About A Power List in Art
When C-print was asked to nominate a number of people with ties to the regional art sphere in Sweden to an annually published so called "power" list in art, we had to give it some thought. On the one hand such lists should naturally be taken with a large pinch of salt (and are reasonably not expected to be received anyway else) but on the other hand they do become a source reaffirming ingrained "authority", which can be skewed in light of paramaters driven largely by financial capacity and pull and considering for instance how top instituional positions are shifted between people in a considerably small pool. Moreover, precarious given whatever inherent self-fulfilling impact such diplays can have and and the sort of "exclusive" statement it can be read as altogether. We have no real interest in penning an exhuastive list but recognize that there are well-considered rationales behind highlighting and acknowledging people who are using their professional and personal power of position and privilege to drive forward socially and culturally poignant work and efforts in the art spheres that promote needed change and growth. Times are slowly changing to where public discourse in art now informs notions like decolonization and scrutiny of cultural appropriation, none of which can really be taken for granted. If we had extended nominations to that power list, we would have done so both looking back at the year and gazing onward to the near future, expressing our appreication for the efforts of some people. There would have been many, but a few that notably come to mind.
C-print signing off on a "power list". Image edit credits: Slobodan Zivic
Corina Oprea, Artistic director Konsthall C, 2017-2018 For succesfully positioning and profiling Konsthall C, a suburban-located art space employing less than a handful of full-time employees, with a staunch agenda seated around decoloniality for her term as artistic director, examining in the midst the illusion and pretense of the colonial neutrality of the North.
Sofia Curman, Editor-in-chief Konstnären (KRO)
For churning out with her team and contributing writers, one great issue of Konstnären after the other, brushing up thoroughly on pressing matters about diveristy and representation in the art world and the #metoo-movement, and most recently shining light on for us novel notion of cyber-feminism.
Ulrika Flink, Artistic director/chief curator, Grafikens Hus
One of the most fascinating projects carried out this year by an institution was artist Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn's "The Making of An Archive" under the helm of curator Ulrika Flink and director Nina Beckman. In essense, putting forth a position for the institution (that currently holds no permanent location and operates with a small team) that is not necessarily prerequisited by its historical core. The project aims to give room to marginalized voices and stories in society, and examines how history relating to identity is i selectively written and archived at the discretion of some over others.
Joanna Sandell, Director, Södertälje Konsthall
As the new director of Södertälje Konsthall, Joanna Sandell is laying out a programme for 2019 that we cannot wait to take part of, beginning with "Madness and Civilization"; the first solo exhibition of Zimbabwean-born contemporary artist Kudzanai Chiurai which is travelling from Kalmar Konsthall, where she served last as director. Chiurai is an artist whose work explores suppossed "post-colonial" realities impacting the governance of African states in present day, equalizing the found conditons to living in "colonial futures". The exhibition is followed later in springby famed Swedish artist Carl Johan de Geer exploring Swedish colonial history by tracing his own ancestral ties to it.
Samuel Girma, thinker
Samuel Girma is a strong voice on social media; you could say "the voice of a generation"; a generation to which we are part. Admiration extends to him for his passion and dedication when it comes to speaking the truth on injustices with such clarity and conviciton on a daily basis. There is definitely a need for indiependent figures like him who both embody the realities and can speak them with such great reach.