BORIS GROYS Alexandre Kojève: After History


Tid: Tisdag 4 juni 16:00-17:00

Plats: sal D7, Stockholms universitet, Frescati

Fri entré

Alexandre Kojève: After History.

The lecture will discuss the filmic work by Alexandre Kojève after he abandoned his role of philosopher after the World War II. In his lecture, Professor Groys will try to show that Kojève’s photographic practice is a kind of continuation by different means of his philosophical discourse.

Boris Groys är filosof, essäist, kritiker, curator och mediateoretiker. Han innehar en tjänst som Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies vid the Faculty of Arts and Science, New York University. Groys har gett ut ett flertal böcker, bland annat The Total Art of Stalinism: Russian Avant-Garde, Aesthetic Dictatorship and Beyond (1992) och The Man Who Flew into Space from his Apartment (2006). Hans senaste bok, Under Suspicion: A Phenomenology of the Media, kom ut 2012.

Föreläsningen är den sista av tre i serien What does Art Theory Do? Serien undersöker de senaste decenniernas förändrade konstfält, som syns i allt från utställningar till forskning. What does Art Theory Do? är ett samarbetsprojekt mellan tre aktörer som på olika sätt speglar det förändrade konstlandskapet: masterprogrammet Curating Art vid Konstvetenskapliga institutionen SU, Tensta konsthall och Svenska konstkritikersamfundet.

Professor Boris Groys kommer även att hålla en föreläsning på Tensta Konsthall ons 5 juni kl 18:30.

Föreläsningarna hålls på engelska.

Föreläsningsserien What does Art Theory Do? genomförs med hjälp av generöst stöd från Kulturrådet och Wenner-Gren Stiftelserna.

För vidare information vänligen kontakta lektor Magdalena Holdar

Panel discussion: Art criticism in the future media landscape

Where: Moderna Museet, The Auditorium.
When: Friday 22.3 at 3-5 pm. Moderna Bar is open from 5 pm.
Admission free. Admission to the collection is free from 6 pm.
Language: English.

On the panel:
Marek Bartelik, New York, President of AICA, critic for Artforum.
Daniel Birnbaum, Director of Moderna Museet.
Jonas Ekeberg, Oslo, editor of the web publication Kunstkritikk .
Dorota Jarecka, Warsaw, art critic for Gazeta Wyborcza.
Birgitta Rubin, Stockholm, art critic and art editor for Dagens Nyheter.

Welcome address by Ann-Sofi Noring, Co-Director of Moderna Museet.
Opening address by Christian Chambert, President of AICA Sweden.
Short talk by Marek Bartelik on the situation in the USA, also highlighting the international perspective. This will be followed by a round table discussion.
Moderator: Mårten Arndtzén, art critic at Swedish Radio.

Great changes are underway in the mass media. In the wake of the digital revolution, newspapers are facing serious challenges, according to the optimists, or their imminent death, according to others. How does this affect public debate and art criticism – and art itself? Earning a living by writing about art is hardly likely to get easier when newspapers are forced to cut all their expenses, for lack of comparable digital business models. And if the space for professional art criticism shrinks in the daily press, how will this impact on radio and TV coverage? Meanwhile, the internet offers virtually limitless potential for communication and interaction. How can art criticism avail itself of this, and how will criticism be influenced by the new parameters?

These are a few of the questions we will deal with in the afternoon discussion. The panel represents experiences from the situation in Scandinavia, Poland and the USA, from the daily press, the internet, radio, TV and leading art magazines.

The event is organised by AICA Sweden, in association with the Polish Institute in Stockholm and Moderna Museet.

Underground artists in exile – A debate about human rights and freedoms of expression

Saturday 16/2 12.00 – 13.30
Studio 3, floor 3
Kulturhuset, Stockholm
Admission and opening hours:

The Armenian artist Narek Aghajanyan and his family are facing expulsion from Sweden. They have been denied asylum despite the fact that Narek has suffered politically motivated threats and physical violence to his person and art, including having his paintings destroyed. Why is there sanctuary for writers in Sweden but not for visual artists or musicians? Narek Aghajanyan, who has had several exhibitions in Europe, including Sweden, will be interviewed on stage concerning his work and experiences.

The seminar will continue with a discussion focusing on recent developments relating to more inclusive definitions of artistic freedom; the founding in 2012 of Artsfex, the first global network in support of freedom of expression in visual arts and music, and the on-going discussion in Sweden on widening the scope of the City of Refuge project (”Fristäder”) to include support of persons active in non-verbal creative arts.

