Etikettarkiv: Aftonbladet

Sinziana Ravini Reviews Geist and Voice Over in Aftonbladet

A nice little text by Sinziana Ravini is published in Aftonbladet today delving through the interesting topics of staging criticism. The text is a double review of my own project Voice Over by Iaspis and Geist Magazine. Ravini purports that Geist truly intertwined their critique into the codes and mechanisms of desire meaning within the artworld. voice_over_cover_364British art theorist Gavin Butt has written extensively abut the death of the transcendental figure of Enlightenment that was placed at a special remove from society and thus away from ”the true object of criticism”. He renegotiates the question of the agent of criticism by stressing the performativity of the critical response and how these stagings of critique might deviate from conventional modes of criticism. Geist and Voice over can be bought here and here.

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Konstfuck acting Venomous – We Need a Remedy

Konstfack, Konstfcuk, Konstfuck. Now its reputation tumbles down one step more to the point of  “definitely no return whatsoever” by issuing legal scrutinizing of all artworks for this year’s graduation show. Student Magdalena Nordin will not be participating with her work since it infringes on several accounts of copyright infringement. The Konstfack lawyer Anders Stening has obviously just done his job (soulless as it may seem) but principal Ivar Björkman and head of the art department Olof Glemme should consider if they are fit to stay on their position as this explosive news spreads around the country and blog world. Cultural critic Martin Aagård writes a comment in Aftonbladet believing that artists now will (after the recent Swedish art scandals) be knowledgeable in both media spin and law. I beg to disagree. Although I wish he was right. Artists will not bother creating a forum for fighting the political and legal upsurge, but rather find ways of circumventing legal issues and moral fallacies along the way. This is both a sad and realist remark.

Hopefully some artists and cultural workers will not stand by and let Konstfack turn its cowardly head down, but rather start checking out and stirring up some heat in this undercooked stew.


Some Konstfack students was caugth defacing the Swedish flag. Kill em all!

Susan M Bielstein, lecturer on art, architecture and literature as well as working as an editor at Chicago University Press writes a radiant introduction to an aesthetic field that is not, as one might believe, a praise to freedom of choice for artists, but rather a complex system of permissions. As editor she has lots to say about the different ways which artists and artists are interlocked in a web of permission, fair use, copyright and the public domain. I have no general objections to the right of a piece of work, but I do take issue when the right to own and be rewarded as author infringes on the right of re-use, remix and reinterpretation.

One answer suiting these crazy times that Bielstein got after asking for permission to reproduce an artwork for a book was: “I’m sorry. The picture you asked after carries a curse.”

From the book Permissions – A survival guide. Blunt talk about Art as Intellectual Property.

For some interesting updates on art copyright and economics don’t miss the talk by Daniel McClean: Santiago Sierras ”DEATH COUNTER” at Magasin 3 the 8th of May. McClean has previously edited the great book Dear Images: Art, Copyright and Culture, 2002. Read it!

Eh… does someone even remember what Anna Odell was supposed to be doing at the Konstfack graduate show?

Comments by Vilks, DN

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The Reading of Kulturutredningen: Cultural Policy and Aftonbladet

A week ago the 2009 report on culture issued by the present conservative (well, Swedish-conservative not Ann Coulter-conservative) government as a praiseworthyattampt to renew the policies formulated back in 1974 and 1996, when previous reports where issued. As most of the cultural workers in Sweden I did not plan a two week report-leave just so I could study the 900-shy-of-a-few-pages smack in the face boring text. I have not yet read it in its entirety, I am honest with that, in contrast to just about all the commentators out there. Åsa Linderborg in leftist tabloid Aftonbladet, really bombs the report back to the stone age – pre 1974 – and calls it a ”shot in the heart”, and purports that the conservative government now have the cultural policy proposition it deserves. Well, I do not defend the current government in any way nessecary, but I must really defend an honest and analytic debate without overturning it on ideological asymmetry between Lindeborg and the gov: Firstly the report has some great suggestions of renewal of experimental culture such as a new support structure in the wake of The Culture of the Future (Framtidens Kultur), a foundation with the purpose to stimulate cultural experiments in their initial stages. The foundation was only axtive for a duration fo 15 years and now it is suggested, another organisation should take its place.

Eva Swartz and the big cheese Lena A-Liljeroth

Eva Swartz Grimaldi and the big cheese Lena A-Liljeroth

Even more critique issued about the report is that ”cultural policy” becomes a ”market policy” derived by Lindeborg out of the statement made by the chairperson Eva Swartz-Grimaldi to not beg for more state funding than is the current level. And so, Lindeborg continues, art is to be funded by sponsorship (a real world fact in all countries but the Nordic) gifts and non-profit activities. This cemented view of culture-state-capital, also shared by my blog idol Ali Esbati,  is somehow viewed as an attempt at structurally propagating the superiority of the market, thus making it harder for culture to work critical vis-a-vis politics, economy and the common.

This is certainly not a thought-through statement, since first of all, artists in politically more unstable countries in thousands of examples have been successful in making critical work, you just have to answer the million dollar questions ”How critical?”. Secondly, all Swedish artists that are working toward a critique of the state, have for obvious reasons had a difficult time, according to Lindeborg, since some 90% of cultural funding is made by the state or the artist her/himself. So the question is, Åsa Lindeborg, why should artists merely be negatively dismissive or flat-down critical o the market, why not sometimes, somehow glance at one or two aspects of the market economy AND its interplay with state and public governance that actually benefits a society or individual? Is that totally out of the question? If so, it is truly a mark of a great intellectual dishonesty.

Åsa Lindeborg, Aftonbladet

Åsa Lindeborg, Aftonbladet

Lindeborg continues a few days later with a demagogue-like style in her arguing that cultural workers today will be merely instrumentalised as savers of the environment, national health crisis and the economy. That is definitely not how it was formulated in the report, rather it is an ideological opening (as in ‘possibly’, not ‘always’ ‘all the time’) toward structures like these, and for gods sake, where did you get the idea that art has ever been autonomous in any form possible? have a look at Serge Guilbaut’s How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art and get real!

She ends with a good point, though; the fact that more and more artists have turned self-employed with their own registered firms, has not in any clear cut way proven to have good effects on the social or economic status of the artist. Nor is the focus of economists, politicians and policy makers alike as nuanced at it very well could be. Art does have afterburners for the economic growth of a society, we just have to start measuring how and when. This is the responsibility of the creative industries field.

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