wood work. Artists like Sydney Kumalo, Cyprian Shilakoe, Ezrom Legae, Fikile Magadlela and Durant Sihlali passed with little acknowledgement or mark in the current archive of black South African artists and their roles in WKHUHĂ HFWLRQRIWKHRXUIDEULFDQGLGHQWLW\$OOWKHZKLOH WKHVHDUWLVWVWKHDWUHSRHWU\Ă&#x20AC;OPGDQFHDQGPXVLF FRXQWHUSDUWVVHHPHGWRĂ&#x20AC;QGWKHLUZD\PRUHFRPIRUWably and actively into news media. I began to wonder if it would be possible to â&#x20AC;&#x153;trick timeâ&#x20AC;? and write a

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different archive of visual arts while (again naively) hoping that things would figure themselves out. My curiosity led me to a simple internet search for contemporaries of the above mentioned artists. What flashed in the lines of my Google search were books and books about art after Apartheid, community art centres and women artists! An internal voice whispered, ‘Sorry to burst your bubble, kleva!’ and then I stubbornly thought that perhaps this warranted a more refined search to see if there were books — comprehensive volumes written about individual artists marking their different periods of production. While I am aware that there are things in the pipelines contextualising artists and socio- historical roles, there is little or perhaps slow progress here. There are also some contentious issues about past monographs written about artists that plague representation and reflection today that range from a surface understanding of cultural practice that may have influenced the environment in which some artists made work to assumptions and perhaps a lack of subjectivity or empathy. I learned that artists other than Feni and Sekoto left South Africa during Apartheid or the beginnings thereof and settled never or rarely to return. These artists included Louis Maqhubela and Azaria Mbatha who I was glad to learn were still alive. I began to create in my mind a romantic narrative about what these artists had been doing since leaving South Africa, thinking how their lives in these different Countries had influenced their art. ,S[LEHMJEXEPPPERKYEKIXVERWPEXMSR MRXIVTVIXEXMSREHMJJIVIRXEYHMIRGIERHI\TIVMIRGISJ IZIV]HE]PMJIMR¾YIRGIHXLIOMRHSJ[SVOXLI]TVSHYGIH 120


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1]S[RQIQSV]SJFIMRKSRISJJI[FPEGOTISTPIMR EJSVIMKRGSYRXV]EWSTTSWIHXLIQER]MR]SYVLSQI GSYRXV]JYVXLIV±[VSXIXLIP]VMGW²SJQ]VSQERXMGMWEXMSR %VPERHEEMVTSVXIRVSYXIXS&VSQQEEMVTSVXXLIR +SXPERH2SZIQFIV-FVIEXLIHMRXLIGSPH[IXEMV I\GMXIHXLEXQ]MQEKMREXMSR[SYPHFIQEXGLIHMRXLI VIEPMX]SJXLINSYVRI]1oVXIR.ERWWSRLEH[EVRIHMX VEMRWERHMW[MRH]MR:MWF]WSTEGOEKSSHNEGOIXERHSV VEMRGSEX±4PIEWI-EQRS.MQGSQIWXS.SFYVK7XSGO LSPQ-LEZIWIIR[IEXLIVJEV[SVWIXLEREQIEWP] HIKVIIW°-WYVZMZIH9QIo7STYXXLEXMR]SYVWRYJJ ERHWQSOIMX²-I\GPEMQIHEXXLIIQEMP2S[HIWGIRH MRKXLIEIVSTPERIXSKIXQ]FEKWMR+SXPERHXLIGSPH [IRXVMKLXXLVSYKLQ]PSYW]I\GYWIJSVENEGOIXXLVSYKL Q]MRWYPEXMSRJEXXSQ]FSRIW-JIPXQ]WOMRKSKVI] KSSWI¾IWLPSRKMRKJSVXLIWYRR]LSXWXMGO][IEXLIVSJ XLITVIZMSYWHE]MR.SLERRIWFYVK±,IN1oVXIRERH1]² -KREXXIVIHXLVSYKLQ]XIIXLFVEZIJEGIJIMKRMRKXLI VIEPP]GSPH[IEXLIV1oVXIRWQMPIH°EGVSWWFIX[IIR ER±-XSPH]SYWS²ERH±WLEQI]SYVIEPP]%6)GSPH² I\TVIWWMSRSRLMWJEGIERH[IHVSZIXSXLI&EPXMG ;VMXIVWERH8VERWPEXSVW'IRXVI-WIXXPIHMRXS:MWF] ,EZMRKJSVKSXXIRXLIJIIPMRKSJ[EPOMRKMRXLIGSPH -JSYRHQ]WIPJXV]MRKMRMXMEPP]MRZERIXSWIXXPIMRXSQ] TVSTSWIHVSYXMRISJEGXMZMXMIWJSVXLIQSRXLSJQ]VIWM HIRG]8LIIRHSJ[IIOSRI[EWWTIRXMR7XSGOLSPQ ERH-EQKPEHJIPPS[VIWMHIRX)HYEVHS2EZEWQETTIH SYV[E]XLVSYKLXLMW½VWXTEVXSJXLIXVMT,EZMRK EPVIEH]FIKYRLMWVIWMHIRG]MRXLIQMHHPISJ3GXSFIV QEHILMQWSQI[LEXSJERI\TIVXMR½RHMRKLMW[E] XLVSYKLXLIMRXVMGEXIXVEMRW]WXIQIaspis was now in a different place from when I was last in Stockholm — I distinctly remember being in awe of the classical