Participants: Kerstin Brunnberg, journalist, Chairperson of the Swedish Council of Culture, Alfons Karabuda, composer, Chairman of European Composer and Song Writer Alliance (ECSA), delegate to the United Nations Expert Group on Freedom of the Arts, and Patrik Steorn, art historian, vice chairman of Swedish Arts Critics Association (AICA).

Arne Ruth, journalist and writer, former president of Swedish PEN, will chair both sessions.

This programme is part of Supermarket 2013. Stockholm Independent Art Fair.

Stop the deportation of Narek Aghajanyan

AICA, the Swedish Art Critics’ Association and KRO/KIF urge the Swedish Migration Board to let the asylum-seeking Armenian artist Narek Aghajanyan stay in Sweden. It is yet another case of a visual artist who risks expulsion and it shows that it is high time that the government takes a stand for offering cities of refuge also for visual artists.

Sweden has a history of standing up for the freedom of expression by showing solidarity with artists who have the courage to criticize repressive regimes. Narek Aghajanyan is one of those artists who have been harassed in their homeland because of their art and whose basic human rights are not respected.

Narek Aghajanyan fled Armenia for Sweden in 2010 and sought asylum. He had been threatened and manhandled, and his art had been destroyed. In Yerevan, Armenia, the authorities refused to let him arrange an exhibition in memory of the 10 protesters who were killed during the disturbances following the presidential elections of 2008. The Migration Court of Appeal has rejected his appeal and Narek Aghajanyan, his wife and daughter now face deportation.

“Narek Aghajanyan’s fundamental human rights and his right to express himself through his art are under serious threat if he is forced out of Sweden. KRO/KIF find the decision of the Migration Board incomprehensible and believe it must be reconsidered,” says Karin Willén who is president of the Swedish Artists’ National Organisation (KRO).

Today there are cities of refuge in Sweden only for writers, not for visual artists or musicians. The deportation decision in question shows yet again how the refugee policies fail to protect targeted free visual artists and their right to freedom of expression. KRO/KIF and the Swedish Art Critics’ Association therefore urge the government to take responsibility for establishing cities of refuge for persecuted artists in all forms of art. Naturally, our organizations will offer to contribute with knowledge and competence.

AICA (Association International des Critiques d’Art) and the Swedish Art Critics’ Association appeal in a letter to several ministers in the Swedish government and to the Migration Board, to let Narek Aghajanyan stay in Sweden and freely practice his art.

“KRO/KIF stand behind this letter. It is a given, as one of our main missions is to work for the freedom of expression and artistic freedom. If the government and the Migration Board find it justifiable to expel vulnerable artists to their native countries where they risk persecution, they are also taking part in censorship and repression,” says KRO President Karin Willén.

Press contact:
Patrik Steorn, vice president of the Swedish Art Critics’ Association, mobile number +46 709797954

Karin Willén, president, KRO, mobile number +46 707407242

KRO/KIF, the Swedish Artists’ National Organisation is the Swedish visual artists’ interest group. KRO organizes artists with a higher education diploma or at least five years of professional experience. KRO works on national and regional levels and in local work groups. The Association of Swedish Craftsmen and Designers gathers artists and craftsmen who work with applied arts, i.e., who apply their artistic skills to specific materials. Together, KRO/KIF represent more than 3,300 Swedish visual and design artists.

AICA, Association International des Critiques d’Art/the International Association of Art Critics, is a global organization whose goal it is to support art criticism around the world, in all its forms and different genres. For AICA, the freedom of expression is an important principle and a fundamental civil right which must be defended. AICA was founded in 1948, is recognized as an NGO (non-governmental organization) by UNESCO since 1951 and today has over 4,600 members in 61 national and regional sections across the world.

The Swedish Art Critics’ Association, the Swedish section of AICA, is a non-profit association that gathers professionally active art critics in all media, education or the curating of exhibitions. The members are primarily concerned with modern and contemporary art from all cultures; there are 262 members in the Swedish section. The mission of the association is to promote the understanding and critical interpretation of visual arts in all their histories and manifestations. An important goal is to impartially defend freedom of expression and thought, and to fight censorship.

AICA’s letter: Narek Aghajanyan

It has been drawn to our attention that Narek Aghajanyan, an Armenian artist and political activist, who with his wife and daughter, has been a refugee in Sweden since 2010, has been declined permission by the Swedish Migration Board to remain living and working in Sweden.

