Index has a history of more than 40 years behind it. Firstly, with a focus on photography and publishing, and for the last 20 years with contemporary art as its cultural sphere. Index has been extremely important for the artistic context in Stockholm and the art world of northern and central Europe, however Index is not just history. We work with questions of the contemporary, using clear tools and formats.
The size of Index is “human” and the contact with its visitors is defined as a permanent dialogue. Being placed at the center of Stockholm helps Index to be understood as a key institution and node within contemporary art networks.
Index has multiple public roles as an art institution. We are a platform for artists and for audiences. We understand that the role of an art institution like Index does not begin and end with an exhibition – instead there is an ongoingness to the activities, research processes, learning programs and relationships between Index, artists and audiences. Index works with an artistic conceptual approach that aims to carve out space and time for criticality, dialogue, curiosity and building discursive situations that develop the role of art today.
Producer and Curator of Learning,
(Emmeli Person and Jasmine Hinks are actually on leave)
Henrik Andersson (Ordf.)
Frida Klingberg (Kassör)
Olof Glemme (Ordinarie)
Rebecka Katz Thor (Ordinarie)
Santiago Mostyn (Ordinarie)
Nina Svensson (Ordinarie)
Koshik Zaman (Ordinarie)
The 2020/2021 Index Teen Advisory Board members are:
Jose William Esteban Velásquez Cristancho
We accept applications for internships on an ongoing basis from students in the fields of art history, theory and curatorial programs. Other job advertisements at Index will be advertised on our website and newsletter.
The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation
T + 46 8 502 198 38
Current opening hours:
Thur / Fri 12:00–18:00
Sat / Sun 12:00–16:00
We are closed on the following public holidays: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Midsummer Eve and Midsummer Day.
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Index’ unique gallery space is available for hires and events. More information here.
Prior to becoming Index—The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation in 1998, Galleri Index was run by Fotograficentrum, a not-for-profit member association of Swedish photographers and other practitioners interested in “creating distribution channels for photography.” Established in 1974, Fotograficentrum comprised a series of regional branches across Sweden, some of which—Stockholm, Örebro, Göteborg, Malmö, and Luleå—managed independent spaces. As a national organization Riks Fotograficentrum’s main goal was to promote photography as an artistic form, with a particular engagement with sociopolitical and documentary issues. The Stockholm branch of Fotograficentrum was located in the city center from the outset, on Malmskillnadsgatan 45. In the mid 80s, Fotograficentrum expanded its activities, in order to be a more proactive initiator of debates around the changing role of photography. Beyond organizing exhibitions and running workshops and seminars, Fotograficentrum also operated as a sort of employment agency for its members, helping them become professionally active, through focusing on production of new work to be exhibited either in its own space or elsewhere. It also published the bi-monthly journal Bildtidningen, which became an important forum for readers interested in Scandinavian and international discourse on photography criticism and theory.
Toward the end of the decade, Fotograficentrum moved to a new location on Sankt Paulsgatan 3, Södermalm. By this point, Fotograficentrum had begin to identify its exhibition space as ‘Galleri Index’. From 1994 onwards, the organization was regarded as having a prominent role in Stockholm’s contemporary art scene and began to establish itself as an internationally acclaimed art space. The program at this time (conceived by an exhibition committee including the then director Karina Ericsson Wärn) encompassed a wide-ranging and comprehensive view of contemporary art and was interested in “indexing theoretical thought.” The program introduced emerging international artists to Scandinavia, many of whom are now renowned figures, such as Wolfgang Tillmans, Jonathan Monk, Aernout Mik, Stan Douglas, Eija-Liisa Athila, Kara Walker, Pierre Huyghe, Elmgreen & Dragset, and Rodney Graham, alongside a young generation of Swedish artists including Annika von Hausswolf, Fia Backström, and Maria Lindberg. Many of these artists, both Swedish and international, held one of their first exhibitions at Galleri Index.
In 1991, Bildtidningen was rethought and renamed Index—Contemporary Scandinavian Images. Together with the gallery that, as its publisher, shared offices with it until 1998, the magazine established a significant dialogue with the international art scene, thanks to a focus that expanded from photography into other artistic practices, including film and video. With essays in both Swedish and English, it focused on contemporary art’s roots in photography, and on photography’s breakthrough in the 1990s across Scandinavian institutions. Sina Najafi, Sara Arrhenius and Maria Lind were, respectively, US correspondent, editor, and a member of an editorial team whose goal was to “establish long-term relationships with art and culture outside of Sweden.” This direction continued into 1999, when the magazine merged with another Swedish art magazine, Siksi, to become the celebrated but short-lived NU—The Nordic Art Review.
In 2001, Swedish curator Mats Stjernstedt became the foundation’s second director, and remained so until 2011. Continuing the programming which had characterized Index’s previous phases, this decade saw close collaborations with Index curator Helena Holmberg and invited guest curators including Anselm Franke, Rafi Segal, and Eyal Weizman, who presented the group exhibition Territories, Frontiers and the Architecture of Warfare in 2004. This collaborative approach defined a heterogeneous program, as well as a curatorial process focused on optimizing the conditions around artistic production when commissioning new works.
In 2005, the institution relocated to the island of Kungsholmen and its current address, Kungsbrostrand 19. The premises were inaugurated on June 7, 2006. Alongside the presentation of solo exhibitions by Johanna Billing, Goldin+Senneby, Dora García, Deimantas Narkevicius, Harun Farocki, and Claire Fontaine, among many others, Index began staging exhibitions that reassessed historical work in relation to today’s contemporary art. In these years Index played an important role in introducing renowned practictioners to Sweden, and to Scandinavia overall, such as Bas Jan Ader, VALIE EXPORT, Susan Hiller, Adrian Piper, Július Koller, and Mladen Stilinović.
This activity coincided with an upsurge in producing projects in partnership with other institutions, including collaborators in Sweden and on an international level, and with magazines and publishing houses (e.g. IDEA. Arts + Society; OEI Editör; Paraguay Press; SITE magazine). This intensification of working with partners confirmed Index as an important node for Swedish contemporary art scene and strengthened the foundation’s goal to introduce Swedish and Scandinavian audiences to the work of emerging Swedish and international artists. Furthermore, and perhaps most significantly, this increased collaboration defined an overarching approach of exchange and ‘working-with’ which is a core aspect of how Index thinks, acts and produces today. The Directors of Index during this period included Diana Baldon (2011-14) and Axel Wieder (2014-2018). Marti Manen has been Director of Index since 2018.
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