What role can an art institution play in our times? What can it become? As a way of launching the New Biennial of Art and Architecture, Botkyrka konsthall presents the Fittja Pavilion in Venice.
Can the Million Programme (the plan to build one million housing units during the years 1965–75 in Sweden) with its modernist grand-scale planning, and its weakly defined public spaces, be reevaluated? Can it even bring about another kind of contemporary art?
On 13 September, Botkyrka konsthall inaugurates the New Biennial of Art and Architecture in Botkyrka. It is a way of researching how a new kind of art institution can grow from the specific qualities of northern Botkyrka, the modernist housing complexes that make up part
of the southern suburbs of the greater Stockholm area.
Botkyrka konsthall has been running the context-specific residency programme Residence Botkyrka in the neighbourhood of Fittja since 2009. The new institution grows from the knowledge produced by artists, architects, thinkers and curators from within the residency programme, in close collaboration with the community of Fittja, whose inhabitants come from 161 nations around the world, and a rich cultural life consisting of many cultural associations and religious centres. Botkyrka konsthall in Fittja is an arts institution that is open to future practices of contemporary art and architecture; it is an institution that grows organically, that operates internationally through the local context and that produces new knowledge rather than representing the already existing.
On 7 June, the Fittja Pavilion in Serra dei Giardini and in Cini-Venier Naval Institute opens in conjunction to the 14th International Architecture Biennale in Venice. The curator of the biennale, Rem Koolhaas, has called for a closer look on modernism (1914-2014) in the biennale exhibition entitled Fundamentals. In the Fittja Pavilion participating architects and artists reevaluate the architecture and city planning of the 1960s and 1970s in Sweden. In the exhibition the research from Fittja is presented in extensive artistic and architectural research projects, inspiring artists, architects and activists from Sweden, South Africa, Great Britain, the United States and Japan to work together. The Fittja Pavilion presents artistic productions and projects that have been preceded by an extensive time of context-specific research and collaborations in Fittja through Residence Botkyrka. A number of the works in the pavilion will become permanent public art works and public interventions in Fittja through the New Biennial for Art and Architecture in Botkyrka.
Many of the participants of the Fittja Pavilion have been inspired by the philosopher and farmer Masanobu Fukuoka in their thinking about how a new arts institution can be built through the element of chance and unexpected encounters.
“Human knowledge and effort expand and grow increasingly complex and wasteful without limit. We need to halt this expansion, to converge, simplify, and reduce our knowledge and effort. This is in keeping with the laws of nature. Natural farming is more than just a revolution in agricultural techniques. It is the practical foundation of a spiritual movement, of a revolution to change the way man lives.”
(p29, Fukuoka, Natural Farming, 1985)
One ancient technique that Fukuoka has revived is the ‘seed ball’ – a mixture of seeds encased in clay and dry compost. Fukuoka used these seed balls for dispersing rice seed on his farm, but he also suggested that they could be used for re-greening arid lands. In
the Fittja Pavilion several artists have been inspired by Fukuoka’s thinking. The seed balls thus become an image of the many possibilities that the future holds if we let go of our preconceived notions and linear thinking.
Joanna Sandell, curator
Artists and architects: Johanna Billing (Sweden), DK-CM (UK), Derek Gripper (South Africa) + Lindy Roy (South Africa/US), Mako Ishizuka (Japan), Junior Residence (Sweden), Kultivator (Sweden) + Stu Wright (South Africa), Tor Lindstrand + students from KTH School of Architecture (Sweden), Elena Mazzi (Italy), Lorenzo Nassimbeni (South Africa), OPENrestaurant (US) + Ayhan Aydin (Sweden), Jelena Rundqvist + Aron Kullander Östlind (Sweden), Pia Sandström (Sweden), Spridd (Sweden), James Webb (South Africa), Karl-Jonas Winqvist (Sweden)
The Fittja Pavilion is organised by Botkyrka konsthall in collaboration with Microclima project, Venice, the Nordic Pavilion through the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design, KTH – School of Architecture, Serra dei Giardini, Cini-Venier Naval Institute, Martin Rørtoft (Second Eyes) and with support from Iaspis, Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown, Botkyrkabyggen, Swedish Arts Council, Kulturbryggan and Holosonics.
5 – 6 June, 12 – 6pm
Press & Preview of the Fittja Pavilion
Serra dei Giardini, Venice
Cini-Venier Naval Institute, Venice
5 June, 6 – 11pm
Opening party at Serra dei Giardini
6 June, 4-6 pm
Seminar ”Contemporary approaches to the late modernist architecture”, Fittja Pavilion, Serra dei Giardini, Venice.
Junior Residence “Dream Team” is showing the Fittja Pavilion.
5 youths from Botkyrka are making themselves heard in the public spaces of Botkyrka and out in the world.
+46 (0)708 136070
7 June – 7 September
Serra dei Giardini, Venice
Cini-Venier Naval Institute, Venice
Johanna Billing (Sweden), DK-CM (UK), Derek Gripper (South Africa) + Lindy Roy (South Africa/US), Mako Ishizuka (Japan), Junior Residence (Sweden), Kultivator (Sweden) + Stu Wright (South Africa), Tor Lindstrand + students from KTH School of Architecture (Sweden), Elena Mazzi (Italy), Lorenzo Nassimbeni (South Africa), OPENrestaurant (US) + Ayhan Aydin (Sweden), Jelena Rundqvist + Aron Kullander Östlind (Sweden), Pia Sandström (Sweden), Spridd (Sweden), James Webb (South Africa), Karl-Jonas Winqvist (Sweden).
Microclima project, Venice
Nordic Pavilion through the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design
KTH – School of Architecture
Serra dei Giardini
Cini-Venier Naval Institute
Martin Rørtoft (curator, Second Eyes)
WITH SUPPORT FROM:
Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown
Swedish Arts Council
Photo: Toward an Institution, Tor Lindstrand