We were informed by the Swedish section of AICA that Mr Aghajanyan’s 2010 exhibition in Yerevan, Armenia, which engaged with political and social issues, was hindered by the Armenian authorities and subsequently his artworks were destroyed. After being threatened and beaten, he and his family left the country for Sweden. Given the censorship and violent treatment he experienced in Armenia, a
course of events confirmed by his lawyer, he is understandably very concerned about returning to his country. We support Mr Aghajanan’s case to remain in Sweden where his civil rights will be assured more protection.

The International Association of Art Critics (AICA) is a global organization, established in 1948, comprising art critics who are anxious to improve international cooperation in the fields of artistic creativity, mediation and endeavour. AICA firmly believes that freedom of expression is an important principle and as a basic civil right must be defended.

A hallmark of a democracy is its willingness to allow, consider and withstand critical as well as benign points of view. As such it underlines the role and importance of art to engage with social and political issues in a free and open society. We feel it is our duty then to respond to and support cases such as that of Narek Aghajanyan and would therefore ask the Swedish Migration Board to reconsider its decision to deny Mr Aghajanyan and his family permission to remain in Sweden.

Marek Bartelik, President of AICA
Liam Kelly, Chair of AICA Commission on Censorship and Freedom of Expression

For web site, see: (accessed 15 October 2012)

Thomas Elovsson on Documenta. The Critics’ Salon at Konstnärshuset

Welcome to the Critics’ Salon of the Art Critics’ Association at Konstnärshuset (the Artists’ House).

Ghosts, cows, vultures and bees: The artist Thomas Elovsson on highlights of this year’s Documenta in Kassel.

At 19:00 hrs, Tuesday 2 October 2012.

A bar serving light food will be open all night, from 18:30 to 23:00 hrs.

Address: Konstnärsklubben, 2nd floor, Smålandsgatan 7, Stockholm. Ring doorbell marked “Konstnärsklubben”.
The Critics’ Salon is arranged by the Swedish Art Critics’ Association in collaboration with the Tuesday Club – the meeting place for artists at Konstnärshuset (the Artists’ House) on the first Tuesday of every month.

Free admission, this invitation is for you and one guest.

The lecture will be held in Swedish.

When artists are convicted of environmental crimes: A talk on the responsibilities and rights of the artist

The starting point of the discussion is the legal process and judgment that followed the work Blick in Öja-Landsort in the archipelago of Stockholm.

Arranged by: Tegen2 in collaboration with the Swedish Art Critics’ Association

On the panel: Sophie Allgårdh, art critic Svenska Dagbladet; Dan Jönsson, art critic Dagens Nyheter; Simon Häggblom and Karin Lind, the artistic duo Simka; and Gunilla Skiöld Feiler, one of the artists behind the gallery Tegen2 in Södermalm.

Moderator: Ann-Sofie Bárány, playwright and psychoanalyst.

Time: 18:00 hrs this Thursday, 13 September 2012

Place: Simka will present the exhibit Yellow Hop at the Tegen2 gallery, Bjurholmsgatan 9b, underground station Skanstull. We will then proceed together to Simka’s studio in Malongen; Nytorget 15, staircase c, underground station Skanstull; where the speech will take place.

Background: Last year the artistic duo Simka – Simon Häggblom and Karin Lind – were sentenced by the Svea hovrätt (appellate court) to pay a fine for breaking the Environmental Code.
The crime: They drilled a hundred holes in the rocky beach of Öja-Landsort in the outer archipelago of Stockholm, when erecting their installation Blick, starting in 2008. The area is a natural preserve since 1985.

The work is made up of some thirty half-meter tall, plastic yellow houses with logotypes on them. The gables of the houses are facing the sea lane and are a reference to the reality that the people of Öja-Landsort live in. Every day, large freighters peppered with advertising pass by the island and ruin the idea of a picturesque idyll.
In the judgment, Simka refers to business praxis. They assumed that the exhibition arranger would have stopped the project had it not been legal to drill in the rocks. But the Svea hovrätt found otherwise. Simka should have understood that an area under nature protection requires special permission.

Nathalia Edenmont is also, in her current exhibition at the Wetterling Gallery, in conflict with pronounced nature protection interests. The focus is on a number of photo collages with wings, which in some cases belong to red-listed butterflies. Both the artist and the gallery have been reported to the police.

What are the rights and obligations of an artist? Nature and culture are often viewed as absolute entities. We expect total respect towards nature, but also towards art. This paves the way for conflict. Why, in the case of Simka, is there not a legally responsible publisher ready to take the blame, as in the newspaper world?


