Artists

  • Dimen Abdulla’s new performance Black Cat and White Fox takes place on the threshold between different worlds. The text was produced in a psychotic state and speaks to a reality where delusions, dreams, fictions and the psychiatric clinic become one and the same – if they were ever truly distinct to begin with. In Black Cat and White Fox, it is a collective of “I’s” that speak, disguised at a masquerade, lost in a maze of stories.

    The psychotic state disqualifies reality. In The Society of the Spectacle from 1967 the situationist Guy Debord describes how capitalism’s commodity fetishisation and the objectification of everything, including art and relations between people, disconnects production and consumption from actual needs. This too counts as a kind of dissolution of the boundaries between fiction and reality. Black Cat and White Fox explores the question: Who controls the narrative? And how can the collective of “I’s” take it back?

    The dense text is performed by students from the Theatre Academy in Luleå. Directed by Abdulla, with dramaturgy by Joakim Sten and directing assistance from the actress Amina Szecsödy, the group conducts a Beckett-esque choreography. The performance has emerged out of an intensive week of readings and workshops at the academy in collaboration with the actor Ulf Friberg. Actors: Alexandro Soltani, Astrid Tägt, Amanda Kilpeläinen Arvidsson, Ivar Forsling, Astrid Gislason, Christoffer Rigeblad, Jannie Östergren, and Natalia Fuentes Araya.

    Dimen Abdulla (b. 1984, Kirkuk) is a playwright based in Uddevalla and Stockholm.

    Work:

    Black Cat and White Fox, 2020


    Location:

    Luleå Theatre Academy

  • The one:
    What happened here?
    The other: Here?
    The one: Here
    The other:
    A lot has happened here

    Fragments from Välkommaskolan is a play for two female voices. They are speaking about a school that is being demolished and a lake where you have to remain quiet out of respect. Their conversation revolves around questions about what humans do to the earth and to each other.

    Linnea Axelsson (1980, Porjus) is a poet, novelist and art historian based in Stockholm.

    As part of Woven Songs, in collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.

    Work:

    Fragment from Välkommaskolan, 2020
    An audio play for two voices


    Location:

    Välkommaskolan, Malmberget
    21.11~14.2

  • Perestroika Songspiel. Victory over the Coup drops us into the middle of one of the key events of the Soviet perestroika: August 21, 1991, the immense popular uprising that followed the failed coup that intended to restore Soviet communism. On this day, it seemed that democracy had finally won in Russia, and that the people themselves could lay the foundation for a new, just society. Perestroika Songspiel. Victory over the Coup is structured like an ancient drama: its gallery of characters consists of a choir and five heroes. The heroes are typical characters of the post-cold war era, each with their own specific understanding of their role in history: a democrat, a businessman, a revolutionary, a nationalist, and a feminist. They act and they dream. They analyse their actions, their place in the system, and their ideas for Russia’s as yet undefined political path. The choir is historical consciousness personified. It comments on the situation and helps us to read between the lines. The choir makes moral statements about our heroes and predicts their future, as if watching them from the perspective of our present. The film looks at the specific composition of forces and ideas that were active during this extremely crucial historical moment. At the same time, it is a critique of political naivety that shows us how difficult it is to agree on a shared vision of the future. In their Songspiels, Chto Delat? revitalise methods originally developed by Bertolt Brecht, creating a contemporary form of dialectical film.

    The artists’ collective Chto Delat? [What should be done?] was formed in St. Petersburg in 2003. It is made up of a diverse group of artists, critics, philosophers and writers from St. Petersburg, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. In their work, Chto Delat? mix political theory with art and activism.

    Work:

    Perestroika Songspiel. Victory over the Coup, 2008
    HD Video
    26 min


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

  • In The Invisible Hand of My Father Gago Gagoshidze paints a portrait of his father and his right hand. Born 1953 in Georgia, the father belonged to the wave of migrants who after the fall of the Soviet Union came looking for work in the countries of Western Europe. The film takes place in an altered state, as it is recorded after a workplace accident in which Gagoshidze’s father lost his hand in a cement-mixer. As a result he returned to Georgia and settled in a cabin in Racha, where he now lives a quiet life made possible by a monthly pension for the disabled provided from Portugal. The hand hovers above him like a spirit in the magnificent surroundings of the mountains of Caucasus. It reminds us of the fact that the accident took place ”in the right time”: Right before the ”invisible hand” of the global market lost its grip. Thus the hand functions as an image of shifting economical landscapes – from the fall of the Soviet Union to the global financial collapse of 2008 – and a prosthetic with which a meaningful relationship cannot be formed.

    Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze (b. 1983, Kutaisi) is an artist based in Berlin.

    Work:

    The Invisible Hand of My Father, 2019
    HD Video
    24 min


    Location:

    Välkommaskolan, Malmberget
    21.11~14.2

  • Aage Gaup has been working as an artist and set designer since the early 1970s. He was a member of the legendary Masi group which was the forerunner of the Sami Artists’ Association formed in 1979, which later established Sámi Dáiddaguovddáš in 1986. On display at Välkommaskolan is an installation of large wooden sculptures he made for the exhibition Old Language – New Forms and Refugees, 2018, at Sámi Dáiddaguovddáš [Sami Centre for Contemporary Art] in Karasjok, Norway. Here Gaup manifests his interest in the visual language found, for example, among the symbols on the ornate drums of the Sami shamans known as Nåjder. If the symbols are already three-dimensional, their language constitutes a kind of fourth dimension. Gaup’s knowledge of scenography is apparent in the light and sound design that accompanies the sculptures developed in collaboration with Halvdan Nedrejord (sound) and Kurt Hermansen (light).

    The charcoal drawings are based on drawings Aage Gaup found when cleaning out his mother’s old house. The drawings illustrate Aage and his mother’s flight to Áiterohtu during World War II, where Gaup’s grandparents lived in their traditional goahti huts. But the Germans caught up with the young family and they were forcibly deported to southern Norway. The small drawings were on the back of some Christmas cards and on the page of a calendar; an ephemeral testimony to a hidden trauma.

    Many of Aage Gaup’s works relate to Sami mythology or the Sami experience, but often also a universal approach that stands up for oppressed people around the world. The sculpture, which is carved from mangrove wood, is an expression of traditional Sami knowledge of both woodwork and carpentry. This passive war machine is at once threatening and ridiculous, a picture of the futility of patriarchal vanity. The sculpture Sleeping War Machine was made in Maracaibo, Venezuela, as part of the exhibition project Maya, Sami, Barí, Wayúu, Yukpa, Añú, Arte Contemporáneo in which several indigenous artists from Venezuela and Guatemala participated at the invitation of the Centro De Arte De Maracaibo Lía Bermúdez.

    Aage Gaup (b. 1943, Børselv) is an artist and stage designer based in Karasjok.

    As part of Woven Songs, in collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.

    Work:

    Johtin / Reisen, 1989
    Wood, root, reindeer skin

    Lihkuhisvouhta; Lihkku; Biegg-oimmoš; Biegg-oimmoš; Bahádahkki, 2018
    Wood
    Bearráigeahčči, Báhtareaddjit, Boddu, 2018
    Charcoal on painted wood
    A part of the installation Dološ giella – ođđa hápmi ja báhtareaddjit (Old Language – New Forms and Refugees)


    Location:

    Välkommaskolan, Malmberget
    21.11–14.2

    Work:

    Sleeping War Machine, 2003
    Mangrove wood and paint


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11–14.2

  • Historically women’s involvement with the surrounding nature has often been condemned as witchcraft and severely punished, or perceived as a domestic and decorative relationship. Reminiscent of a ritual, MONSTRA sets the classic against the absurd and the organic against the artificial. In the encounter between these contrasts, many of our cultures’ arbitrary ideas of human’s position in relation to plants and of acceptable female behaviour are manifested. MONSTRA is performed by five women and seven plants. Overwhelming in its physicality, the work elicits thoughts around our complex relationship to nature as well as to sexuality and gender. From the aseptic beginning to the chaotic end, the bodies of women and plants become progressively more wild, unpredictable, empowered and potentially also dangerous.

