Mikaela Steby Stenfalk
Curating the opening show of Boxen at ArkDes - Stockholm, Sweden - 2018
The exhibition derives from Malin Pettersson Öberg’s film about the model archive at Stockholm’s Urban Planning Department, where almost the entire city is built up in scale 1:500. The film is about opening up this archive - which is generally closed to the public - and through its content raise questions about archives, urban planning and how we collectively organise our lives using miniature versions for large-scale cityscapes.
With tranquil panning shots, we explore the space and its content while listening to Helena Lopac’s voice reading out the artist’s reflections. The narrator takes us on a journey through theories from French philosophers, to the history of the city of Stockholm and how visions of its planners has given their mark to its current state. Each fragment offers another piece in the puzzle that reveals Pettersson Öberg’s artistic perspective on the archive.
In the space, a large screen shows the film, while the subtitles are displayed separately. This to enhance the essay, which plays as large of a role in the film as the image. Towards the end of the space are two shelf units with around 50 models from the city’s Urban Planning Department model archive, evoking the experience of walking through its aisles.
In the exhibition folder, the visitors could deepen their curiosity through a conversation between Olivia Eriksson (PhD candidate in Cinema Studies at Stockholm University), Karolina Keyzer (City Architect of Stockholm, 2010-2016), and Jacek Smolicki (cross-media practitioner and researcher), dissecting a section of Pettersson Öberg's film.
Connecting to Modellarkivet and its aim to invite the public to an archive with otherwise very limited access, I initiated an educational program inviting students from Fryshusets Gymnasium's Dance department into ArkDes' own archives. The students were given an introduction to both the collection, the spaces of the archives and architecture history at large. After an Artist Talk by Malin Pettersson Öberg, they were invited to make their own interpretation of Modellarkivet in 1 minute long dance films. The program had double purposes - to introduce a new group to the museum and its archives, but in extension also invite the general public into the space, as these films now are available on ArkDes Play.
Artist: Malin Pettersson Öberg
Supervisor: Kieran Long
Photos: Kristofer Johnsson
Graphic design and photos: Studio Reko
The film Modellarkivet was originally produced with support from Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation.
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