CuratorLab’s words


Master’s and Teachers Education Degree Exhibition 21-27 May

Curated by CuratorLab, one of Konstfack’s freestanding courses for professionals.

Inspired by feminist writer Sara Ahmed’s Queer Phenomenology, CuratorLab invites audiences to participate in a symbolic, emotional and physical reorientation that shifts the architectural, departmental, and social sites within the school, and also changes its entrance for a week. Within the exhibition sits the The Dialogical Space, which offers a shared room for conversation, performativity and exchange. Questions are asked about finding new ways to (re)orient ourselves that challenge the hierarchies of power, with the ambition to create new thoughts and strategies for care. The exhibition manifests itself as a state of continuous negotiation and interdependency between the individual, the collective, and the institution, a recurring challenge for curatorial work.
The entrance to the building has, for the duration of the exhibition, been reoriented to the basement, the underbelly of the building, and an alternative one-way path leads to the Dialogical Space. By reshuffling given routes and expectations, our bodies are liberated to move and think differently. Can we find new ways to (re)orient ourselves to challenge the hierarchies of power, be they economic, social, or geopolitical? Can we unfold viable solutions to the state of crisis and wars that surround us? How do we position and navigate our bodies in a world that is falling apart? What seeds can we plant in the cracks for an eventual rebirth? This one-way route is arranged not only to highlight individual students’ work, but also to formulate a mode of exchange both with one another, and also between departments, with overlapping topics.

Today’s Konstfack’s building was once the telephone factory of LM Ericsson. When the school moved here in 2004, the building was refurbished to mimic a city grid plan with departments as neighbourhoods and corridors as streets, all departing from one big inherited white space, a space used for exhibitions and gathering throughout the history of Konstfack and in its different locations. By reorienting the school’s circulation system for the exhibition, we attempt to challenge the separation embedded in the architecture of the school while simultaneously bringing people together.

Following the exhibition and publication by artist collective Brown Island, initiated by Konstfack students, the school has been, for the course of the last two years, reorienting and changing its way of thinking about broadened participation. Our investigation results in the Dialogical Space, specifically created to keep talking, workshopping and questioning the dominant format of presenting physically as the only way to exhibit work. The Dialogical Space also hosts an exhibition within the exhibition about how people at Konstfack have met and gathered, collecting interviews, archival images, and historical material about the school’s central space.

Change is fluid, just as the exhibition itself. One week of reorientation will not shake a system to its core, nor tear down embedded hierarchies. However, it may plant a seed that, with time and cultivation, can grow to become a strong and proactive vehicle for change.

Vårutställning translates to “spring show” (somehow a more hopeful term than the English “degree”). This name marks a new beginning, blossoming after a long process of “cultivation” and connecting us with deep time. By reorienting and challenging the traditional path of the Vårutställning, CuratorLab and the graduating students have planted the seeds. Now we are awaiting the harvest.

CuratorLab 2021/22 students: Chen Shuyu (Malmö/Beijing), Una Mathiesen Gjerde (Oslo), Lovro Japundžić (Zagreb), Lauren Johnson (Stockholm/Elk Glade, Colorado), Matilda Kästel (Stockholm), Lina Louisa Krämer (Berlin), Martin Ku (Berlin), Reyhaneh Mirjahani (Gothenburg/Tehran), Res (Stockholm/Brooklyn), Eleni Riga (Athens), Marta Świetlik (Warsaw), Krisztián Gábor Török (Budapest), under the guidance of Programme Director Joanna Warsza (Berlin) and Head of Exhibitions Anne Klontz (Stockholm) and with the help of the Curatorial Assistant Vasco Forconi (Rome/Stockholm).