    Manuela Eichner (f. 1980, Foz do Iguaçu) is an artist based in São Paulo and Berlin.

    Elisabete Finger (f. 1984, Arroio do Tigre) is a performance artist and choreographer based in São Paulo.

    As part of Woven Songs, in collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.

    Work:

    MONSTRA, 2017
    Choreographic performance


  • Apostolos Georgiou’s works have no titles. What happens takes place within the painting as a coalition of people and things placed in a kind of temporal vacuum. You do not need to know anything other than what’s in front of you. The large-scale works in acrylic are made with wide brushstrokes and in a dull pallet of pigeon blue, granite, mint and broken red. They are at once figurative and abstract, and do not dwell on details, but rather focus on the strong gestures of the characters, and the many ways that you might interpret them. Georgiou works from the idea that in order to depict something universal you must eliminate the superfluous. As such, the scenes are never explicit but absurd and highly charged. In undefined territories among everyday objects like paper, washbasins, desks and shoes, the painter’s rough-hewn figures appear in isolated situations. We witness the characters – often suited men – stumble, escape and drop their trousers.

    Sometimes the characters take refuge from the background of the painting and climb into square openings like windows, on occasion they look down into deep abysses as if they were thinking of disappearing, and once in a while they hide by sticking their heads in a water bath. But, since we are looking at them, they are still visible; caught in the most compromising situations of existential confusion and powerlessness. Together they make up a portrait of the contemporary human, caught between dissolution and hoping for change, between peace and sorrow, defeat and liberation – a tragicomic drama that mimics life itself.

    Apostolos Georgiou (b. 1952, Thessaloniki) is an artist based in Athens.

    Work:

    Untitled, acrylic on canvas 280✓230 cm, 2017
    Untitled, acrylic on canvas 170✓170 cm, 2017
    Untitled, acrylic on canvas 230✓280 cm, 2018
    Untitled, acrylic on canvas 300✓230 cm, 2018


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

  • Two sisters who are not sisters, two pregnancies, a two-seater car, a beauty queen, a poodle. A presidential election with the result that another fascist has been brought into power – this time in Brazil. A crime drama without a crime. Deux Soeurs Qui Ne Sont Pas Soeurs [Two Sisters Who Are Not Sisters] is a dreamlike exploration of community, responsibility, fertility, ethics and the future. Deux Soeurs Qui Ne Sont Pas Soeurs is based on an original script written by Gertrude Stein in 1929 just as fascism began to gain momentum in Europe. Gibson’s film also takes place in Paris, though almost exactly a century later, at a time of similar social and political unrest. With a cast of close friends and, for Gibson, important influences – the poet Alice Notley, the artists Adam Christensen and Ana Vaz, the educator Diocouda Diaoune among others – Gibson engages Stein’s interest in autobiography and repetition.

    The film explores feminism not only as a subject but also as a method. Both as a fictional thriller and testimony to collective representation, Deux Soeurs Qui Ne Sont Pas Soeurs suggests empathy and friendship as a means of action during increasingly turbulent times. The music in the film is composed by Laurence Crane to correspond to the repetitions, recurrences and dualities also found in Stein’s script. Deux Soeurs Qui Ne Sont Pas Soeurs was shot on 16mm by the artist’s friend and collaborator Ben Rivers.

    Beatrice Gibson (b. 1978, London) is a filmmaker and artist based in London.

    Work:

    Deux Sœurs Qui Ne Sont Pas Soeurs, 2019
    16mm cinemascope transferred to HD Video
    21 min 55 sek


    Location:

    Havremagasinet, Boden
    21.11~14.2

  • Den vita duvans lament [The White Dove’s Lament] combines light and electronic sounds with a recorded vocal cycle especially composed for the Vita Duvan prison in Luleå. The cycle is based on the imagined individual voices of the inmates, represented by loudspeakers placed in the various cells of the prison. Together they form a slowly evolving tapestry of voices, with each striving for unity, but hindered by the forced isolation of the prison architecture. White and red lights reminiscent of the shifts between day and night, ask how the sensory deprivation that isolation entails affects the human consciousness. With this work Maria W Horn imagines the experience of total isolation, the silence and uncertainty, the scarcity of space and the cycles of daylight as the only indication of the passage of time. Prisoner biographies and interrogation records testify to how inadequate nutrition, bad air quality and the total absence of stimulation forced the prisoners to develop strategies to stimulate the brain and avoid psychosis.

    Vita Duvan is Sweden’s only Panopticon, a style of prison architecture developed by the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century to impart a sense of invisible omnipresence. The polygonal structure of the space makes it possible for a minimum number of guards to monitor all inmates from a central site, without them having any way of knowing if they are being looked at or not. From the 18th century onwards, extensive reforms of the penal system in western Europe replaced the former practices of corporal punishment and public humiliation with new technologies for social control, like spatial isolation and surveillance. The interior of the cell prison was conceived as an efficient and silent machinery, where isolation would gradually bring about a profound change of character in the prisoner. Horn uses digital and analog syntheses as well as acoustic instruments to manipulate our perception of time and space through sonic extremes. Her work examines how the loss or overload of audio-visual stimuli can help transcendence into alternative mental states.

    Maria W Horn (b. 1989, Härnösand) is a composer based in Stockholm.

    As part of Woven Songs, in collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.

    Work:

    Den vita duvans lament, 2020
    Electroacoustic composition for eight voices, synthesis, light


    Location:

    Vita Duvan, Luleå
    21.11~14.2

  • Welwitschia Mirabilis is often referred to as “the toughest plant on earth” and usually grows in the Namib Desert where it can survive several years of extreme drought and for as long as 5000 years. In Thomas Hämén’s sculpture Still life 2020, the artist lets a plant of this species live inside an industrial machine that uses radiation, heat and moisture to accelerate the ageing of whatever is placed inside it. In many respects, this is a kind of time machine, that would quickly put an end to a human life. But the environment developed in the chamber, though accelerated, is nevertheless reminiscent of that of the Namib desert, and as such allows the plant to survive. While the artwork is installed at Välkommaskolan, the plant will travel 40 years into its own future. With the desertification that is the outcome of climate change, Welwitschian’s natural habitat is an example of what many landscapes will one day become. In the light of this, the work becomes both a still-life poem about the relative effects of time and an attempt to answer the burning question of whether life can thrive in a future world that we have already depleted.

    Thomas Hämén (b. 1987, Luleå) is an artist based in Luleå and London.

    Work:

    Still life 2020, 2020
    Artificial ageing chamber, Welwitschia Mirabilis


    Location:

    Välkommaskolan, Malmberget
    21.11~14.2

  • Havremagasinet
    Long Time Listener, First Time Caller, 2020
    Glas, stones, feathers, wood, video, room resonators and other materials

    With her new series of works, Susanna Jablonski has orchestrated a magical-realist situation in which we enter and hear, see and feel the world with fresh eyes. Reverberating in Susanna Jablonski’s installation is the history and legacy of Tyskmagasinen – former arms warehouses close to Luleå that were used by the German army throughout the Second World War, which stood as silent testimony to Sweden’s involvement in the War, and a physical contradiction to Sweden’s supposed neutrality. In 2016, on the anniversary of the so-called Midsummer Crisis, the buildings burned to the ground, and from the now desolate plot left behind after the fire, Jablonski has gathered shards of glass, charred wood and melted metal. What happens when a conflicted site of memorial goes up in smoke? Where does the narrative contained within these walls go? Jablonski’s installation invites us to see Havremagasinet – a konsthall in a former Swedish army grain storage building – and Tyskmagasinen as sibling structures that host both memory and histories, and that are implicated in a larger military and geopolitical complex. In her installation, Jablonski reactivates the history, the sounds and the traces of the war, while at the same time igniting new potential for these spaces.

