The Flag Project
March 7 - April 21 Jacob Dahlgren c/o På Sergels Torg With the participation of teenage students of schools in the city of Stockholm Unform: Red and white striped tees
The flag factory workshop of The Flag Project c/o På Sergels Torg, Stockholm.
Meanwhile in what is the heart of the city of Stockholm, the Sergel's Square, renowned Swedish artist Jacob Dahlgren has recently been carrying out The Flag Project in collaboration with the art intitiative På Sergels Torg (operating with the objective of activating this epicenter through arts and culture), and working side by side with school teenagers, in what is becoming a public exhibition of 100 flags around the square. Inspired by Jacob’s thinking around and approach to abstraction and form, the school kids design a flag each that is later materialized by seamstresses involved in the project and who are present on site, inside a flag factoty workshop. C-print has kept ties with Jacob Dahlgren in collaborations over time and we really appreciate and love his commitment to working with youth groups. He notably did a project in the past with Skellefteå Konsthall involving migrated teenage children and abstraction more specifically seated and found in winter sports (!) Jacob is one of those stand-up guys in local art whose art never quite runs out of style and is its own constant current, much like the striped tees he wears on a daily basis and has introduced as a shared uniform for this project at hand. When Jacob asked me to join the project as his sideskick to conduct a series of workshops, I naturally jumped at the chance at once. Both to work with him but also the teenagers were a great pull. With Margarita Matiz Bergfeldt of the art platform SEART present too, I believe we made a good team. The real stars of the project however would be the talented troupe of seamstresses; grads of Konstfack in Stockholm, and great artists in their very own right: Sara Kallioinen Lundgren, Vega Määttä Siltberg, Emelie Lundin, John Claesson and Nanny Rådenman. Not to mention the school teenagers who just kept impressing with their designs and abilities. You could often trace unintentional connections to art in their output. Thoughts ran at times to the likes of Sterling Ruby, Åsa Jungnelius, Marie-Louise Ekman and de Chirico in one mere day alone. Moreoever, there were many times were the teenagers were expressing their "pity" at the "impossible" task awaiting the seamstresses to complete the flags. And admittedly there were time I was thinking to myself; There is just no way that that can take shape in a flag...and yet, the things humanly possible in mere circa 3 hours' worth of time...what do you know, huh?
”For me it’s incredibly rewarding to challenge my own ideas and notions about abstraction through the workshop series; it’s as though reopening my own senses. Many of the flags that the students have designed are incredible. There’s a great diversity in visual expression and the flags as a whole really grow through this multitude of expression. On a personal note I’ve come to realize how fun it is to work with school students”, says Jacob about the project.
That leads me to an invitation! Come see the result of this generous and inspiring project for yourself when the flags are raised around the square and inaugurated with a public vernissage on Saturday April 21. This is one by the people.
Photo credit: Images courtesy of Margarita Matiz Bergfeldt