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looking sculptures of the previous space. It also had a different feel about it as I walked through the office spaces and eventually into artists’ studios. I met with Angel Nevarez and ValerieTevere, Kotaro Watanabe, and Carl Palm and began to salivate at the thought or vision of these artists works in a space in Johannesburg, perhaps even during the 2010 Soccer World Cup. My eyes widened with excitement at what I saw! But alas reason/bubble bursting brought me down to earth and reminded me that if this were to happen it would require a lot more logistical planning and time, let alone funding. It would have be a much bigger project that stretched far beyond my exciteable imagination. The next morning I decided bravely or stupidly to set out into the city on my own, I left Stockholm map and train route booklet in hand, Kalles caviar and Lingon berry bread in stomach, to go to galleries. “Strange”, I thought, “things aren’t the way I remember them”. I didn’t quite remember the cobble stones to Gamla Stan being SO far away but I ventured ahead — my destination was the Salvador Dali exhibition at the Moderna Museet. I’m not sure what happened but 2 hours later I found myself walking through a slushy puddle of mud between two museums that didn’t even remotely resemble the Moderna. Frustrated that my “pigeon-swedish-Ursäkta- Hur mycket Moderna Museet?” was getting me nothing but strange lights-are-on-but-no-one-is-home looks and smirks, I decided to venture along the harbor, pouted lips remembering the time I had gotten lost in Claremont on a simple errand. Finally after a short ferry trip I arrived! )RUVRPHUHDVRQ,EHFDPHVHOIFRQVFLRXV

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³P\VNLQFRORXUFRXOGQ·WFDPRXUÁDJHP\ZD\ WKURXJKWKHH[KLELWLRQ,IRXQGLWDFRPIRUWLQJ WKRXJKWWRVHHRWKHUEODFNSHRSOHLQWKHPXVHXP 0\=XOXUHVSHFWIXOXSEULQJLQJLQYROXQWDULO\MROWHG D´6DZXERQD%DEDµJUHHWLQJ:KHQWKHUHDFWLRQ ZDVQRWRQHWKDWPDWFKHGP\LQWHQGHGKXPLOLW\, PHHNO\WULHGWRJHWORVWLQWKHFURZGRIWKH6DWXU GD\PRUQLQJRQORRNHUV7KHQ,IRXQGP\VHOIVKUXJ-­ JLQJRIIP\HPEDUDVVPHQWWRVHHLI,FRXOGÀQG $]DULD0EDWKDLQWKHFURZG0\UHVHDUFKKDGRQO\ VKRZQLPDJHVRIZKDWKHKDGORRNHGOLNHHDUOLHU EXWVWLOO,WKRXJKWLWÀWWLQJWKDWKHZRXOGKDYHEHHQ DWWKHH[KLELWLRQHVSHFLDOO\RQD6DWXUGD\6R, WULHGDJDLQ,VDZDQROGHUORRNLQJJHQWOHPDQQHDU WKHWHOHYLVLRQTXL]LQVWDOODWLRQDQGPXWWHUHG ´6DZXERQDVVVVVVDXPHU DVLGH¶QR ORXGHUDQGPRUH]XOXDFFHQW· 6DZXERQD%DE·4 0EDWKDµ´1HMµKHVDLGVPLOHGVLQFHUHO\DQGVDGO\ DQGZDONHGDZD\,KDGVHHQWKHH[KLELWLRQVWRRG DWWKHH[LWGLVDSSRLQWHG,SXWRQP\HDUSKRQHVDQG ZDONHGWR/HWWD0EXOX·VYHUVLRQRI¶5HXQLmRGH 7ULVWH]D·2QP\ZDONEDFNWRWKHV\PSRVLXP ¶0RXQWDLQVRI%XWWHU/DNHVRI:LQH·XQDQVZHUHG TXHVWLRQVUHVXUIDFHGDERXWWKHQRWLRQRIWKHH[LOH EHLQJORVWLGHQWLI\LQJDVVLPLODWLRQDGMXVWPHQW ODQJXDJHQDWLRQDOLVPSDWULRWLVPDQGWKHIRUHLJQ 7KHVHTXHVWLRQVUDQJLQDPRUHVXEMHFWLYHZD\ WKLQNLQJDERXWWKHSRVVLEOHH[SHULHQFHRIDUWLVWV OLNH/RXLV0DTKXEHODDQG$]DULD0EDWKD³ERWK RIZKRPVSHDNWKH]XOXODQJXDJHDQGPD\KDYHLQ VRPHZD\RUDQRWKHUH[SHULHQFHGDUDQJHRIWKHVH QRWLRQVRYHUWKH\HDUVVLQFHWKHLUPRYHIURP6RXWK $IULFD PhpHd %Bmahn`am% Bg^^]mhÛ`nk^mabl 123


