Factory girls – The Wilful Textile Worker

The artistic project: The factory girls – The wilful textile worker organize an exhibition and  conference at Mint Art Gallery in the ABF building in Stockholm. The conference wants to  highlight and discuss the conditions, knowledge and resistance of women in the textile and home  industry; their willingness and self-will, which is expressed in organization, professional pride and  strategies. During the week, parts of the play Fabriksflickorna – makten och härligheten [The  Factory Girls – The Power and Glory] are reactivated, in an exhibition by Åsa Norman (Sweden)  textile artist, and Frida Hållander (Sweden) PhD, craft artist. The play premiered in Skellefteå  under the direction of Suzanne Osten and Margareta Garpe in 1980.  

In the exhibition, Norman and Hållander show parts of the multi-year artistic project The Factory  girls – The Willful Textile Worker through material and crafts investigations as well as archive  material and sound. Artists and researchers are invited to the conference. They will hold  workshops and presentations to create a Nordic context for an in-depth discussion on textile  production and the home industry.  

The project is carried out with support from the Nordic Culture Fund, The Swedish Arts Grants  Committee, the Helge Ax:son Johnssons stiftelse, Byggnads kulturstipendium, and in collaboration with Iaspis. The exhibition and conference is part of Stockholm Craft Week 2020.

Conference Week Program:  

The conference is taking place in the ABF-house at Sveavägen 41 in Stockholm. The lectures is in  different lecture-halls (see schedule). The lectures will be available to follow online via Zoom and  we take a limited number of people in the audience. Pre-registration for all presentations are via  email to Åsa Norman:  

asanorman@gmail.com  

Wednesday September 30 

The exhibition opens! Opening hours: 16.00-20.00.  

Thursday October 1 Conference day 1, all lectures are in Katasalen at the first floor in ABF huset  

The exhibition is open 12:00-18:00  

10:00-11:30 Introductory presentation and lecture by Åsa Norman (Sweden) textile artist and  Frida Hållander (Sweden) PhD, craft artist, presents the ongoing artistic project Factory girls –  The Willful Textile Workers. Tjia Torpe (Sweden) educator and producer will tell about the play  Fabriksflickorna – makten och härligheten [The Factory Girls – The Power and Glory]. Language:  Swedish. 

13:00-14:30 Leena Enbom (Finland) doctoral researcher in Social and Economic History in the  University of Helsinki. The lecture will shed light on the variations of home industries that  appeared as part of the secondary labour market in the urbanizing Finland from the late 19th century until the 1960s. Additionally, the lecture will discuss the disciplinary functions of the  workhouse and relief work institutions based on the obligation to perform crafts and sewing tasks.  Language: English.

15.00-16:30 Lecture with Malin Nilsson (Sweden) PhD Economic History, researcher at the  Department of Economic History at Lund University. She will present her dissertation Taking work  home: Labor dynamics of women industrial homeworkers in Sweden during the second industrial  revolution (2015). Nilsson’s talk will also focus on how women’s commercial home based textile  production became a highly politicized topic in Europe in the late 19th century. Language:  Swedish.  

Friday October 2 Conference day 2, all lectures are in Katasalen at the first floor in ABF-huset The exhibition is open 12:00-18:00 

10:00-11:30 Sushmita Preetha (Bangladesh) journalist, writer and researcher, together with Karin  Elfving (Sweden) journalist and ethnologist. The lecture will be based on testimonies from textile  workers in Bangladesh were it is describe how their rights are constantly violated, also how  Covid-19 has pushed these workers into further difficulties. Preetha and Elfving will also include  the response from some of the Swedish brands. Language: English.  

13:00-14:30 Lecture with Franz Petter Schmidt (Norway) Associate Professor of Textile Art at  KhiO – Oslo School of Fine Arts, textile artist and artistic researcher. Schmidt will present his  artistic dissertation project Reflection, Weaving Fabrics for Suits (2018), which touches on the  textile factory Sjølingstad Woolen Mill in Norway, and textile industry production through feeling,  longing, belonging, memory, pride and being queer. He will also present an ongoing project on a  diary written from 1925 to 1942 by the weaver Malli Berge. Language: Norwegian.  

15:00-16:30 Emelie Röndahl (Sweden) PhD student at HDK – Gothenburg University in the Arts,  presents her ongoing artistic dissertation project “Crying Pixels: a practitioner’s narrative through  woven rya – aspects of time in hand made practice”. Language: Swedish. 

Saturday October 3 Conference day 3, all lectures are in Hjärtat at the entrance level at ABF huset  

The exhibition is open 12:00-18:00 

11:00-12:30 Munish Wadhia (Sweden) artist, will present his ongoing work on the match industry  Jönköping’s Match Factory AB. Wadhia will also present his work “Signs taken for wonders” in  which he returns to the images and objects that surrounded him during his childhood, but with a  decolonial gaze that questions their given meanings, here he refers to the experience from  different textile factories. Language: English.  

13:00-14:00 Marie Hållander (Sweden) freelance poet and lecturer at Södertörn University.  Hållander will present the literary project “Among the girls and machines of the textile dust”  where she starts from textile stories and archives from Sjuhärad in Västergötland. Language:  Swedish.  

