Index has multiple public roles as an art institution. We are a platform for artists and for audiences. We understand that the role of an art institution like Index does not begin and end with an exhibition – instead there is an ongoingness to the activities, research processes, learning programs and relationships between Index, artists and audiences. Index works with an artistic conceptual approach that aims to carve out space and time for criticality, dialogue, curiosity and building discursive situations that develop the role of art today.
The slow release of Silon took place at Index throughout an evening in late spring 2021, within Hanni Kamaly’s exhibition THE MIGHT THEY HAVE.
Silon volume one is a collection of readings by curators, artists and architects on decolonizing the white cube, exploring questions around education and land and a meditation that brings feminine awareness to the complex phenomena and philosophy of Frantz Fanon. Silon is a production of The Mirror Institution which seeks to mirror, reflect and expand ideas and programs of existing art institutions. The Mirror Institution is an initiative of curator Joanna Sandell, journalist Steuart Wright with architecture by Tor Lindstrand.
We recorded reflections and interviews with some of the contributors to Silon Issue 1. Conversations in space with Joanna Sandell, Tor Lindstrand, Rami Khoury, Mmabatho Thobejane, Amina Zoubir. Excerpts from the publication have been selected by and are read by Ella Saar and Martina Sara D’Alessio.
This podcast is the second in a series of three recorded during publication releases at Index. With focus on specific publications and editorial processes, now we release them in another format, and listen together.
As the exhibition Editorial Thinking came to its close during spring of 2021, Index hosted the release of Delta - an ocean call, a publication on water histories, narratives and practices published and co-edited by Pontus Pettersson and Izabella Borzecka of PAM Stockholm. The slow release of the publication took place at Index throughout an entire day, with workshops, conversations, performances, readings and other activations of the works in the new publication.
The artists and writers who contributed to the publication are Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris, Paul Maheke, Axel Andersson, Sindri Runudde, Vibeke Hermanrud, Elly Vadseth, Daniela Bershan, Sabrina Seifried, D.N.A. (Dina El Kaisy Friemuth, Neda Sanai and Anita Beikpour), Every Ocean Hughes, Adham Hafez, Pontus Pettersson and Alice MacKenzie. The publication’s graphic designer is Sara Kaaman.
This podcast is the first in a series of three recorded during publication releases at Index. with focus on specific publications and editorial processes, now we release them in another format, and listen together.
In March 2021, while the exhibition Editorial Thinking was open with care for visitors to Index, artist Alex Reynolds met online with Magdalena Malm, founder of MAP – Mobile Art Production, to discuss their collaboration around Alex’s project But They Are Not You, which took place in Stockholm during the winter of 2011/12.
The project began with an email invitation, circulated by MAP. The individuals who replied to the email then received a number of questions about themselves. After an extensive process, the artist selected the 8 final participants who were to become the protagonists and also the very exclusive recipients of the work.
During spring 2021, Alex Reynolds’ publication But They Are Not You and the process behind the project is presented at Index as part of the exhibition Editorial Thinking. The publication, which contains the work’s final format – the exchange of letters, returned to their supposed senders through the postal system – was published by Biel Books with the support of Akademie Schloss Solitude, during Alex Reynolds’ artist residency there.
November 2019, and the exhibition "Ride Ride Ride" by Teresa Solar was on show at Index. Numerous objects defined the space, with colors everywhere, multiple languages and identities within a non-static constellation. The exhibition space at Index was packed with several interconnections and visual references.
Within this context, Sven-Olov Wallenstein and Daniel Birnbaum presented the book "Spacing Philosophy: Lyotard and the Idea of the Exhibition" observing the links between exhibition making and philosophy, ideas and curatorial practices, emptiness and cultural behavior. This podcast brings the first part of the talk between Wallenstein and Birnbaum to our ears and minds, opening up their conversation and offering questions regarding the art exhibition as a field for ideas. The talk starts with Birnbaum having the first words, then jumps to Wallenstein before back to Birnbaum.