R U INTERNATIONAL?

hnmbgfra^Z]ÛklmpaZmihllb[erm^gnhnlebgdlZf I making here?” and sat down to the symposium. The next two days I frantically wrote notes about different funding bodies — who funds what Zg]pahf4_hkpaZmk^Zlhgl4ahpma^ÛgZg\bZe\kblbl aZlbgÜn^g\^]lhf^bglmbmnmbhgl_ng]bg`lmkZm^`b^l% how the museum structures have changed perhaps because of these new funding strategies, different curatorial groups responding to the social ills of their respective countries. I must have looked like a crazy woman scratching my head, looking with intensity and concentration at the various speakers — all in an attempt to absorb as much as I could as this information could prove to be crucial to my future curatorial endeavours. I am ashamed to admit that I also found myself trying to compare these models to some in South Africa but found my personal experience of funding bodies fell short vastly in comparison to what I was hearing. I think the mistake lay in the assumption of funding availability in abundance especially but not exclusively from government cultural bodies versus a model I have previously mentioned that was unresolved in its focus and therefor foreign to its respective recipients. By Sunday evening Eduardo and I were in Göteborg walking to our hotel — “clearly not a busy city” we both thought but when we woke up the next morning Göteborg maps in hand — there were trams coming and going everywhere and almost every fbgnm^'HnkÛklmf^^mbg`pbmaChaZgLcºlmkºfZmma^ Göteborg Museum of Art was gladly one with a familiar face. I had met Johan during my first stay in Sweden while he was working at the Bild Museet.5

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IN SEARCH OF BAB’ MBATHA’: A MENTAL EXPEDITION

Conversation turned somewhat reminiscent and maybe a little uncomfortable for Eduardo as we asked about what happened to whom, what was so and so up to now? And of course a personally guided tour of the museum. We set off to our next meeting with Stina Edblom, curator at Göteborgs Konsthall another familiar face to South Africa. By the end of that night I felt comfortable maybe even at home in Göteborg as I saw a tram with Johanneberg as one of its destinations! The Museum of World Culture I found was an interesting space that was counter “museum studies” in the way it interacted with the colonial archive. A concept which in theory was interesting and refreshing and it seemed to varying degrees this was extended to the Maritime and City museums we visited. At some point I would like to look at the different museum models with a criticality and objectivity but right now I am still too sold on Göteborg. In the weeks to follow and sadly with my travel companion, Eduardo’s departure, I was left to do more reading about exhibitions and confirm appointments with people I had wanted to meet... I also had an opportunity to meet writers, playwrites and translators at the Writers’ Centre. In particular, myself and four other centre tenants took to a routine in the breakfast room of reading and translating (for of course) horoscopes of all the newspapers available, refreshing light reading we found that was a relief from the heavy moments of creativity that took place in our rooms. I consciously decided not to go back to Umeå choosing instead to travel south to Skåne. After successfully finding contact details for 125


