A widened field in art is often referred to but is as mythological as Axis Mundi or any land of plenty & free of want. Art today is more of a contemporary misunderstanding; dinied affiliation to our inborn language ability, confined to a ”cultural sector”
My art education did not call for any verbal articulation of artistic experience. It was the actual art-making that would legitimate both me as an artist & art itself if I worked hard in the artefactual way of making art; to make or process artefacts to have them carry meaning aside from verbal explanatory language.
During my last year as a printmaking student at the academy in Stockholm, 1987-88, postmodern art had it´s break through; staged with the exhibition ”Implosion” at the Modern Museum. I didn´t notice. I was at the time deeply involved in a collaboration with Albertus Pictor.
A couple of years later I did understand that things had changed & the change was alien to me & to other artists working in the same artefactual tradition. The change also became quite antagonistic & distressing. The new way of making art got the prerogative & a conceptual/textual approach in art took over. I had to find out if I was still considered to be an artist; to read and compare: became my main subject. Why did I do art the way I did it & why did ”the others” do it the way they did it? Why did a critic write: ”Maybe everything is text”…? Printmaking, being very craft based, was clearly not a center-piece in this new art scene.
In our Nordic countries the break through of this textual/conceptual approach to art was 25 years after the the Anglo-saxon artworld. This ”delay” caused a kind of embarrassment to spread through the national art scenes & educations – instead of taking an interest in what actually happened & how it all related to what had been done before, people acted as if this new art was self-evident. What had been done before was just too country-cousin – no one wanted to talk about it. Especially in higher art education there was total confusion among students, teachers & management. Nothing was openly discussed or tried. The theory studies were randomly added without any serious consideration. Everything was discombobulated. The sad thing is that even this befuddlement could have been proven fruitful, given a chance to be a startingpoint. But being totally neglected, it served more as an end station. There was an increasing marginalization of practical skills: all kinds of craft based art was being subordinated, to immerse in painting was mistrusted as were any outspoken interest for techniques & methods in printmaking, traditional artists working in solitude were considered backwards & ridiculed. To my mind it was more of a hostile colonisation than an invite to a widened field. To oppose this infliction was very difficult. The expectations of ”anschluss” to a textual understanding of art were immense. The consequences, that I find we still suffer from, is a lack of discussion about & insight in artistic knowledge production, what it takes for different kinds of art to come about, a lack of pluralism since the whole spectrum: from the craft based practical artmaking to an idea based conceptual artmaking & all the cross-fertilizations we see between them, is not reckognized. This background to our contemporary situation has never been discussed, which is a hindrance to finally widen the still not widened field.
What is advanced knowledge production in printmaking today? Where is that knowledge produced & taught?
To acknowledge & defend a wide range of art making possibilities is a question of democracy: who is allowed to be seen? Who´s voice is listened to? What scopic regime has the upper hand?
Art cannot be ”democratized”, but the discussion about art & it´s terms & preconditions can.
– Born 1953 in Stockholm, lives and works in Mölndal/Göteborg, Sweden
– Education: ABF:s artschool Umeå 1975 –76 • Artschool Brage, Umeå 1977 – 79,
– Royal Academy; printmaking Stockholm 1983 –88, Free Art & New Media GU 1999 – 2000
– From 1994 theoretical studies on autodidactical basis.
– Exhibitions: since 1989 solo & group shows in Sweden & all continents except Oceania.
– 10 public comissions in Malmö, Göteborg, Stockholm, Härryda & Viskafors 1990 – 2013
– Coming exhibition & lecture: February 2015, Havanna, Cuba
– From 1998 periodically: teacher, tutor, lecturer, writer & professor in art.
– 2007 published ”Time at hand” a research initiation study on the terms and conditions for artefactual artmaking, together with Marie Holmgren, HDK, Gothenburg University
Presently assisting tutor to the first PHD student in craft; artefactual artmaking/ceramics (Mårten Medbo) at HDK, Gothenburg University.
Member of Every Day Picture Company, a printmaking studio in Mölndal,
Artist Organisation KRO, • Swedish Printmaking Society,
Deputy Matron at the Political Adoption Agency
Chairperson of Grafik i Väst (printmaking association)
Engaged in the European printmaking network: ENDEGRA