    Central to the presentation are the two sculptural bodies Long Time Listener and First Time Caller. These two sculptures that resemble dust sheets or stage curtains somehow, despite their monumentality, blend into the rear of the gallery space. In the hollowed out backs of the sculptures, small shelves carry found objects from the scene of the fire where Tyskmagasinen once stood – relics that amalgamate the disclosed with the covert. The glass objects hanging from the ceiling of the exhibition space take their shapes from Marc Chagall’s (a recurring point of reference for Jablonski) painting Le Grand Cirque (1956). Chagall’s allegorical painting expresses the invasion of the wondrous into the rhythm of everyday life. Details from the painting – musical instruments and four-fingered hands – hover above us like a mirage of a place that used to be. The room, its materials and history are performed by a number of site-specific instruments, designed in collaboration with the musician William Rickman. This spatial composition resounds with what was and what will be, as if Havremagasinet was haunted by both Tyskmagasinen and itself.

    Inspired by the ribcage of a horse, the sculptural pair Shagal and Dov -one exposed, the other covered in feathers- are othered bodies reimagined through basket-weaving and textile. Together, they speak to a restructuring of the anatomy that holds bodies, and history, locked in place. Here, Marc Chagall returns via his Jewish birth name: Moishe Shagal. Similarly, Dov was one of Susanna’s grandfather’s Hebrew names, shedded once he arrived as a Holocaust survivor in Sweden. Shagal and Dov materialize an oscillation between personal memory, family history and greater historic narratives. Beside this pairing, three thin glass vessels carry and are shaped by coral fossils, playing a significant part in the installation through their embodiment of historic imprints of both physical bodies and their environment.

    Galleri Syster
    Flights, 2015~2020
    Ceramic, water, marble, oak wood, a wasp nest, paper clay and other materials

    Susanna Jablonski’s practice explores the limits of what it’s possible for different kinds of bodies to carry, or what they can become together. A marble slab balances against a pair of wafery feet made of paper clay, a wasp nest rests on a pillow of linen cloth, small objects in stone and ceramics levitate from the gallery walls; objects and materials that seem somehow monumental in their mundanity. The works on view at Galleri Syster address transformation and transience. They place us on a threshold where a tension has arisen between the elusive or unfathomable, and the most obviously perceptible.

    Luleå konsthall
    Susanna Jablonski & Cara Tolmie
    Listening Curtain, 2019
    Velvet, wool, nylon

    This large fabric acts as a soft, malleable architecture, able to create delineated listening spaces within different venues. Sewn onto the dark velvet are two interpretations of a pillar and the rib bones of one of the oldest bi-pedal females – “Dinkinesh”, known in the west as “Lucy” named after the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.

    Susanna Jablonski (b. 1985) is an artist based in Stockholm.

    Work:

    Long Time Listener, First Time Caller, 2020
    Glas, stones, feathers, wood, video, room resonators and other materials


    Location:

    Havremagasinet, Boden
    21.11~14.2

    Work:

    Flights, 2015~2020
    Ceramic, water, marble, oak wood, a wasp nest, paper clay and other materials


    Location:

    Galleri Syster, Luleå
    21.11~14.2

    Work:

    Listening Curtain, 2019
    Velvet, wool, nylon


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

  • “Even at dusk we can reason, because here we have already seen each other in the dark. We have lived through some dark times, but now we meet in Kiruna in Svappavaara in Malmberget. At dusk we stand together!”. On December 9, 1969, the great miners’ strike broke out in the ore fields in Norrbotten. It involved 4,800 workers at LKAB’s mines in Svappavaara, Kiruna and Malmberget. The dramatic strike lasted for 57 days and the reasons for it were many: cuts, poor working conditions and unfair wages, but also the attitude of the employer and the union towards the miners. The strike was a profound blow to the Social Democratic welfare state.

    For over 10 years, Ingela Johansson has worked with the history of the strike and its relationship to the radicalised cultural sphere of the post-68 years. In the three-channel video work Silver Tongue, the Great Miners’ Strike 1969–70, we bear witness to a montage of visual documentation from the strike found in the archives of Norrbotten’s Media and Kiruna municipality. The sound originates from Kenny Karlsson’s private archive, and mainly consists of his own tape recordings from the big meetings in Kiruna City Hall. Karlsson’s material is complemented with audio tapes from meetings in Malmberget, recorded by the local librarian Adolf Henriksson. The work places public speeches and collective experience at the centre, and shows how on the rostrum the speaker is always bigger than themselves, and becomes one with the sense of possibility that emanates from the crowd. The speech also emerges as its own art form in which practical struggle and lived experience are combined with poetry and dreams of a world beyond the prevailing one.

    Ingela Johansson (b. 1976, Kalmar) is an artist based in Stockholm.

    Work:

    Silver Tongue, the Great Miners’ Strike 1969–70, 2020
    Three-channel video


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

  • Positive-Negative (morphology), 2018/2020
    A hole in the ground and its soil contents

    Implements, 2018/2020
    Tools made out of ceramics with ash-based glaze, Bucket for ash with handles in ceramic, ash-based glaze

    Fire & Fallow, 2018/2020
    Ritual, Ceramic tiles with ash-based glaze

    Kapwani Kiwanga’s practice deals with complex issues around historical and ongoing colonial processes and their aftermath. A hole has been dug on the grounds of Välkommaskolan and its contents transferred into the building. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to carry the soil back to the hole, one bucket at a time. Through direct physical contact with the work, the act of giving and giving back is emphasised. Kiwanga’s intervention will leave behind another scar-like trace on the grounds as a testimony to what was extracted in Välkommaskolan’s final months. As a preliminary context for her installation, Kiwanga has invited a group of local cultural practitioners to meet around a fire in the school yard and exchange knowledge about decolonisation and property in relation to the extraction of natural resources.

    The gathering encourages active listening and stresses the crucial role of storytelling in the transfer of knowledge. Ash from the fire becomes part of the glaze that will cover the ceramic objects that visitors use to restore the soil to the hole. The conversations that were had around the fire will be symbolically present each time the objects are used.

    Nursery, 2015
    Wild celery (Angelica archangelica)
    Common rue (Ruta Graveolens)
    Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
    Sticklewort (Agrimonia eupatoria)
    Wood, oral stories

    Kapwani Kiwanga takes an interest in plants and the magical properties attributed to them, especially in resistance movements. Here, the artist presents a collection of plants that have played a crucial political, social, religious or economic role for individuals or entire communities at different points in history and in several different parts of the world. Kiwanga gives voice to the plants, and makes space for them in the dominant historical narrative.

    Kapwani Kiwanga (b. 1978, Hamilton) is an artist based in Paris.

    As part of Woven Songs, in collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.

    © Kapwani Kiwanga

    Work:

    Positive-Negative (morphology), 2018/2020
    A hole in the ground and its soil contents

    Implements, 2018/2020
    Tools made out of ceramics with ash-based glaze, Bucket for ash with handles in ceramic, ash-based glaze

    Fire & Fallow, 2018/2020
    Ritual, Ceramic tiles with ash-based glaze

    Nursery, 2015
    Wild celery (Angelica archangelica)
    Common rue (Ruta Graveolens)
    Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
    Sticklewort (Agrimonia eupatoria), wood, oral stories


    Location:

    Välkommaskolan, Malmberget
    21.11~14.2

  • “The foundation should be cast concrete 4 inches 4 beams well secured for maximum bearing capacity
    Ground anchor prevent tension”

    The sculpture is in white marble and depicts a sh bending backwards into an impossible position. A testament to a time when life required you to bend over backwards and jump through hoops. The text inscribed onto the fish describes how to make a foundation for a house – a metaphor for longing for stability and security.

    Birgitta Linhart (b. 1971, Lansjärv) is an artist based in Luleå.