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Azaria Mbatha I called him. At first he didnt an-­ swer and then a few hours later I received a call on my mobile — it was him! I felt like a child talking to some big music star for the first time. Strangely — he spoke Swedish! But then again what was I expecting? He had been here since 1969! I tried to be as respectful as possible speaking in zulu addressing him with this earned title of Baba (in as close a zulu accent as possible to how my father spoke). I told him who I was and why I was calling as a start. We exchanged contact details and he would comfortably switch back to Swedish and then laugh as he caught himself doing this — it was a strange phenomenon. My only other similar memory was when I met a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time and he spoke in the strongest English accent. Azaria Mbatha had lived in Lund and worked at several places in Skåne over the years. He had also written books including: ‘Within Loving Memory Of The Century: An Autobiography’(2005) and ‘Ecstasy, Creativity and Identity Amid Ironclad Chaos’(2009). According to his retrospective exhibition catalogue6 Mbatha’s first encounter with art was through Peder Gowenius who was requested by the Evangelical Lutheran Church to start an art school in Umphumulo, KwaZulu Natal. This school became an art and craft of note in Rorke’s Drift. I became interested in looking at what was happening in South Africa around the early times of his production and wondered if any particular events influenced his production. In

1962 Mbatha made a work called ‘The Raising of

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IN SEARCH OF BAB’ MBATHA’: A MENTAL EXPEDITION

“ A few hours later I received a call on my mobile — it was him! I felt like a child talking to some big music star for the first time.”

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Lazarus’ which is a biblical reference, this work was produced in the same year as the Rivonia Trial. I realise there may be no link between the two but am pointing to the environment of artistic production amidst the reality of the political climate. Some artists may have consciously decided to steer clear of any politcal reflection in their work while others like Ezrom Legae through his ‘Chicken Series’ chose to subvert their statements. I didn’t with Bab’ Mbatha but have stayed in contact with him via email with an exchange of zulu poetic verses. My trip to Skåne included a visit to Helsingborg, a short visit to Copenhagan, a walk through Malmo and a rather disappointing train ride to Lund. I think the images I had conjured up in my head of Lund (where I learned Bab’ Mbatha lived) were a more preferable vision to the reality. On some level I could understand what Lund and Malmo seemed to represent. Historically they seemed to have fostered a vibrant independant art scene there, according to ‘Parallell Historia: Skånes Konstarenor 1968 — 2008’. The book aimed to: “...create a work of reference that collects and preserves a part of Skåne’s art history which, until now, has risked being forgotten as arenas close down and people fade away ”. This book became more pertinent to me as it seemed to address some of the issues and implications of not acknowledging artists and art movements (as is currently the case in South Africa), this runs the risk of incongruous or disjunctured accounts of history. I liked the fact that

the movements in Skåne were often in opposition to and perhaps in spite of the dominance of art city centres like Stockholm. 128


IN SEARCH OF BAB’ MBATHA’: A MENTAL EXPEDITION

My train ride back to Malmo was spent thinking back to the elixir I had experienced in ‘Dekadens’, an exhibition curated by Bengt Adlers at Dunkers Kulturhus. My senses were awakened as I entered the rich red room with the exhibition title in neon light. I caught myself wanting to touch the velvet walls, but held my hand back as this was not in keeping with exhibition viewing etiquette — “Don’t touch the art^VYR¹0OH]LVM[LUJHSSLK[VJ\YPV\ZJOPSKYLUPU exhibitions. Then I smelled the next exhibition before I entered the room. Rubber. And there were artworks OHUNPUNVU[OLY\IILY(UK[OL`^LYL>PSSPHT /VNHY[O^VYRZ)\[[OLZTLSSVM[OLY\IILYS\SSLKT` paranoia and I once again fell into the experience. ;OPZL_OPIP[PVUPUJS\KLK^VYRZI`/VNHY[O+H]PK /VJRUL`7H\SH9LNV1VJR\T5VYKZ[YVT5H[OHSPL +Q\YILYNHUK.\UUHY2YHU[ZHUKVULNV[[OLMLLSPUN that there was a conscious decision to make the artworks part of an entire exhibition experience rather [OHUHY[ILPUNO\UNPUZWLJPÄJ^H`Z[VKYH^[OL viewer in. Never has an exhibition left me feeling JSLHUW\YLKPY[`HUK\[[LYH^LHSSH[[OLZHTL[PTL A truly rare experience eternally etched in my mind. ;OPZ0MLS[^HZHÄ[[PUNLUKPUN[VHQV\YUL`PUV^ realise was long overdue. I may not have met Bab’ Mbatha on this trip but am thankful for the beginning of an interesting correspondence. I may not have answered all the questions but I explored enough avenues that warranted a second look and inspiration to carry on asking. I may have fancied myself a “kleva” city girl but think I should rather consider HJRUV^SLKNPUN¸0HTH1VI\YN*P[`.PYS¹

