Public Enquiries


– A research project responding to the work of the artist Kerstin Bergendal with particular reference to the project PARK LEK.
Marabouparken konsthall, SOMEWHERE and Valand Academy in collaboration

Seating is limited so please book in advance by mailing: pub@marabouparken.se at latest November 24. The symposium will be held in English. Free admission.

A book and a series of symposia
Public Enquiries is a research project responding to the work of the artist Kerstin Bergendal with particular reference to her project PARK LEK. The wider critical art practice that PARK LEK epitomizes has brought together Marabouparken konsthall (the original Swedish commissioning agency), SOMEWHERE (Art and Public Space Agency, Copenhagen) and Valand Academy of Art (University of Gothenburg) in a collaboration around a book and a series of symposia that will explore the diverse problematics that Kerstin Bergendal’s practice has systematically activated and explored for several decades.

A key goal of the project is to profile a mode of artistic practice and enquiry that engages questions of social practice, durational-though-temporary public art, participatory dynamics, critical urbanism, democratic processes and art outside the exhibitionary complex.

Three public symposia are organised in order to collect perspectives and gather material for the publication due in 2016. The dates of the symposia are: Stockholm (Sundbyberg) 26st November 2015, Copenhagen 28st of January 2016, Valand Academy Gothenburg 21st of April 2016.

26st of November, 13:00-17:00 hrs. Doors are open from 12:30. Coffee will be served.
Allaktivitetshuset, Sturegatan 10, Sundbyberg

This first symposium in the series will be organised in Sundbyberg, the small municipality near Stockholm, where the PARK LEK project took place. Keynote speakers and respondents will focus on artistic practices, projects and methods that have developed seminal work outside the exhibitionary complex within corporations, local government or as part of social movements and civic initiatives. These contexts constitute starting points for artistic ventures that are often fuelled by the participation of the stakeholders. However, as soon as art leaves the designated art context it is often followed by a discussion of integrity and instrumentalisation. How are such art practices motivated, articulated and maintained outside the art institutions?


Kerstin Bergendal will introduce some key issues of the PARK LEK project and discuss if and how the artist can act as a cross-runner or mediator between groups of people, places, expressions and forms of governance.

Per Hasselbergs work often address the revival or actualisation of social-spatial concepts and institutional forms. In his presentation, Change Everything!, he speaks about the Swedish heritage of radical social work that was the contextual starting point of his public artwork, the art institution Konsthall C in Hökarängen. The social work in Hökarängen 1977–1985 has been called “the most humane era in Stockholm’s social-care history” The idea of the experiment was to see the clients as fellow human beings, and to cope with social assistance as an insurance policy, instead of an alms.

In her presentation, The Model and the Balloon – breaking into utopia, curator Katrin Ingelstedt adds a new chapter to the story of the exhibition, The Model. A Model for a Qualitative Society at Moderna Museet in Stockholm and the following adventure playground, The Balloon at Råby, Västerås in 1968–1969. She places these events in a time and context that revolted against the existing notions of child and childhood, in the same way as it revolted against a traditional view of art. The presentation leads up to the current project, The Balloon – Play for Real, where artists are conceived as key players in the societal processes of change.

Kultivator is an experimental art project, fusing organic farming and visual art practice. It is situated in rural village Dyestad, on the island Öland. In their practice artists and artistic coordinators Mathieu Vrijman and Malin Lindmark Vrijman discuss the parallels between provision production and art practice, between concrete and abstract processes for survival. In their talk, Models of Collaboration, they will show examples of recent artworks investigating new models of collaboration for shared produce, preparation and experience of food and community.

In her presentation Negotiating the “not-knowing” – Artist Placement Group and the ‘open brief’, Barbara Steveni will introduce the Artist Placement Group, its methodology and core axioms, and examples of Artist “placements” from the 70’s that demonstrate the “open brief” in the wider socio-political contexts actioned by APG. Their original concept was to expand the reach of art and artists into organisations of all kinds (commercial, industrial, and governmental) and at all levels, including decision-making, and on a basis equivalent to any other engaged specialist.

Lena From (Public Art Agency Sweden)
Meike Schalk (architect and associate professor KTH Royal Institute of Technology)
Anna Högberg & Johan Tirén (artists)
Réne León-Rosales (currently postdoctoral researcher at the Child and Youth Studies, Uppsala University).

The editorial team for the book comprises: Helena Selder (Marabouparken konsthall), Stenka Hellfach and Ulrikke Neergaard (Somewhere) and Mick Wilson (Valand Academy).

All symposiums will be held in English.

For further information about the Public Enquiries project please contact:
Helena Selder, Marabouparken konsthall, helena.selder@marabouparken.se, ph: +46708-714591.
Mick Wilson, Akademi Valand, mick.wilson@akademinvaland.gu.se
SOMEWHERE, ulrikke@artsomewhere.com, stenka@artsomewhere.com

Public Enquiries symposium preliminary programme
Stockholm, Allaktivitetshuset Sturegatan 10, Sundbyberg
November 26st 13:00-17:00 pm

12:30 Coffee at Allaktivitetshuset
13:00 Welcomes by Bettina Pehrsson (director Marabouparken konsthall). Introductions to the project Public Enquiries and the programme of the day by Mick Wilson (Head of Akademi Valand) and Helena Selder (curator Marabouparken konsthall)
13:20 PARK LEK project introduction, Kerstin Bergendal
13:40 Barbara Steveni
14:00 Response from Anna Högberg & Johan Tirén and the audience
14:20 Break 10 minutes
14:30 Per Hasselberg
14:50 Response from Lena From and the audience
15:10 Katrin Ingelstedt
15:30 Response from René-Leon Rosales and the audience
15:50 Break 10 minutes
16:00 Kultivator, Mathieu Vrijman and Malin Lindmark Vrijman, Kultivator
16:20 Response from Meike Schalk and the audience
16:30 Summary by Mick Wilson
16:45 Finishing remarks and intro to the Copenhagen symposium by Somewhere