Art in the Public Realm
By establishing the APR Archive Lounge as a center piece of the Konstfack Degree Exhibition 2009, we are making the results of the two-year discussions of the master’s program Art in the Public Realm available to a wider audience.
In creating this dedicated space, we intend to focus the visitors’ attention on the development of the individual projects, making visible a connection between processes and contexts. The emphasis on mobility, negotiation and openness articulates most clearly the graduating students' ambition to expose critically the space of exhibition itself as a specific public platform. The Archive Lounge both collects and represents the different aspects of the final outcomes, while at the same time serving as a performative and active space offering a program of readings, performances and screenings.
By interrogating the role of critical practice in constructing social spaces of the city, the Internet, and publishing, the projects comment on art’s capacity to re-imagine the limits of our understanding of the public realm. By challenging the existing approaches to how a public is constituted they open up lines of enquiry around ideas such as ownership, normative behavior, consumerism, gender stereotypes, social integration and the environment.
With an acute precision, all of the projects provide arenas for public participation be it through specific dissemination methods (Memona Khamara), publishing and public readings (Ulrika Casselbrant), unexpected shifts in perception beyond the visual (Randi Grov Berger), event-based structures (Therese Kristiansson), book production (Grant Watkins) and a utopian vision of nature with a DIY twist (Cameron McLeod).
All of the works remind us that art placed in the public realm must question the apparent coherence of its newly constituted sites. Manifesting the hidden or unspoken tensions and exclusions deepens and unsettles the existing discourses surrounding the nature of the public realm.
Marysia Lewandowska, Professor of Fine Art