The Anna Odell/NUG affair at Konstfack, blogged about here a few week ago, have just taken a new turn with the release of the Konstfack internal report on the evens taken place in recent weeks. The report is written by Anders Stening, Prof Jonas Bohlin, Ann-Charlotte Jensen and Elisabet Nordwall. In a rare instance in yesterday’s newspaper DN, Ivar Björkman, who has shunned all media interaction prior to this report being finished, wrote a defense of the school. the report stinks, as critic Mårten Arndzén smells it; The students are not allowed anymore to transgress any ”moral laws”, they are not allowed to defame anyone or anything, be it an organisation or an individual. The graffiti artist NUG and his abrasive video Territorial Pissing is hardly mentionaed, as it is not considered to be Konstfack’s responsibility since it was made outside of curriculum. This surely is an act of institutional biopower in the sense of a constitutive forming of bios, a political self that is repressed into acting and thinking a certain way rather than just the zoe – just living. The report further announces that Anna Odell have created pain and misery AND a ”public doubt regarding Konstfack” in general. Yes, they are actually blaming her for the media spectacle taken place the past month! If this is not a an act of a coward, then nothing really is.
Now I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the students will be frightened into self censorship, as Arndzén does, artists haven again and again proven to have an explicable sense of disobedience towards biopower. What is clear is the problem of handling a national debate with art, morality and law at its core, without a dean of the school with any knowledge or balls. The blame should rightly be placed where it belongs – the dean of Konstfack Ivar Björkman – for not standing up to the students in any way. The report and his statement in DN only goes to prove that he is looking after the sanctity of a slow and trepid institution instead of the boarder crossings of its most important inhabitants – the students. Anna Odell has possibly hurt a few people by her interaction, most likely not broken any current laws, we know this only from slanted media reports, so before anyone cast judgment or her work, I would like to see, hear and experience her version of the events. If we are to institute her action as a piece of profound art or not must be a question underlined by as much respect for her project as we demand her to show all parties involved. I will be waiting for her presentation in May, let’s continue the debate when all cards are put on the table.
Sign up for the group I väntan på presentation av Anna Odell at Facebook and become humble and critical in an instance!
In case you missed the NUG video Territorial Pissing: Voilà!