In February 2021, Index opens the exhibition "Editorial Thinking”, observing ways of working with and in the fields of art, connected to the role of the editor – with a special interest in the need to find particular connection with those who work in closest contact with art – the artists. Daniel Birnbaum ends the talk by saying that a good book is not a book at all, it is an exhibition.
In February 2020 Index opened the exhibition “I am healthy, I cannot write this letter myself” by Ramesch Daha. The exhibition presented an immense project based on subjective and family approaches to history. In this case, the history of concentration camps and the remaining genealogical trauma. Right now -during corona times- at Kindl Art Center in Berlin this work by Ramesch Daha is presented as part of the exhibition “The Invented History”.
Now, ending 2020, This conversation between Ramesch Daha, Kathrin Becker -Artistic director at Kindl- and Marti Manen -Director of Index Foundation- goes around archives and documents, humans and art, emotions and politics, sensitive material and artistic positions, memory and places, exhibitions and publications.
This podcast with Ramesch Daha and Kathrin Becker is made with generous support by Goethe-Institut in Sweden.
Cold outside - warm inside. The exhibition Tracking Distribution that opened at Index in late November 2020 is a compilation of artworks, ideas and artistic productions related to the question of distribution. In times of coronavirus, we present this podcast as a special visit to the exhibition: Sònia López (thinker and producer working with digital formats and processes) visits Tracking Distribution and leads us along some of the paths and strands that configure this research-based exhibition.
The podcast of her visit also includes interviews with artists whose works are presented in the exhibition: Nina Sarnelle, Lili Huston-Herterich and Francesc Ruiz. Listen to their voices as they reflect on art and distribution.
November 2018. Index space was full of blue and pink colors, textiles hung with manifestos and an intense video program is on. It was the exhibition And Tomorrow And, a project and a platform for many voices regarding ecology, possible futures and the urgency to act. During that summer forests were burning in Sweden.
Within the frame of And Tomorrow And, Index organized a two day seminar around critical pedagogy to think-with –as Donna Haraway says– collectively. Two days dedicated to workshops, presentations, film screenings, shared meals and oversea interviews. For the seminar, curator Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris had a conversation with Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens, key figures within the combination of art, ecology, sexuality and love. They talked about ecology, relationships, politics and ways of doing. Two years later –now in the middle of a pandemic and just after the elections in the US– we present this conversation of shared thoughts and ideas as a podcast.
In August 2020, curator Sue Spaid and artist Ulrika Sparre met at Index to talk about stones and the coming exhibition project by Ulrika Sparre at Index. Sue Spaid is one of the writers at the book Ear to the Ground published by Art&Theory, a book observing the artistic production of Ulrika Sparre regarding her projects with minerals and stones.
Sue and Ulrika talk about rocks and memories, artists and the invisible, time schedules, tokens, sound, experiences and existential matters. The conversation fluctuates between ideas and physicality, artistic practices in nature, ecology and exhibition spaces.
In June 2020, Index Director Marti Manen and artist and Kybernein Institute Director Nathalie Gabrielsson met to record a conversation about The Campaign -the exhibition presented at Index with the research artistic project developed by Nathalie Gabrielsson.
Nathalie Gabrielsson uses artistic practice to share complex criticality: Art is understood as a field between subjectivity and objectivity, capable of simultaneously being a sphere for experimentation and for the definition of politics.
In their conversation, Gabrielsson and Manen talk about the use of information, the visual aspect of veracity and reality, and how the collaboration between the two institutions -Index and Kybernein- created a new position for the slipperiness of the artistic voice.
During 2020 Index’ ongoing research process of looking into how artists
deal with and reinvent formats for distribution, has itself been
re-distributed - frozen - sped up - paused - and accelerated by the
global turn. The rollercoaster of stillness and intensity has put a new
lens on how we see the movement of information, the movements of our
bodies and the material realities of distribution.
As part of this, Tracking Distribution interns Mmabatho Thobejane and
Lili Huston-Herterich joined us as co-researchers, learning and sharing
within the summer course ‘Art and Distribution: Exhibition practitioners
and other ways to distribute’, organized by Index and Konstfack
University of the Arts. Now active at Index throughout the summer,
Mmabatho and Lili play an important part in the course unfolding,
tracking its distribution and formulating how artistic practices are
taking on other modalities in responding to a distributed world.