The roundtable will be held in Swedish.

Gender-pedagogical Achievments

Welcome to attend the release party for Gender-pedagogical Achievments, festschrift to Anna Lena Lindberg

Time: Thursday 10 May, 18:00–20:00
Place: The bookstore Konst-ig, Åsögatan 124, Stockholm
Free wine & snacks will be offered!

The editors of the book, Katarina Wadstein MacLeod, Johanna Rosenqvist, Maria Carlgren and Linda Fagerström will hold a short talk with Anna Lena Lindberg. The discussion will focus on feminist perspectives on contemporary art, gender perspectives on the writing of art history, and the importance of art pedagogy in the future.

The book will be offered at a special price during the evening.

About the book:
Gender-pedagogical Achievements. Subversive and Affirmative Action is a festschrift to Anna Lena Lindberg that summarizes her pioneering work as an art historian.

Authors: Linda Fagerström, Louise Waldén, Barbro Werkmäster, Anne Lidén, Inger Lövkrona, Eva Zetterman, Johanna Rosenqvist, Katarina Wadstein MacLeod, Maria Carlgren, Louise Andersson, Philippa Nanfeldt, Martin Sundberg, Margareta Willner-Rönnholm, Anne Wichstrøm, Tutta Palin,Jorunn Veiteberg and Malene Vest Hansen. Book cover artist: Jenny Grönvall, Peggy’s Shoe and the Sea (2004)

Gender-pedagogical Achievements contains articles by 15 art historians, art pedagogues, curators, historians and ethnologists. Art pedagogy and gender studies are discussed under the headings: Pioneering Achievements, Gender and Academy, The Possibilities of Art Pedagogy, and Woman and Artist. These two areas of art history bear clear traces of the achievements of Anna Lena Lindberg; subversive and revolutionary, affirmative and approving.

Arranged by: the Swedish Art Critics’ Association, Konst-ig and the editors.

The talk will be held in Swedish


Welcome to the celebrations for World Art Day and the 75th anniversary of The Swedish Artists National Organisation (KRO) at Moderna Museet. A party with cake artworks by Peter Johansson, Lisa Jonasson, Marianne Lindberg De Geer, Makode Aj Linde and Galleri Syster. Afterwards, a panel discussion on the fight against censorship and for the freedom of art with well-known names from the international artscene.

13: The beginning of World Art Day Where the artist-designed cakes are admired and eaten. Level 2 between the auditorium and Pontus Hultén Study Gallery.
14: Introduction by Daniel Birnbaum, Museum Director of Moderna Museet, the Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, Karin Willén, Chairman of KRO and Pontus Raud, Vice-President of the European section of the International Association of Art.
15-17.30: The Fight against Censorship and for the Freedom of Art, a panel discussion in English. Guests: Tania Bruguera, artist from Cuba, Niilofur Farrukh, editor of the art magazine NuktaArt in Pakistan and Marina Naprushkina, artist from Belarus. Christian Chambert, Chairman of Svenska Konstkritikersamfundet will launch the discussion. Moderator: Sophie Allgårdh, art critic for the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet and Vice-Chairman of Svenska Konstkritikersamfundet.
17.30–20: Bar and mingle.

RSVP by April 14 for the cake party:
Free admission to World Art Day and panel discussion (no RSVP is required for the debate)

World Art Day is celebrated to highlight the importance of art in a global perspective.

Panel Discussion: The Fight against Censorship and for the Freedom of Art

Art and free speech are difficult to achieve in many places around the world. In some countries, it is not possible to exhibit artworks of a certain type, and sometimes, art functions only as part of an underground or dissident culture. But even there at the risk of legal reprisals. We often imagine that it is dictators pulling all these strings, but just as often threats come from various religious groups or groups of an ethnic or political nature. Dictatorship is unpredictable with its double-face. In the globalized world, dictators need contact with the outside world but they also require maximum control over their artists. In this game, there is a deceptive laissez-faire attitude. An artist can never be sure when the noose will be tightened. The rule of law is sidelined. However, not even democracy guarantees freedom for art. Institutions in the Western world dodge threats from vocal groups. Others are one step ahead and engage in self-censorship. How can these problems be tackled? Should you remove visitors’ shoes for security checks at every show? Is police surveillance and detectors for any sensitive subjects depicted the solution? Against this gloomy background, artists throughout time have been at the vanguard of a more permissive society. A painting has unique opportunities to communicate directly – it could be a signal to wake up.

