In the City Grows a Field

In the City Grows a Field

SIGNAL—Center for Contemporary Art / Malmö Konsthall

Cia Kanthi, Blind Spot, I didn’t know their stories, but we had the same eyes, 2019.

November 8, 2022
In the City Grows a Field
50 artists in Malmö
October 1, 2022–January 15, 2023
Malmö Konsthall
S:t Johannesgatan 7
SE-205 80 Malmö
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Malmö is a fantastic city for art. This exhibition aims to tell the story of what is happening in the art scene of Malmö—right now—with the help of the artists who work tirelessly in it. Born between the 1940s and 1990s, they are all active in Malmö’s art scene and work with a wide range of expressions. Fifty artists participate and bring to the exhibition a shared belief in art as something indispensable. Many of them have experienced both success and quiet periods over the years, but their work with art has continued regardless. Some have only just started.

There are conditions that influence the specificity of art in a city. How the field is allowed to grow. In Malmö, the scene is characterised by a self-organised tradition where studio collectives and artist-run exhibition spaces create unique conditions and collegial contexts in which to participate. The breadth of these small-scale initiatives set this city apart—not only in a Swedish context but also internationally. We can call them supportive structures, long-standing and temporary arrangements where art is given a collegial meaning and where new ideas are tested. These independent cultural spaces have historically also been a pivotal feature of the art scene. Maintaining a collective sense of community takes hard work and perseverance, it is a balancing act that is hard to pull off. That effort includes managing ongoing relationships of varying kinds, among the people within the local community and with external interests (such as a rise in rent costs, a threat of demolition, urban transformation or safety concerns). Several of the artists in the exhibition share a common engagement in these initiatives, and they balance the time needed to maintain their network of colleagues with the time invested in working on their own art practice. This is a strength we want to incorporate into the exhibition.

But equally the exhibition is a collection of the work of individual artists who are characterized by independence, daring and resolve. Out of this collective emerges a situation that resounds through the song of a tree, whispers in the cardboard boxes and tinkles to the beat of an apple-shaped instrument. The exhibition is populated by mothers, fathers, demons, angels and autonomous friends. The sacred is present, and so is death. From carefully wrought matter, links are established across a blue-green space.

The exhibition In the City Grows a Field is the result of a collaboration between the four of us curators, but it has also been shaped through the voices and proposals of others. In the piece ON-HOLD produced specifically for the exhibition, artist Johan Nahoj creates a context to feature works by twenty-three invited fellow artists, and through a programme staged by the artist duo Moloid A… the content of the exhibition expands through poetry, discussions and happenings. For the exhibition catalogue curator Jari Malta has written a letter from Malmö, and the opening was hosted by the organisation Helamalmö.

A polyphony of expressions, voices and experiences convey a strong belief in art and a desire to share that passion with others—with us and with you.

Participating artists: Anna Andersson, Marianne Andersson Embäck, Sergio Augusto, Kah Bee Chow, Anita Christoffersson, Petter Dahlström Persson, Nils Ekman, Mattias Eliasson, Lars Embäck, Zardasht Faraj, Ingrid Furre, Carola Grahn, Astrid Göransson, Helen Haskakis, Sigrid Holmwood, Ingvild Hovland Kaldal, Bo Hylander, Torsten Hylander, Ingela Ihrman, E.B. Itso, Andreas Johansson, Cia Kanthi, Gabriel Karlsson, Johan F Karlsson, Ellinor Lager, Tamara de Laval, LealVeileby, Youngjae Lih, Ariadna Mangrané, Marcus Matt, Iman Mohammed, Jennifer Myerscough, Johan Nahoj, David Nilson, Olof Nimar, Mariella Otto, Joana Pereira, Rasmus Ramö Streith, Samaneh Roghani, Jennifer Sameland, Joakim Sandqvist, Julia Selin, Selma Sjöstedt, Matti Sumari, Magnus Thierfelder Tzotzis, Jonelle Twum, Thale Vangen, Charlotte Walentin, Amin Zouiten, Jon Åkerlind.

Curators: Emily Fahlén, Asrin Haidari, Mats Stjernstedt, Elena Tzotzi.

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SIGNAL—Center for Contemporary Art  / Malmö Konsthall
November 8, 2022

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