TRACKING DISTRIBUTION, 27 November 2020–31 January 2020
For more information about our opening hours and approach to visiting during the pandemic see our Opening Hours.
With Lili Huston-Herterich, Francesc Ruiz, Nina Sarnelle, Art & Distribution, Leaking Container, Index magazine, Index video archive
+ Falke Pisano, Sònia López, Palle Torsson, Mmabatho Thobejane, Frida Sandström, Johanna Gustafsson Fürst, Lisa Trogen Devgun, coyote, DIS, Filmform, AV-arkki, LIMA, Video Data Bank, Clara Amaral, Incitament, Stine Marie Jacobsen, Anna Barham, The Parrot, David Maroto, MMS, Paul O’Neill, Klara Utke Acs, Sara Kaaman, Index Teen Advisory Board, Ponton, Måns Wrange, You Don’t Love Me Yet, Olav Fumarola Unsgaard, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Motto, Coda Press, Publication Studio, Council, Mousse Publishing, Nordic Art Press.
Tracking Distribution is an exhibition that presents a proposal to think together around the invisible structures organizing the world. Distribution is a key word within logistics systems and the management of economies. It is through organizational skills and planning related to distribution that food, medical supplies, energy and information end up in our hands – or not. A series of invisible decisions which take into account myriad considerations, such as based on the fact that international waters are almost no-legal zones, that the economy should be fast and fluid, with profit as the priority. Under globalization, production of goods has taken distribution as a given fact, facilitating the internationalization of economies beyond local contexts.
The evolution of economics –and its politicization– shows us the importance placed upon quick delivery, specific targets, and customer vs citizen culture. The transnational control of distribution defines areas of the planet; classifying with different assigned temporalities and roles. A vocabulary and a series of behaviors are also established; each zone has a designated behavior, a goal, a legal status. The art world –with its multiple temporalities and almost pre-Fordist structures– becomes a good platform from which to observe and rethink this economy-based world. The exhibition –as a format which presents a space and time not necessarily structured under the rules of consumption– can be a shared moment to find a common ground for a structural critique, needed now more than ever.
During the Covid-19 crisis, distribution has been visible many times: lack of products in stores, problems with delivery of basic medical supplies, online entertainment providers offering their services at lower quality due to increased demand, postal services affected by the decreased number of flights… The world has been in pause and shock, showing its fragility.
Tracking Distribution selects and reflects on the distributional strands that have continued to arise throughout this year at Index through our summer course, international festival and continue to structure and feed into the institution’s future programming. Mapping our references, acknowledging the lineage of Index’ conceptual and artistic history and narrative.
Now, Tracking Distribution gathers together these intertwined and disparate threads, unknotting and rebraiding them to create entry points, with artworks, theory, archives, performativity, publishing, mapping and tracing a lineage of referents.
Tracking Distribution presents material from different sources, bringing together traces and laying out a constant archiving of ongoing processes. From Lili Huston-Herterich we present a series of conceptual maps mixing information and subjective approaches. From Francesc Ruiz, Tracking Distribution presents a series of publications linking conceptual production and distribution. The exhibition also presents a video work by Nina Sarnelle which critically relates to questions of distribution. Index video archive will be reactivated at the exhibition together with Index podcast, a new format introduced in 2019 and the historical format of Index magazine. This exhibition project is the result of curatorial and conceptual work by the Index team with the collaboration of curator Mmabatho Thobejane.
This exhibition project is made with the generous support of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), the Spanish Embassy in Stockholm and Institut Ramon Llull.
Visit the exhibition as a podcast here
Image: Still from Big Opening Event, Nina Sarnelle (2019).