    Work:

    Ground Anchor Prevent Stress, 2007
    White marble


    Location:

    Havremagasinet, Boden
    21.11~14.2

  • Stone, fields, soil, land and mountains have long been the materials Hanna Ljungh uses to explore the relationship between matter and people. Seismic Event is a poetic observation and an analogy of human and geological time. The transience of a human life stands in contrast to what we consider to be the near-eternal state of a mountain. The title alludes to the earthquakes caused by human intervention in the mountain during ore mining, to the unforeseen or spontaneous quakes that happen when the mountain is hollowed.

    In the work, Ljungh reads aloud reports on seismic events in Malmberget. These are brief descriptions of what took place and where, both above and below ground. Ljungh recites the reports one at a time, before, in collaboration with Mattias Hållsten, she transposes the pitch to create an acoustic image consisting of slow vibrations and rumble. While she reads, the seismic events are filtered through her own body to once again take the shape of the earthquakes they describe.

    These seismic events have their own poetics and a singular shimmer. They are a conglomerate of the practical vagueness of everyday life and accurately measured numbers. These numbers denote changes in the mountain’s matter, which has laid untouched for perhaps a billion years, now recorded in our present calendars as an incident a Tuesday in January just before three. In the sound piece the artists move between addresses and places in Malmberget, of which some still exists and others are history. In this movement a circular reasoning takes place, about holes, time, shakings and voids; about the phantom pains of the mountain and the materiality of vacuity.

    Thanks to Masha Taavoniku and Johan Airijoki for their participation.

    Hanna Ljungh (b. 1974, Washington DC) is an artist based in Stockholm.
    Mattias Hållsten (b. 1997) is a sound artist based in Stockholm.

    As part of Woven Songs, in collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.

    Work:

    Seismic Event, 2017 (Revised 2020)
    Multi-channel sound installation and performance


    Location:

    Välkommaskolan, Malmberget
    21.11~14.2

  • In Fathia Mohidin’s work, the familiar attributes of the gym – glossy pilates balls, the rubber-scent of a floor mat – set the stage for a consideration of how bodies move together, whether training or dancing; from your everyday workout to Detroit’s techno culture and the post-industrial spaces from which it emerged. During the Luleå Biennial, Mohidin, who works across a number of different media, will present the work WAVE, a six-channel sound installation accompanied by the video work KIN. As exercise and other bodily movements take place, an ambiguous tension between control and freedom begs the question why and for whose sake certain bodies are expected to be strong.

    Mohidin examines how the past is written, and by unconventional means makes her own intervention into that writing process: first, by listening – that unique and underestimated sensory ability – and then by using myth to challenge inherited notions of what is real and realistic. If Detroit has become a mythological place in the history of techno, how might we also employ myth and its a fusion of historiography and vision as a tool to create an alternative narrative about ourselves?

    Like the party spaces of Detroit, Havremagasinet is a former site of labour. What is the difference between the strength and the work performed in WAVE and that exerted by horses and humans in the same rooms 100 years ago? Here, both work and strength are open concepts that take on a new meaning depending on the narrative they take part in, and in Mohidin they are united in movement – rhythmic repetition offering a way for people to transcend to an at once magical and mechanical state.

    The sound piece is made together with Adele Kosman.

    Fathia Mohidin (b. 1985) is an artist who lives and works in Stockholm.
    Adele Kosman (f. 1993) is a composer who lives and works in Stockholm.

    Work:

    WAVE, 2020
    6-channel sound, diamond plate rubber mat, rubber scent, pilates balls

    KIN, 2020
    HD Video


    Location:

    Havremagasinet, Boden
    21.11~14.2

  • Silver Museum
    Untitled (Leaf Slice), 2014
    Untitled (Leaf Stamp), 2014
    Untitled (Loop Stamp), 2014
    Untitled (Loop Stamp), 2014
    Plaster

    Santiago Mostyn is interested in the grey area between personal memories and historical narratives; in how one can suddenly turn into the other. Mostyn’s at once ethereal and compact plaster sculptures question the use-value of a given object, and what happens when you enlarge a tool sized for the hand to being relative to the size of a body. Very little of the knowledge lodged in our hands is theorised, and this is perhaps especially so for the hands of an artisan. Mostyn’s objects are enlargements of batik stamps originally made of wood. Mostyn got the stamps from his mother, who worked teaching textiles in the newly independent Zimbabwe of the 1980s. What is the cultural effect of the shift from the originals to these enlarged relics? The sculptures suddenly appear as remnants – like the marble sculptures of antiquity – but from some parallel history.

    Havremagasinet
    The Promise, 2013
    Video loop

    In Mostyn’s video loop The Promise, something very small – a vertebrae of an Alligator Gar – is enlarged and examined through a 3D rendition. This fish is known as a ”living fossil” because it has existed continuously for 100 million years. Integrated into the installation, the bone hovers and turns, and the video provides a sense of the vertebrae gazing back at us from the point of view of history or the extra-human. The Promise represents something both sculptural and monumental, alluding to shapes and aesthetics that guide and support us, both literally and historically.

    Santiago Mostyn (b. 1981, San Francisco) is an artist based in Stockholm.

    Work:

    Untitled (Leaf Slice), 2014
    Untitled (Leaf Stamp), 2014
    Untitled (Loop Stamp), 2014
    Untitled (Loop Stamp), 2014
    Plaster


    Location:

    The Silver Museum
    21.11~14.2

    Work:

    The Promise, 2013
    Video loop


    Location:

    Havremagasinet, Boden
    21.11~14.2

  • Sometimes It Was Beautiful narrates the meeting between improbable friends gathered to watch In the Footsteps of the Witch Doctor, one of the six films by the Swedish cinematographer Sven Nykvist that he made in or about Congo between 1948 and 1952. Common to these unlikely friends is their past visit to Stockholm’s Museum of Ethnography, where an archive of Sven Nykvist’s parents is kept, documenting their life in Congo as Swedish missionaries. The strange friends include politician Yasser Arafat, postcolonial theorist Leela Gandhi, human rights activist Rigoberta Menchú, politician Robert Mugabe, playwright Wole Soyinka, and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Also the film director Andrei Tarkovsky shows up, the politician Winnie Mandela has something on her mind, while the 14th Dalai Lama is rumoured to be near.

    Christian Nyampeta (b. 1981, Kigali) is an artist and organiser currently based in New York.

    Work:

    Sometimes It Was Beautiful, 2018
    HD Video


    Location:

    The Silver Museum
    21.11~14.2

  • Ingrid Elsa Maria Ogenstedt’s sculpture series Lichen is represented with two works at Luleå University of Technology, and one in the Storforsen nature reserve. By assembling the sculptures from different materials, the artist intends to make a connection between the works and where they are located, like opening multiple paths into a narrative.

    The sculptures are mainly made out of birch bark. Slit lengthwise along the fibres, the bark becomes strong and durable. For this reason, it has been used for a number of purposes in northern Sweden throughout history. A symbol of regeneration, birch is also thought to have magical and healing powers. By way of the site and material, Lichen invites us to think about our relationship to the earth. The sculptures are neither trees nor beings, but structures that move with, towards and away from each other. The work speaks to strength, growth, taking up space, as well as to history and new beginnings.

    Ingrid Elsa Maria Ogenstedt (b. 1982, Nacka) is an artist based in Berlin.

    As part of Woven Songs, in collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.

    Work:

    Lichen, 2020
    Aluminum, plywood, bark


    Location:

    LTU Luleå Campus
    21.11~14.2

    Work:

    Lichen, 2020
    Aluminum, plywood, bark


    Location:

    Storforsen
    21.11~14.2

  • Imagine a dimly lit conference room, sparsely furnished. A group of men have gathered around a table for a never-ending meeting. They argue and pass on important messages to this or that higher-ranking official, but never manage to make any decisions. Disturbed Earth is a theatrical performance commissioned especially for the biennial that takes the 1995 Srebrenica genocide as its starting point for a biting reflection on bureaucracy’s failure to act when faced with a crisis.

