Saskia Holmkvist: In Character & Role Control
16 April–8 June 2008
Saskia Holmkvist’s recent films In Character and Role Control, both from 2008, are complementary inasmuch as they reciprocally develop a narrative that explores ideas of credibility, social strategies and the way we engage in role-playing in certain situations of conflict.
The two works originate in four kinds of ‘conversation situations’ with diametrically opposite aims, dealing with interpersonal and political positions: the job interview, the interrogation, couple therapy and political arbitration. These situations where relationships are worked on and negotiated and which require strategies for productive dialogue and conflict management are woven together in Saskia Holmkvist’s work into an investigation of the factors that define and control power relations and how these relations can be negotiated. The works ask questions about the fine line between dialogue and the demonstration of power, both at the individual level and in the political arena.
In the films Saskia Holmkvist has made use of staged situations and actors who, in the course of the films, gradually swap positions and force the conversation over a boundary where the dialogue changes meaning and forces the viewer towards a new interpretation of the situation.
Ideas on how information and representation are processed have also earlier been at the centre of Saskia Holmkvist’s oeuvre. The works branch out into a finely-meshed network of involved actors: art institutions as well as PR firms and personal coaches have been drawn in, for example, to investigate how the promotion of art is constructed, which linguistic models are used, and how art can be used as a mirror held up to the art institution, and to power apparatuses in society in general.
Index is presenting the Stockholm-based artist’s first solo exhibition in Stockholm: two new films for which Index has taken the initiative and produced in collaboration with international partners – Arnolfini in Bristol and Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt.
On the opening evening Index has arranged a conversation between Saskia Holmkvist and Rolf Ekéus, the Swedish diplomat and ambassador who has worked for many years with disarmament issues. In 1991-1997 Rolf Ekéus was chairman of the UN’s special commission for the disarmament of Iraq, UNSCOM.
Saskia Holmkvist was educated at The University College of Art, Craft and Design Konstfack in 2000 – 2004.
Our thanks to Arnolfini, Frankfurter Kunstverein and IASPIS.