THE IMPERSONAL VERB AND THE HIDDEN SUBJECT at La Capella, Barcelona
Opening: 3 October 2023
Participating artists: Kajsa Dahlberg, Sybrig Dokter and Alva Willemark, Roxy Farhat, Nathalie Gabrielsson and Peter Sköld, Johanna Gustafsson Fürst, Saskia Holmkvist, Runo Lagomarsino, Iris Smeds, Ulrika Sparre, Victoria Verseau.
Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation organizes an exhibition in Barcelona together with La Capella as part of their institutional dialogue. THE IMPERSONAL VERB AND THE HIDDEN SUBJECT implements Index’ institutional methodology, offering La Capella a way of working with artistic practice and audiences based on a desire for connecting situations, approaching complexity, and experimenting with temporalities. The starting point of the exhibition is a working table presenting archive material and a selection of video works that visitors and La Capella team can interact with. The exhibition space is defined through sculptural pieces by Johanna Gustafsson Fürst.
THE IMPERSONAL VERB AND THE HIDDEN SUBJECT observes moments and temporalities, actions and processes in definition. The verb –in this exhibition– is a way to understand time and the hidden subject, as well as the system to understand action in a process, to define identity and subjectivity. From these two grammatical forms, the idea is to offer an exhibition as a platform for shared and dialogued processes. From methodologies to art works, from cultural workers and exhibition visitors, the proposal is to share content, connecting it to additional content not necessarily present in the exhibition. Activating the exhibition space, La Capella team open the code of Index to share artistic practices to more artists, cultural workers and visitors. Some artworks can be connected to other moments and times, some of the Swedish films presented will surely share language and strategies with projects produced by artists in Barcelona. THE IMPERSONAL VERB AND THE HIDDEN SUBJECT aims to facilitate multiple encounters and catalyze ways of thinking regarding future history writing, the sharing and indexation of information, and distributional models.
An ongoing dialogue between La Capella and Index has defined the typology of artworks to be presented at the exhibition, understanding ways of doing in the Barcelona art context and how to relate these ways of doing to art practitioners in Stockholm. The exhibition is a working situation to think about connections, feeding, language, grammar, and possible dialogues. THE IMPERSONAL VERB AND THE HIDDEN SUBJECT refers to actions in the doing, gazes and processes to be shared in real time.
The sculptural presence in the exhibition is defined through work by Johanna Gustafsson Fürst, an artist escaping linguistic structures and researching materialities; her objects are usually a “in between”, something which oscillates between object and time, mass and precarity, structure and exception.
The selection of video works to be activated in the exhibition presents productions from artists dealing with identity, performativity, language, memory and landscapes, political discussions and research around materiality. We find slow narratives and symbolic production, time travels to the past and possible futures, power relations and multiple transitions.
For many years, the Index team has been using their exhibition space premises as their working space; to visit Index means to visit an exhibition but also to see an institution in practice. Meetings take place in the exhibition, conversations happen in a continuous flow and information is shared. The Impersonal Verb and the Hidden Subject wants to be a parallel situation where artworks are triggers to think together and to continue working towards open futures for the artistic practice.
2023 is the 25th anniversary of Index as a Foundation. During this time, Index has been an institution reflecting on change and working with new definitions. 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 understands that the role of an art institution 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.
Index team comprises the constellation of art professionals working at Index. Adopting and defining the institutional methodology, several individuals work collectively with curatorial processes that are embedding archive analyses, exhibition making, text production and learning processes. For the exhibition at La Capella, Index team is composed of Jasmine Hinks (Curator of Editorial), Marti Manen (Director) and Isabella Tjäder (Curator of Learning).
The exhibition is produced with the support of Kulturrådet (Swedish Arts Council).
Check more about La Capella here
Image courtesy of Runo Lagomarsino.