    “Disturbed Earth” is a term employed by the analysts of the US Security Council to describe the mass graves visible on aerial photographs of the landscape around Srebrenica. The genocide could have been prevented. International forces were informed, yet did not intervene, paralysed as they were by the unending back and forth of bureaucratic protocol. Consequently, refugees seeking protection in the UN’s camps were handed over to certain death at the hands of their perpetrators. Disturbed Earth addresses the frightening contradiction that the UN, set up to secure peace through the rule of law, failed to serve justice because the law’s slow decision-making process prevented timely intervention.

    The work consists of a film and spatial alterations in the gallery space developed in collaboration with architect-designers Aslihan Demirtaş and Ali Cindoruk (KHORA). Drawings on floors and walls of Luleå konsthall are abstract representations of the interior spaces of each cinematic scene. They signify the sharp and decisive detachment of the bureaucratic space from the realities of the field where atrocities unfold and crime scene conditions set in. The lines are dispersed into the whole installation space much like how these self-isolating bureaucratic spaces are globally distributed.

    Didem Pekün (b. 1978, Istanbul) is a filmmaker and academic based in Berlin and Istanbul.

    Credits

    A film by Didem Pekün
    Co - Producers ⎜ Çiğdem Mater & Maria Thalia Carras & Mustafa Dok
    Associate Producer ⎜Paris Helene Furst
    Line producer ⎜ Dilara Çatak
    Cast ⎜Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey - Herold Vomeer - Jörg Witte - Michael Davies - Mehmet Yılmaz - Philipp Leinenbach
    Scriptwriters ⎜ Barış Uygur & Deniz Arslan with Paris Helene Furst
    Cinematographer ⎜ Petros Nousias
    Editor ⎜ Eytan İpeker
    Sound recordist and sound mixer ⎜Melih Sarıgöl
    Gaffer ⎜ Karam Ghossein
    Grip ⎜ Sven Brinkmann

    Music
    Again (after ecclesiastes)
    Text by David Lang (after Ecclesiastes)
    small chorus SATBsssfor non commercial purposes and will ask the kind permission of David Lang

    Camera assistant ⎜ Canan Kadana
    Production assistant ⎜ Fritz Laszlo Weber & Leticia Quiros Gontalez
    Make-up artist ⎜Joaqim Bezerra
    Intern ⎜Birim Zirek
    Catering ⎜Al Nafetha
    Spatial design consultant ⎜ KHORA (Aslıhan Demirtaş & Ali Cindoruk)
    Special thanks ⎜ Thomas Arslan - Thomas Scheffer - Jan Verwoert - Nick Aikens - Emily Fahlen & Asrin Haidari

    This project could not have been realized without research Didem Pekün conducted in the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives at Central European University, Budapest, where Pekün conducted research on David Rohde’s archival collection leading to his book “Endgame: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica: Europe's Worst Massacre Since World War II”.

    Thanks to
    ZK/U
    SAHA
    ffai
    Graduertenschule, UdK

    Work:

    Disturbed Earth, Work in Progress 2020
    HD Video and spatial drawings


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

  • Charlotte Posenenske was a German conceptual artist and, later on, a sociologist. She began her artistic career after the end of World War II and first devoted herself to painting but from the early 1960s on, turned more and more towards a conceptual approach. During her short but highly productive career, she designed several series in different materials and shapes that were all intended to be reproduced indefinitely. Her work is characterised by its radically open and untethered nature. The D-series, which is shown in various iterations at Luleå konsthall and Havremagasinet, was first created in 1967 and would become her last. It consists of six so-called square pipes, whose basic shape is based on industrial principles like geometry, standardisation and mass production.

    Posenenske’s intention was that the parts could be assembled in any number of ways. Each work, then, can be adapted to any given room or situation, and as such poses a challenge to notions of copyright and individual artistry. The composite elements become objects rather than sculptures. Posenenske imagined that a curator, custodian or even observer would join the parts and change an installation based on their own criteria. In that way the artist surrenders some of their authority to others. By selling her works unsigned, in an infinite edition and at cost price, she infiltrated and hijacked the capitalist mechanics of the art market. She wanted for art to be a social and communal act, accessible to a wide audience, rather than something created by individuals for individuals. Posenenske developed a kind of mass-producible minimalism which, through its embrace of simple geometric shapes, repetition and industrial production, rejected established formal and cultural hierarchies.

    Coming from a deep engagement with the pressing socio-economic questions of the 1960s, after the political events of 1968 she proclaimed the inability of art to influence important social problems, and consequently abandoned her artistic career altogether. Instead, she turned to sociology, specialising in labour law and industrial work processes. Working in close connection with the trade unions, she remained active in this field until her death in 1985.

    Charlotte Posenenske (1930, Wiesbaden–1985, Frankfurt).

    Work:

    Serie D, 1967
    Sheet steel


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

    Work:

    Serie D, 1967
    Steet steel


    Location:

    Havremagasinet, Boden
    21.11–14.2

  • In Sofia Restorp’s image world we meet a parallel reality where time is non-linear and the colours expressionistic. Restorp makes everyday objects into vessels for fanciful ideas, emotions and personalities. Her new series of drawings is characterised by a narrow, almost claustrophobic perspective that frames a set of heavily symbolic events. A lamp in trafic light yellow turns into a burning light that freezes time. In another picture, we follow a carrot’s fight against the seat belt that has benevolently pressed it against a cutting board. Restorp plays with scale to give the objects a new character and change their mutual relations. The images function as poetic analyses of society, as well as portraits of Restorp’s inner world, where the absurdities of contemporary life are treated with a sensitivity that sometimes borders on rage.

    The works made with coloured pencils on paper are haunted by emotional ambivalence and a sense of impatiently waiting for an uncertain future. They portray an state the artist has shared with many people, locally and globally, this year. The drawings were created during the artist’s temporary move from London to Gällivare in the summer of 2020. As such, they illustrate a meeting between a cosmopolitan metropolis brought to an unprecedented halt, and a society stuck in limbo, where the new is gradually replacing the old in a rarely literal way.

    Sofia Restorp (b. 1986, Nora) is an artist based in London.

    Work:

    Down the Hallway, 2020
    Buckled Up, 2020
    Shelter, 2020
    Settled Stare, 2020
    Coloured pencil on paper


    Location:

    Välkommaskolan, Malmberget
    21.11~14.2

  • A large larva crawls out of a loaf of bread crawling with greenish mould. A tear falls from the eye of the larva’s somewhat human face. It has a pen in its hand for writing or drawing. But who is this larva? Where is it going? And why do we feel both disgust and sympathy at the scene that is unfolding? Iris Smeds uses performance and sculpture to examine questions about value and labour. In her new work Real-life larva she looks at the function and conditions of art-making. In the destiny of the creature, we see both the artist and the product, the producer and the consumer.

    The larva and the bread become actors in a metaphor that extends from the money-jobs we do to “bring home the bacon” (or the bread) to consider the role of bread as a status marker in contemporary cultural systems. When bread seems to stand for both image and material reality, a hierarchy emerges where the world is determined by its representation. In this game, the realisation of the dough’s potential is a sensitive process where the fragile yeast is threatened by the aggressive fungus of the mould, and where the caterpillar always risks burning either itself or the bread during baking. Criticism and play come together in the disloyal caterpillar’s simultaneous ability to lie and dream; despite its vulnerability, it exercises a subversive power by cunningly controlling the images of the world.

    0–9 Bye (A bug’s life), also on view at Luleå konsthall, consists of a sculpted mantle in pink satin with the numbers 0-9 listed on it. To calculate life by numbers is a kind of double action: You can count down to the endpoint of death, or you can try keep death at bay, and control time by counting it. In this way, life is engulfed in a nite system. The numbers can be anything (even an allegory for life and death) but they also always continue to be simply numbers. 0-9 and then you die. Smeds remembers the disappointment she felt as a child when she realised that there were no more numbers. The mantle is similar to the butter fly who after it emerges from the cocoon has reached the last stage of its life.

