What is to be done?

Release conversation with Jakob Jakobsen and Ana Teixeira Pinto: what is to be done?

Part of Editorial meeting – A Gathering Towards a Critique of the Contemporary by Paletten Art Journal

What: Conversation with Jakob Jakobsen and Ana Teixeira Pinto, moderated by Frida Sandström (Paletten)

Art and culture are exposed to immense challenges due to various populistic agendas. This has an immediate effect on contemporary art and its complex habitat between the local, national and international. When publishing spaces are becoming more restricted in favour of ideological and market-driven communication – there is an urgency for expanding critical conversations, formats and languages. With the utmost integrity, we aspire to modify ways on how to relate to art and the world at large. Through the function of art, aesthetics and the artworld, can we further understand how the development of the democratic nation-state that emerged out of modernity – is deeply rooted in colonialism and capitalism?

2020 was a year dominated as much by uprisings, as the repression of these, a crisis of social reproduction and health, and various forms of nationalist, logistic-economic and quite some socio-physical reconsiderations. Since the early spring, Paletten Art Journal has gathered writers from various perspectives, under the headline “Editorial meeting.” The emphasis on the notion of the ‘editorial’ was first meant to physically gather people in open editorial meetings, to propose, discuss and determine and alternative methods for future work. While these meetings had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, the conversation between editors and invited contributors continued, fuelled by critical reflections on phenomena such as the distribution of resources, concepts of care, a rising wave of neo-fascism, populism and conspiracy theories, and the role of editorial work and writing, in relation to various forms of political organising.

While the initial plan was to use the editorial meeting as a means to extend the scope of a singular or a few editors, making space for unforeseen encounters to result in unforeseen contributions, the physical restrictions dominating the year cancelled this plan. In collaboration with co-editors Patrik Haggren, Matthew Rana and Frida Sandström, local and international writers were invited with an attempt to both broaden a Northern-European centred discussion, and to dive into locally complex cases in the format of a number of exhibitions reviews.

One of the planned editorial meetings was supposed to take place at Mint – whose critical strivings also has been a great source of motivation during the development process of this editorial project. It is, therefore, a joy to also close this chapter at Mint – hopefully not to only make full circle, but to emphasise on future alliances and trajectories. Celebrating the publication of this compilation of texts that the project has resulted in, Frida Sandström meets the contributing writers, Ana Teixeira Pinto and Jakob Jakobsen, to discuss matters of future work: what is to be done, and what are we preparing for?

The resulting texts, recorded conversations and multimedia montages form this year’s attempts to examine practical possibilities of art criticism today. They are available at paletten.net.

Editorial meeting – A Gathering Towards a Critique of the Contemporary was commissioned by, and funded by Regionsamverkan Sydsverige.