Svenska Konstkritikersamfundet has invited three distinguished guests from around the world to illustrate and talk
about the visual arts field. Guests on the panel:

Tania Bruguera, A Cuban artist with the world as her field of work. Founder in 2002 of Cátedra Arte de Conducta, the first centre in Havana for the study of political art. In 2009, she provoked the Cuban dictatorship during a performance. In an operation against Fidel Castro, she stretched out a microphone and invited the audience to say anything for one minute. Many took the opportunity and called for freedom and democracy. The regime condemned the campaign as shameful opportunism, claiming that it offended Cuban artists.

Niilofur Farrukh is the founder and editor of NuktaArt, Pakistan Contemporary Art Magazine and a member of AICA’s Commission on Censorship and Freedom of Expression that reviews and acts against censorship in the arts arena of various different countries. Her book Pioneering Perspectives highlights three female artists’ influential role during the oppression of the Zia period. The book reveals the regime’s insidious censorship and how it systematically erased the role of Pakistani women in nation-building. Her struggle for peace in the conflict between Pakistan and India led to her involvement in the exhibition Flags of Peace.

Marina Naprushkina, an artist from Belarus, who experiments with the propaganda language of dictator Alexander Lukashenko to get hold of the power elite that has shaped the country. With her artistic magazines and the book My Daddy is a Policeman. What is he doing at work? she makes a contribution to the fight against militia violence against women in Belarus. Since 2011, she has worked together with the journal Nash Dom against militia violence against Belarusian women. The magazine is run by the Belarusian opposition politician Olga Karatch. Marina Naprushkina will exhibit Self#governing at the Kalmar Art Museum, opening May 19, 2012, in collaboration with the Berlin Biennale.

The debate is organized by Svenska Konstkritikersamfundet, the Swedish section of the international art critics organization AICA based in Paris (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art).

World Art Day is organized by the International Association of Art (IAA) which is the largest international non-governmental association of visual artists, with over 100 branches worldwide.
Other organizers: The Swedish Artists National Organization and Craftsmen and Designers Organization (KRO/KIF) and Swedish section of the international art critics organization.
Partners: Visual Arts Copyright Society in Sweden (BUS), Konstfrämjandet, Museum of Modern Art, Polish Institute and Swedish Institute.

For more information about World Art Day, please contact Pontus Raud: +46 709-451 724.
For more information about panel discussion please contact Sophie Allgårdh: +46 708-45 60 87.

Jacob Kimvall: Among police, critics and other agents in street art. The Critics’ Salon of the Swedish Art Critics Association visits the Tuesday Club

Tuesday, 6 March, 19:00 hrs.

Free admission. This invitation is for you and one guest.

“I happen upon two critic colleagues, art critics, eagerly discussing and taking notes in their notepads […] In contrary to most critics on duty, they wear uniform. But then, of course, they are police, the place is a subway platform and the object of critical observation is a new graffiti painting. We are talking about a crime scene investigation – which, actually, does not make their business any different than a great deal of ordinary critique assignments.” Leif Nylén, in daily DN, 27 March, 2001

The discussion in art criticism and art history on graffiti and street art brings to the fore the relationship of critics/historians to a number of actors in society. Aside from an international subcultural community of artists, amateur historians and photo collectors, there is a large number of professional participants who contribute to the value production of street art: from graffiti cleaners and police, via criminologists, sociologists and journalists, to filmmakers and art collectors.

As Leif Nylén points out in a column, there are obvious similarities between the work of, for example, police and critics. The lecture will discuss similarities and distinctions between four different agents who all, in different ways, contribute to the understanding of graffiti as a societal phenomenon. The non-profit work of amateur historians and photo collectors is put in relation to the societally institutionalized work of police, critics and art historians. What difference is there in methods of selection and classification of material, and what is the relationship between selection and the values represented by the agent?

Jacob Kimvall is a post-graduate student at the Department of Art History at the Stockholm University, and is working on a dissertation on street art and graffiti concerning, among other things, the hip hop culture as part of Cold War cultural exchange and confrontation. Kimvall is also active as a lecturer and teacher, for example at Berghs School of Communication and the Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design.

A bar serving light food will be open all evening, from 18:30 to 23:00. Address: Konstnärsklubben, 2nd floor, Smålandsgatan 7, Stockholm. Ring door bell marked ”Konstnärsklubben”.

The Critics’ Salon is arranged by the Swedish Art Critics Association in collaboration with the Tuesday Club – the meeting place for artists in Konstnärshuset (the Artists’ House) on the first Tuesday of every month.

The Critics’ Salon will be held in Swedish.