    Iris Smeds (b. 1984, Härnösand) is an artist based in Stockholm.

    Work:

    Real-life larva, 2020
    Textile, styrofoam, silicon, nylon sock, cardboard

    0–9 Bye (a bugs life), 2018~2019
    Foam rubber, satin, acrylic, rope


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

  • Augusta Strömberg was born into a poor family of smallholder farmers in Skuttunge outside Uppsala in 1866. In 1896, she moved to New York to establish herself as an artist, but was instead met with adversity. She was soon diagnosed with schizophrenia, which, according to the doctors, was founded in her disappointed hopes, and the dreams never fulfilled. Upon her return to Sweden in 1900, she would spend her remaining 54 years at the Ulleråker and Beckomberga mental hospitals.

    Despite this, she continued to paint throughout her life. Her artistic legacy is preserved by the Museum of Medical History in Uppsala. Strömberg’s peculiar image world often includes prophetic motifs with the artist herself in the role of protagonist – in turn, as female Messiah, saint or judge – with attributes from both the natural and the supernatural world.

    In a style reminiscent of Russian Orthodox icon painting – sequential events depicted in parallel and on the same image – she portrays her everyday life at the hospital and the world that goes on outside; from agriculture to urban environments, housework to photographic processes. Strömberg gives clear contours to figures and objects, while placing them within a holistic context where the modern world meets traditional folk motifs. In her self-portrait as an artist, she appears in turn-of-the-century costume holding a completely new invention: an airbrush from the USA. She used this tool to create scenes where New York’s skyscrapers pose next to the Skuttunge church tower, and priests next to farmhands, merged into the same reality on a single picture plane. This is the first time Strömberg’s collected works have been shown in a larger art context.

    Augusta Strömberg (1866, Skuttunge–1954, Beckomberga).

    Thanks to the Museum of Medical History in Uppsala and the filmmaker Staffan Lamm who introduced Strömberg's work and life to us.

    Work:

    Thirteen paintings made at Ulleråker hospital 1900~1932
    Mixed media


    Location:

    Galleri Syster, Luleå
    21.11~14.2

  • The book Modern Magic was published in 1876 by a man named Professor Hoffman who was also a practising illusionist. The book is a dissertation, which sets out to rationalise “magical thinking” and finally disprove its existence. Hoffman’s book was concurrent with a growing faith in science and the general rationalisation and modernisation of the world. It should be possible to explain everything. In that context, the role of the illusionist is to artificially awaken a deeply human desire, that is, to not understand; to believe in the impossible while knowing that it is just a trick – an illusion. Modern magic, then, is like a kind of phantom pain, a substitute, an emptiness and a beautiful deception in a world that is disenchanted, yet still cannot be understood.

    Arne Stenman was an illusionist. No one remembers him anymore – only small fragments of his life remain. Between 1952 and 1963 he ran Nordisk Trolleri-Apparat Fabriken [the Nordic factory of wizardry appliances] in Nelkerim from deep inside the forest. He sold magic tricks via mail order and manufactured illusionistic devices. His house and factory were demolished when Vattenfall bought the land in 1964, and it was thought that the damming of the Lule River would flood the plot. It never did, and in a barn next to the foundation of the demolished house, still contains descriptions of his tricks and various props, slowly disintegrating, soon to be reclaimed by nature.

    Arne Stenman was an illusionist who did not want to be seen, but walked the earth unnoticed. This was his greatest magic trick: to go up in smoke. The Latin word textus means both “text” and “textile”. Arne Stenman’s magic cape, fabrics and draperies become the text of his life. The textiles tell a wordless story, tangible, yet at the same time obscure, impossible to access.

    Isak Sundström (b. 1983, Gotland) is an artist and musician based in Stockholm.

    As part of Woven Songs, in collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.

    Work:

    In Memory of an Illusionist, 2020
    Textile, wood, poster


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

  • Norrbotten’s museum presents: Svärta: Swedish photographers in heavy industry 1968~74. In the same country, at the same time, the three gazes of Yngve Baum, Jean Hermanson and Odd Uhrbom, were directed at the same social reality, that of work in mines, shipyards and heavy engineering industry. Their observation, which seems to obey the rules of classical theatre, records a moment that combines in a rich dialogue the history of societies and that of photography. It is essentially in black and white that the sixties and seventies wrote a stage of what was not yet called documentary photography, but which transcended the conventions of photo journalism in order to deal with “background subjects”.

    Without working in concert, these investigative photographers, who bear witness as much as they implicitly denounce, have all achieved portraits, close-up studies, of these workers they came to see, by whom they were accepted, whose arduous daily toil they displayed. In doing so they gave the faces an individuality, and granted a unique identity to each of these workers who, quite often, were only considered as a group, as a “workforce”. Half a century later, these faces, these gazes, continue to question us.

    Besides the collection of photographs, the exhibition also includes archive material and correspondence related to the great miners’ strike in 1969 that started in Leveäniemi mine in the village of Svappavaara. The strike spread like wild fire. On the Friday, 4,800 miners were on strike – in Svappavaara, Kiruna and Malmberget. Support was almost total. And it all took place outside the trade union. It was a wildcat strike, a rarity in Sweden where consensus on the labour market was the rule. And it would last for three months. The book Mine by Odd Uhrbom and Sara Lidman helped to instill courage in the striking miners. (Today the book is even considered to have been a triggering factor.) Telegrams with congratulations pouring in from virtually the whole world also helped.

    Yngve Baum (1945~2016), Jean Hermanson (1938~2012) and Odd Uhrbom (f. 1941).

    In collaboration with Norrbotten’s museum.

    The exhibition is produced by Landskrona Foto with curator Christian Caujolle. It was previously on view at Arbetets museum i Norrköping and Norrbottens museum in Luleå.

    Photo: Yngve Baum

    Work:

    Svärta: Swedish photographers in heavy industry 1968~74


    Location:

    Välkommaskolan, Malmberget
    21.11~14.2

  • Norrbottens museum
    Big Science, Small Country, 2020
    8mm film, stereo sound.
    Steel, concrete, granite, quartz, slate, till, polyester, pigment, stuffed snowy owl

    Erik Thörnqvist works with various fictional, historical, collective and personal references to explore affective states, labour and how bodies define space. His work is time based as well as spatial – a fictional and experience-based universe that only emerges gradually. Through an encyclopaedic yet quasi-scientific approach, Thörnqvist’s installations explore concepts such as authenticity and objectivity. For the biennial, he has produced the new works, Cartesian Crawler, on view at Luleå konsthall, and Big Science, Small Country at Norbotten’s Museum. Further works are part of the display at the Silver Museum in Arjeplog. In the installation Big Science, Small Country, Thörnqvist revisits the evacuation route his grandfather helped construct as part of the Esrange Space Center in the 1960s. North of Övre Soppero, o the E45 motorway, this gravel road extends even further into remoteness towards “Crash-zone B”, the area where possible space debris was intended to crash, disregarding the Sami villages located there for the winter.

    Through his grandfather’s gaze, Thörnqvist portrays an infrastructural project implicated both in the arms race of the Cold War, and in the wider project of earthly as well as planetary expansion. The work asks questions about the existential consequences that follow in the wake of technological progress.

    Sound: Robin Rådenman
    8mm film: Karl-Erik Thörnqvist

    The work is produced in collaboration with the Resource Centre for Art and Swedish Lapland AiR.

    Luleå konsthall
    Cartesian Crawler, 2020
    Stainless steel, galvanized steel, natural plaster, polyester

    This cartesian crawler is a fabulous creature, a phantom that originates from and is generated in Crash-zone B. It can move freely over the horizontal x and the vertical y-axis; it is an agent of the in-between. The sculpture copies the dimensions of the shelters that line the road in Crash-zone B (that is discussed in Thörnqvist’s installation at Norrbotten’s museum). Cartesian Crawler’s presence stirs a number of complex and political issues related to place, cultural heritage, colonialism and acceleration. The freewheeling exponential growth of our time, whereby we live in constant oscillation between utopia and dystopia, resemble classical and religious notions of history as steering towards inevitable catastrophe and extinction. Perhaps the crawling and clambering will pave the way for a different reality altogether.