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R U INTERNATIONAL? 1 Ink Spot refers literally to an ink spot that is usually a part of the printing process in visual arts. It is also a reference to the African Ink Spots — a South African band from Springs on the East Rand , Johannesburg, that often sang with Dolly Rathebe in the forties and fifties. Both Dolly Rathebe and The Ink Spots were cast in a film ‘Jim Comes to Joburg’ 1949, directed by Mohammed Camara. Jim Comes to Joburg was one of the first films of its kind with black actors and musicians accounting the movement of its central character to the city of Johannesburg. 2 Kleva — is a colloquial term in South African lingo that usually refers a street smart city type. A person who has learned and adapted to the nuances of street smart. This person is therefore deemed clever. 3 “This draft White Paper sets out government policy for establishing the optimum funding arrangements and institutional frameworks for the creation, promotion and protection of South African arts, culture, heritage and the associated practitioners. It is inspired by the best traditions of democratic societies the world over, where these features are valued in themselves and are treasured for their contribution to the quality of life.” (downloaded from the website of the Department of Arts and Culture) this draft was made under the then Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr Ben Ngubane in June of 1996. (www.dac.gov.za) 4 “Hello” in Zulu 5 Bild Museet had a strong relationship with South African cultural institutions. They hosted an exhibition called “Heading North” in collaboration with the South African National Gallery while I was there. 6 Azaria Mbatha Retrospective Exhibition Catalogue, Durban Art Gallery: 14 October to 30 November 1998, Azaria Mbatha Biography, ISBN number 0-620-23192-0

13 0


COLOPHON R International team

Thank you to all our collaborators

Editor of Global Perspectives: Mårten Janson Baltic Art Center, Gotland Project Manager: Sanna Svanberg Museum of World Culture, Senior Advisor: Louise Andersson Göteborg IASPIS, Stockholm Production team, Modern Museum, Stockholm RU International? Malmö Museums New Beauty Council, Stockholm Concept Development & Färgfabriken, Stockholm Copy Editors: Mårten Janson Magasin 3, Stockholm & Sanna Svanberg Lund Art Gallery Writer: Verena Dauerer Interactive Institute, Stockholm Design: Konst & Teknik, Mejan Labs, Stockholm www.konst-teknik.se Expeditionen, Malmö Legally responsible Publisher: Gothenburg City Museum Staffan Forssell Gothenburg Art Museum Dunkers Kulturhus, Helsingborg The Swedish Travelling International Curator’s Exhibitions works for developProgramme, University of ment and increased cooperation Stockholm within the exhibition sector. Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm SPANA is a Swedish word that Maritime Museum, Gothenburg approximately translates into “look-out”. Our name describes Special thanks what we do. Based at The Swedish Travelling Exhibitions is Lena Pasternak and Patrik Visby, Sweden, we look out over Muskos / Baltic Center for the field of exhibition practice. Writers and Translators, Gotland We interview professionals in Jessica Segerlund / H+ and Far the field, keep our eyes open for Away So Close, Helsingborg new technology and hightlight Anders Johansson / Testbedimportant issues. studio Architects, Stockholm Petri Tigercrona / Museum of www.riksutstallningar.se/spana Far Eastern Antiquities, www.riksutstallningar.se Stockholm Eva Ekeroth / Embassy of Sweden, Beijing Bongi Dhlomo / Writer, Artist & Curator, Johannesburg My Gustafsson, Malmö Anneli Strömberg, Stockholm


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The Swedish Travelling Exhibitions was one of seven organizations that got a share of the special cultural diversity grant from the Ministry of Culture. Our choice was to use the funds for a project that we decided to call R International. In this book, you can read about what we did during the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three years of duration, and why.

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R U International?  

How can a governmental institution deal with cultural plurality and internationalism? This question became very relevant to the Swedish Trav...

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