14:00-14:30 Nino Mick (Sweden) poet and writer, they will read an adapted version of a novel in  progress that delas about Berta Bäckman (b. 1860) and other factory worker that works in a match  factory in Tidaholm. The historical novel moves on two times, 1875 the time of the great fire in  the factory where 50 girls perished, 1909 the Swedish general strike. Language: Swedish. 

15:00-17:00 Go-slow action, along Sveavägen, start outside the ABF-house, public performance  led by Frida Hållander & Åsa Norman.  

Sunday October 4 

The exhibition is open 12:00-16:00 

With generous support from Konstnärsnämnden, Nordisk kulturfond, Helge Ax:son Johnssons stiftelse and Byggnads kulturstipendium in collaboration with Iaspis.

Illustration: Hanna Stenman

Konstfack’s Master of Fine Arts Degree exhibition

With: Alexandra Larsson Jacobson, Danae Valenza, David Torstensson Elise Léonin, Ferdinand Evaldsson, Henning Rehnström, Ingrid Gustafsson Jonas Törnkvist, Josefin Jussi Andersson, Luki Essender, Maria Kulikovska Marija Griniuk, Muhammad Ali, Petronella Petander, Tony Karlsson Savci.

When a work is exhibited, it becomes something in the world. It meets an observer, a room, an environment with sound, light, ceiling and walls. In the exhibition, the work is in some way given an unpredictable life. Its effects are tested through that situation. Does it grab us? Does it shake things up? Does it sow seeds in our memories? This is why the exhibition is a natural part of the artistic practise; it puts the implications of existing in the world – as an artist – to the test.

This year’s graduating class in the Master’s Programme in Fine Art gives us an impressive breadth of artistic works to enjoy. These works interpret reality and renegotiate it, distil it through research, actions and listening practices. They take shape through painting, film, sculptures and song. Through radicalism, care and poverty, gestural abstraction, sleeplessness and museology. They show clearly the scope and the thought-provoking potential of the art.

This year, the class has formed a collaboration with the newly established Mint Art Gallery, located in the Workers’ Educational Association (ABF) premises in central Stockholm – a building that opened in the early 1960s and has since then functioned as a centre for self-organised education in the city. This is not a traditional exhibition hall with accommodating white walls and quiet spaces, but instead, an environment that encourages installation in responsive dialogue with existing environments and their own special peculiarities. The works are shown in dance halls, basements and stairwells, through reflections, dialogues and interventions. The exhibition as a practice is thus tested for yet another lap as it approaches the world and its chequered complexity.

Exhibition period
Open June 5th – June 16th

Opening hours
Monday – Friday 10.00-16.00
Saturday and Sunday Closed

In order to provide for a safe experience of the exhibition in line with the current situation’s social recommendations, we have limited the number of visitors to 15 people at a time.

If you want to be sure that you/your company can make a visit at a desired time, please contact mfa2konstfack@gmail.com to reserve a timeslot.

We will have hosts to receive you during your visit and who will keep the count of the number of visitors in the space. It is possible to visit the exhibition spontaneously, with the possibility of having to wait for a short while.

Graphic design: Linda Hallstan

Konstfack in collaboration with ABF Stockholm

I Am Not One

Konstnärer: Anna Andersson, Cara Tolmie, Isak Sundström, Jakob Krajcik, Jenny Bergman, Lina Bjerneld, Magnus Thierfelder Tzotzis, Nacho Tatjer, Nanna Nordström, Nathalie Gabrielsson, Roxy Farhat, Stephen McKenzie, Susanna Jablonski, Zhou Tao

The crisis in the Swedish art world, as a consequence of the covid-19 pandemic and the forced or voluntary isolation experienced by us all, is a reminder that alone we do not feel particularly good. Therefore, five art organisations — Bonniers Konsthall, hangmenProjects, Index, Mint and Signal — are experimenting with a joint project and together have produced the exhibition I Am Not One.

The pandemic is not the theme of this exhibition, but its origin. Through an associative chain of thought, a number of works and artists have been selected by the respective parties. Rather than a concordant curatorial argument, the exhibition can be considered a kind of montage. The works offer angles of approach to the situation we find ourselves in right now. Art is a place for collaborative thinking and it does not back away from what is difficult. Instead of presenting answers or solutions, art allows us to remain with the complicated and paradoxical that permeates our world: existentially, poetically and materially.

This collaboration is one way of drawing attention to our various organisations’ practices and institutional conditions. The crisis currently unfolding in the Swedish cultural sector is probably the worst in modern times and we will need various kinds of help to cope. An evident need of solidarity and support has arisen, as well as a desire to show that art in everyday life must carry on.

Who knows when we may meet again, it will probably be a while yet. But when it is possible, we wish to gather you all for a conversation where everyone is welcome to discuss with us what we want to happen after the crisis. An occasion to examine new forms of collaboration and reflect on the future of art, artists and art institutions. Perhaps this exhibition can be seen as a first invitation.

Please visit Bonniers website for opening hours and to book an appointment for your visit: https://bonnierskonsthall.se/en/

Image: Still from Blue and Red, courtesy of Zhou Tao and Vitamin Creative Space