    Silver Museum
    What is the sun called?, 2020
    Print on MDF

    Have you seen the sun?, 2020
    Print on MDF

    Aesculapian snake, 2019
    Polyester, jesmonite, plaster, concrete,
    steel, acrylic, lacquer

    Froben’s hand, 2019
    Plaster, pigment

    Sun, 2019
    Corn starch, acrylic

    Sampo
    , 2019
    Steel, jesmonite, plaster, acrylic, bronze powder, laser engraved birch veneer

    What makes us want to look beyond the stratosphere, dig deeper into the earth, program technology that are outside of our own comprehension, or even allow us to turn our backs on reality? The installation Sampo is based on the metallurgical catalogue De re metallica written by Georgius Agricolae and published in 1556. The book is one of the earliest accounts of the various stages of mining and remained the most authoritative text on the subject for almost 180 years after its publication. An image of an 18th century coin in the shape of a cogwheel found in Luleå, as well as the aesculapian snake, that appears on the title page of De re metallica are also included in Thörnqvist’s sculpture to invoke the intimate relations between nature, technology, mysticism and science.

    Erik Thörnqvist (b. 1994, Umeå) is an artist based in Stockholm and Luleå.

    Work:

    Cartesian Crawler, 2020
    Stainless steel, galvanized steel, natural plaster, mink fur, polyester


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

    Work:

    Big Science, Small Country, 2020
    8mm film, stereo sound.
    Steel, concrete, granite, quartz, slate, till, polyester, pigment, stuffed snowy owl

    Sound: Robin Rådenman
    8mm film: Karl-Erik Thörnqvist


    Location:

    Norrbottens Museum, Luleå
    21.11~14.2

    Work:

    What is the sun called?, 2020
    Print on MDF

    Have you seen the sun?, 2020
    Print on MDF

    Aesculapian snake, 2019
    Polyester, jesmonite, plaster, concrete,
    steel, acrylic, lacquer

    Froben’s hand, 2019
    Plaster, pigment

    Sun, 2019
    Corn starch, acrylic

    Sampo, 2019
    Steel, jesmonite, plaster, acrylic, bronze powder, laser engraved birch veneer


    Location:

    The Silver Museum
    21.11~14.2

  • Listening Curtain, 2019
    Velvet, wool, nylon

    This large fabric acts as a soft, malleable architecture, able to create delineated listening spaces within different venues. Sewn onto the dark velvet are two interpretations of a pillar and the rib bones of one of the oldest bi-pedal females – “Dinkinesh”, known in the west as “Lucy” named after the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. In collaboration with Susanna Jablonski.

    Crooning Inwardly, Gyrating Discreetly, 2020
    Soundwork
    9 min

    This sound work weaves together several recordings of a vocal practice developed by the artist called Internal Singing. This practice explores sounding on both the inhale and exhale as well as a self-soothing touch strategy that Cara developed in reaction to symptoms triggered by post-concussion syndrome. It is a multi-sensory listening exercise characterised by circular vocal sound, slight movement and touch that attempts to displace vocality through and towards parts of the body extraneous to the mouth.

    The Internal Singing unfolds as follows: “I concentrate on my breathing and quieten my body. I focus my attention on my skin as a tender transmitter between the inside of my body and its touchable outside surface. I sense two points where my body is asking to be touched. I slowly raise my hands and allow them to be pulled towards these two points on my body. I concentrate once more on my breath and very slowly allow sound to emerge both from the inhale and the exhale. I imagine these sounds to be pulled out of, around and between the two points I hold on my body. I do not imagine these sounds in advance but try to allow them to emerge of their own volition. I then play these sounds through my body, manipulating and exploring them through small repeated movements and increased/decreased pressure around the touch points. In this way I can send the vocal sounds inside of my body to the points that are being pressurised by my touch. I can also send the sounds through my skin to my fingertips. Within this I find new vocal sounds by imagining my voice moving between and through the two points, soaking through the material of my flesh, organs, nerves and blood.”

    Cara Tolmie (b. 1984, Glasgow) is an artist based in Stockholm. Together with Susanna Jablonski she run the research project Gender of Sound.

    Work:

    Listening Curtain, 2019
    Velvet, wool, nylon


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

    Work:

    Crooning Inwardly, Gyrating Discreetly, 2020
    Soundwork
    9 min


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11–14.2

  • Tommy Tommie’s as yet unpublished photographic series Can Sweden do without Norrbotten? depicts the Norrbotten of the 1970s and 80s. With this project, Tommy aimed to make a comprehensive portrait of Norrbotten as a society, with motifs ranging from fishing, midnight sun, and “spring winter”, to industrial sites, protest movements, the struggle for work and against relocations to the south. The series also represents cultural life, theatres and popular education programmes. The photographs are poetically composed encounters between people, barren landscapes, industries, crowds and slogans. They are a product of the photographer’s social engagement, and his newfound awareness of Norrbotten’s uniqueness and centrality. The project was just about to go to print before life interfered and stopped the publication. Now, more than 40 years later, the Luleå Biennial is proud to present parts of this epic work in exhibitions at the Luleå konsthall and at Havremagasinet in Boden.

    Tommy Tommie is one of Sweden’s foremost photographers. He moved from Stockholm to Norrbotten in the early 1970s to work as a teacher of photography at Kalix folkhögskola. Prior to that, he had worked with the group Bildaktivisterna [The picture activists] in Stockholm. The group was founded on the dictum of putting solidarity and human value before profit, and to counter bourgeois indoctrination by disseminating alternative information to the public.

    As a direct continuation of this initiative, Tommy Tommie started Norrbottens bildgrupp [The Norrbotten Picture Group]: a collective of photographers. potters, painters, art students, drawing teachers, preschool teachers, and journalists made exhibitions in all sorts of spaces and used all sorts of techniques. The ideas of Bildaktivisterna echoed further in activist engagements with new media in Norrbotten. Tommy Tommie was also involved in the organising the magazine Norrlandsbulletinen, which started its activities in 1971. The magazine encouraged people to document their surroundings through pictures and text. Topics tended to include the struggle for work in the area, maintaining services, protesting forced relocations, and the right to dignified working conditions.

    Tommy Tommie (b. 1941, Stockholm) is a photographer based in Töre, Norrbotten.

    Work:

    Can Sweden do without Norrbotten?, 1970~80
    Digital fine art print


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

    Work:

    Valborg in Månsbyn, 1975
    Digital fine art print


    Location:

    Havremagasinet, Boden
    21.11~14.2

  • In 1963, the prolific jazz pianist Mal Waldron suffered from a near-fatal breakdown that catastrophically wiped his memory and ability to play piano. He slowly regained his skills by listening to his own records, and studying his own oeuvre. The world was recreated through his own creations; what had so suddenly become history quietly regained its place in the present, though of course it too had changed.

    The Windows Became A Glass Drum fuses the narratives of Waldron, the artist, and two pianists, each at different stages of remembering and forgetting All Alone, the title track of Waldron’s post-recovery record. Here, Valenza creates a composition dedicated to the labour of remembering, to learning and re-learning. Can we find a productive place in the borderlands between the two? Can the rift be considered an opening?

    The work consists of a two-channel video installation and sculptures in the shape of doorways or windows. They obscure the films, constantly cropping our view as we move around the room. In that way they pose a contrast to the intimacy of the film where two women are playing piano alone in their homes. As witnesses to these scenes, we become aware of our position, and how it determines our horizon.

    Featuring Felicia Neilsen and Sue Tenander.

    Danae Valenza (b. 1985, Adelaide) is an artist based in Stockholm.