The conversation shared in this podcast was recorded during the first
intense week of seminars and lectures at Index and is a moment of
getting to know the term distribution from their personal
perspective and how they use distribution as a concept within their own
In the 1970s and 80s Sweden, along with many other countries in the world, went through a shift in political narration. The stories that so far had shaped the idea of the Swedish national identity, the welfare state, the democratic workers movement started to leak in the face of crisis. Nathalie Gabrielsson’s exhibition The Campaign at Index investigates these ideological behaviors that came to effectively re-tell the story of the Swedish social model.
This podcast shares the audio from the video work titled The Whistelblower. A big vertical screen, similar to the ones carrying the stories of companies and campaigns in public space, here contains a man. He is well dressed in his mid 50s, standing comfortably talking to you through the leans. His name is Sven Grassman, he is the national economist who went public after spotting inconsistencies and false statistics produces through the network that in the exhibition is traced together as The Campaign.
In April 2019, artist Roxy Farhat and curator Gaby Cepeda met at Index to talk at Roxy Farhat’s exhibition WUH-PSHHH. In this conversation regarding the need to rethink, their discussion takes on productivity, carving spaces, art and systematic stress, loving and hating what you are doing, open letters to Kim Kardashian, being lazy, capitalism, collective practices, race, feminism and queer approaches. Now, Index re-activates the conversation as a podcast. Listen again now to their reflections from a year ago, enduringly relevant today. Carving Spaces is organised as a part of Spaces of Care, Disobedience and Desire: Tactics of Minority Space-Making, a collaborative research project initiated by Rado Ištok, Marie-Louise Richards and Natália Rebelo, supported by the artistic research and development funding of the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.
February 22, 2020, Index Teen Advisory Board sat down to discuss the first part of the workshop Going to an exhibition in character. This workshop has been growing over the years, responding to both the imaginary and real barriers of going to an exhibition and feeling like you have to know something or be someone.
It’s a crowded Saturday, they just asked us to move from the cafe into the library to make room for paying customer. So we move our jackets, hats and bags. The participants in the board present for todays workshop are Leo Queiroz Gonzalez, Alva Mårsén, Alfred Nilsson, Lovisa Johansson and Leo Ramirez Iderström. We are all wearing clothes that feel a little bit uncomfortable. Preparing for todays session we’ve all dressed in the odd and slightly off pieces in our wardrobe. Clothes you might have bought on a trip once, when you tried surfing and had to get the seashell choker to match the look, but felt chokingly ridiculous when you got back. Or the shiny jacket that actually is more attention grabbing for its squeaky sound rather than its glamours shine. Aspects of ourselves we once thought we could be, or never got into.
We jump in as the counting, watching and sketching slowly turns into a discussion about age, elitism, speed dating in museums, who actually watches reality tv Paradise Hotel, the construction of smartness and feeling like an imposter.
Index Teen Advisory Board is going on its fourth year as a crucial part of Index organisation. As a voice within the institution the board offers paid positions for eight young people from across Stockholm and Uppsala. The Board actively supports decision making, evaluation and programming. The amin is to bring together a group of young people from different backgrounds and experiences to reflect on the role and potential of art and culture today.
The performance artist Andrea Fraser is one of the most important figures working in institutional critique.
In April 2019, Fraser gave a talk at Index, sharing her views on power structures, the role of the artist, economy, hierarchies and mechanisms of control. Listen to the podcast here.
"Our relationship to institutions is not that we go into them, they go into us. We incorporate them, embody them and perform them, we enact them. Their languages, their discourses, their values, their practices, their modes of perception, their systems of qualification. What Bourdieu called habitus, the social made body, the social made mind. I started to think about what I was performing as habitus. Performing the internalized institution." - Andrea Fraser
“What is our identity if not a compilation of the people who have influenced us?
We become the people who have influenced us the most deeply” – Chris Kraus
In May Chris Kraus joined us for the opening of her exhibition FILMS BEFORE AND AFTER. Listen to the full conversation between Kraus and the Index team here.