06 April 2019 00:00 - 26 May 2019 00:00
The title EXPANSION! can be read in several ways. A descriptive statement of what has happened to Swedish art scene in recent years? Or as a visionary call to broaden the idea from a protectionist perspective to a more open embrace of the outside world? Or perhaps more specifically, as a reminder of an urgent need of renewal of the Swedish Art scene?
The invited artists are almost all born exclusively in the 80s, a then intense time in Swedish art scene when capital flowed into the art world and art was status. At the same time, most Swedish artists mainly exhibited in Sweden. There was no significant global art life to speak of, even though there were a few art metropolises and occasional biennials that gathered artists from different countries in the world. Today's younger generation of artists have had more opportunities to work in many countries. Several of the invited artists are also more exhibited outside than in Sweden.
A question that has been asked for a long time is whether a global art scene takes place at the expense of a Swedish art scene? Probably not, even if the outlines may have received more parameters. The emergence of a global art community does not seem to have changed the Swedish art life in any decisive way either. Art does not happen in isolation but in a context of language, culture, art history, tradition, institutions, events, history, ideology, experiences etc. which probably still makes it possible to discuss something that is more generally termed as a Swedish art scene. And within that structure there is also the opportunity to continue to construct a Swedish art history. Or reformulated, as long as there are Swedish national support systems for art, such as IASPIS, a Swedish art history will be written.
But, at the same time, there is a strong longing for many to a renewal of the Swedish art system. An art scene that perhaps goes from rubber boots to a little more glamor and status. That art is again important and respected for its own sake. An experience more and more artists encounter then they work outside Sweden. And only then, the relevance of art can reach its full potential and no longer be instrumentally veiled. The lack of a uniform theme in the exhibition is conscious. Instead, it is the art in itself that is emphasized and a confidence in the artist's own ability to formulate interesting and reflective questions on the basis of contemporary times
The Exhibition EXPANSION! also wishes to highlight several of the smaller spaces for contemporary art, but which have become increasingly significant for art in recent years in Sweden. An example of one of the more talked about places in recent years has become Kummelholmen in Stockholm (which actually is a quit big space), of which by many are considered as one of the most interesting places for art in Sweden at the moment. One reason for the emerging spaces is that, unfortunately, the characteristic commercial galleries have become fewer with the years, and that many in the art community want a significant change of the established institutions in Sweden which have increasingly become instrumental tools for other purposes and goals. But showing art for its own sake is not always the primary aim anymore. Common too many of these - besides often both with a forced, and as a principle, close to zero budget - is that it can be unclear opening hours, unclear what is presented, or unclear address. Sometimes all at the same time. These - rather private - places for art are primarily aimed at a genuinely interested art audience and / or at a very local audience. Many do not send out physical opening cards or even have a website. Some do not send out press releases, with the result that they are rarely reviewed by the local press. There are no museum shops, no fancy toilets, no museum pedagogy, no White Guide listed cafe ... just art. Three such venues are included as satellites to the exhibition. Each venue has chosen their own exhibition.