    Work:

    The Windows Became A Glass Drum, 2020
    Steel, plexiglass, HD Video


    Location:

    Havremagasinet, Boden
    21.11~14.2

  • ˇ

    The vast open spaces between residential blocks and experimental concrete structures set the stage for a reflection on the city of Brasília in Ana Vaz’s video work Sacris Pulso. Accompanied by quotes from Clarice Lispector’s books, Brazil’s masterminded capital emerges as a ghost from the utopia of architectural modernism, and using the fragmented layerings of the collage, Vaz develops anachronism as a principle.

    The film revolves around the paradoxes of temporality. It depicts a world where the narrative of progress has lost credibility and where a chord struck on a bass instrument can cause cars, trams and waterfalls to change directions, and instead be sucked into a backwards vortex. Vehicles and waterways of all kinds stand in for the machines and systems that once represented faith in the future, but which, in their accelerated contemporary state, only seem to transport us further away from the world.

    Ana Vaz was born in Brasília, and in Sacris Pulso, she links her personal past to Brazil’s modern history in her use of footage from the film Brasiliàrios (1985), in which Cláudia Vaz – the artist’s mother – plays the role of Clarice Lispector. The city of Brasília is presented here not only as an enormous urban planning project, but also as an eerie memory of an erstwhile dream of the future that contains both desire and horror, and where a bloodline connects the science fiction of previous generations with the systems that underpin our reality today.

    Thanks to Light Cone, Paris.

    Ana Vaz (b. 1986, Brasília) is an artist and filmmaker based in Paris.

    Work:

    Sacris Pulso, 2008
    16mm & Super 8mm transferred to HD video


    Location:

    Galleri Syster, Luleå
    21.11~14.2

  • In According to Law from 1957 Peter Weiss gives a penetrating documentation of claustrophobia, alienation and absence of sexual life in a youth prison in the 1950s, in Uppsala, a small town in Sweden. From unexpected angles he is catching the naked external and gloomy interior. These sequences visualise in a suggestive way the structure of power in prisons. The text in the beginning of the film says: “This film has been censored by the state. We who made the film, have been prevented in our freedom of speech, you, who see the film were supposed to suffer from certain details in reality”.

    Peter Weiss (1916 Potsdam–1982 Stockholm) was an artist, author and experimental filmmaker.

    Hans Nordenström (1927~2004, Stockholm) was an artist and architect.

    Thanks to Filmform.

    Work:

    According to Law, 1957
    HD Video


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

  • Constantin Brancusi, born 1876 in Hobita, Romania, died 1957 in Paris, was a pioneer of modernist sculpture. “What does he have to do with me?” asks Mats Wikström. “Brancusi is a big player, I’m not. In 2018, one of his bronzes sold for just over 70 million dollars, I might have sold something for 7,000 kronor, not including VAT. We probably do not have much in common. Still, one of his works, Endless Column, has been on my mind since I saw it on the cover of an art magazine in the late 90’s.”

    The zigzag-shaped shaft of a spoon accidentally broke o during an intense moment of carving, and was since mounted onto a plate. This became the beginning of the work now shown in the Luleå Biennial. “Insignificant yet somehow grand in its smallness”, the shaft was reminiscent of Brancusi’s Endless Column, which repeats a form in a similar way, and the small sculpture became the first in a series of Brancusi-esque works. The accompanying relief shows a scene where an enlarged version of the sculpture is viewed by the local art critic Bertil Sundstedt. It all takes place at Luleå konsthall, where we are now looking at Sundstedt looking. The scene depicted in the work might just come true, since Wikström will have a major exhibition at the Gallery in November 2021, one year after the opening of the biennial.

    Mats Wikström (b. 1954, Stockholm) is an artist based in Råneå.

    Work:

    Group with Brancusi-like sculptures and relief, 2018
    Wood


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

  • Måns Wrange’s film Enemy of the people – A eldwork takes place in real time. That is to say, it is produced continuously throughout the period of the exhibition, from trailer at the opening to finished work on the biennial’s final weekend. The film is part of a project called The Scandal Syndrome that Wrange has been running together with the literary scholar Maria Karlsson for the past twelve years. The project explores art scandals or controversies as a symptom of the growing political and value-based polarisation in society that has become particularly prominent in the public discourse around art and culture over the past decade. Enemy of the people draws on classical anthropological fieldwork as well as the dramaturgy of reality TV and soap operas.

    The Rashomon Project, an earlier work from The Scandal Syndrome, is also screening as part of the biennial. Here, Wrange investigates the story of The Banned Image, a work by the art collective Vector, which should have been shown at the end of the 2017 Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, but mysteriously disappeared just before its premier. By way of advanced AI-based text analysis software, the film traces the development of rumors and speculations that circulated on social media about what The Banned Image would have been about, and whether it was stolen, vandalised or censored.

    The sculpture Monument shows a version of the classic Swedish coffee set Blå Blom [Blue Flower], but with six pipes on the coffee pot instead of one. Coffee flows through the pot into the cups and further down into a pool, where a pump directs it back into the pot in an endless cycle. The work is part of Wrange’s series The Aesthetics and Politics of Goodness (1991~99). It takes as its starting point the Swedish welfare state of the 1930s, which relied on the home both as a metaphor for “the good society” and for the implementation of some of its most fundamental social reforms, which would rationalise everyday life and educate people to become good citizens” – not only through politics but also aesthetics.

    Måns Wrange (b. 1961, Åhus) is an artist based in Stockholm and Oslo.

    Work:

    Enemy of the people – A eldwork, 2020~21
    HD Video


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

    Work:

    The Rashomon Project, 2017
    HD Video


    Work:

    Monument, 1993
    Coffee, porcelain, wood, plastic, motorised pump


    Location:

    Luleå konsthall
    21.11~14.2

  • The performative installation Bikt by Markus Öhrn revolves around older generations of Tornedal women and their testimonies. During the summer of 2020, the poet David Väyrynen conducted in-depth interviews with nine women born between 1940 and 1950 about their experiences of growing up in Tornedalen and how it has shaped them as women and human beings. The transcribed conversations have been worked into a script that is performed by nine older men from Tornedalen, set to specially commissioned organ music played live by the composer Arno Waschk. Bikt will be staged in various churches around Norrbotten for the run of the biennial. The performance lasts for around four hours of winter darkness, during which the audience can come and go as they please.

    Markus Öhrn (b. 1972, Niskanpää) is an artist and theatre director working in Tornedalen.

    Work:

    Bikt, 2020


Lulu is how Luleå first appeared in writing in 1327, a name of Sami origin that can be translated as “Eastern Water”. This is the title of the Luleå Biennial’s journal, fiirst published in conjunction with the Luleå Biennial 2018. For this years edition of the biennial readers are offered different points of entry to the biennial’s overall theme: realism today. The Lulu journal is made by the biennial’s artistic and invited guest editors. It is published here on the biennial’s website and can be downloaded for printing. Design: Aron Kullander-Östling & Stina Löfgren.

ISSN: 2003~1254

Radio 65.22 is an auditory cross section of the biennial’s theme and contents, which amplifies and makes accessible written texts, framed situations and artistic voices. Radio 65.22 also enables an encounter with chosen parts of the Luleå Biennial’s activities for those who cannot experience the biennial in situ.

With Radio 65.22, we want to inscribe ourselves into an experimental and exploratory radio tradition, where the media itself becomes a platform for our ideas on radio and its capacity to depict and mirror the world around us. The task of Radio 65.22 is to tell of reality, in further ways that may not be possible through the image or the text.

Under Fragments: Time on Earth you will find radio programmes and sound pieces in different genres and forms that reflect this year’s biennial in various ways. Spirit of Place is a touring series of literary conversations on language and place. The culture journalist Kerstin Wixe takes us along to places that have played a significant part in an author’s stories, or carries the story’s history. Woven Songs is a deepening series of radio programmes that accentuate singing, the voice and the role of storytelling in the creation of new world views and orders.

Listen, reflect, enjoy!