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.