We have seen a desire for an open dialogue, we have seen new gatherings and temporalities, we have started from zero with many social situations and art institutions, and at Index we have been finding ways to reconsider how to work with art. Our activity during 2022 could be considered as a continuous test to check reality: we have been testing formats and attitudes, we have been testing collaborations and timeframes, and we have increased our production tempo in order to welcome as many as possible.
During 2022, we have presented more exhibitions than in previous years. Some of these exhibitions have been invisible, creating a system to find new connections with the exhibitional. With the Aural Exhibitions, we invited artists and curators to do sound exhibitions from which 10 exhibitions are permanently online and ready to be listened to. Curators such as Lucy Lippard, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Mmabatho Thobejane and Alexandra Laudo have offered in this project a variety of options for what a sound exhibition can be. Within the same framework, artists Rosana Antolí and Natália Rebelo have created new artworks that are not visible (but not to be missed), and many more exhibitions follow in this process.
We began 2022 with one exhibition divided in two times; the first chapter for Alva Willemark and Sybrig Dokter began with a short, two-week performative exhibition in January and the second chapter opened for a longer exhibitional period starting in September. In between these two chapters we presented a historical exhibition with Fina Miralles (together with Marabouparken konsthall and MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art). After this exhibition, Linnea Hansander transformed Index into a complex space for feelings, observations, performativity and thoughts. A unique, 3D version of Hansander’s exhibition was also open to visit online thanks to the collaboration with Art/Sensation. Then we did something out of the ordinary – In collaboration with the Royal Institute of Art, we presented an exhibition (containing many screens and synchronized films) with Melanie Gilligan. What was unusual was the time for visiting because the exhibition was only open for 10 days, but we wanted to see what happens in art when you adopt ways of working like contemporary dance institutions, for example. We close this year with Kajsa Dahlberg and with her exhibition we will enter 2023. The new year is also the year when Index celebrates its 25th anniversary as a foundation. Kajsa Dahlberg previously exhibited at Index 16 years ago and to do a new exhibition with her now is a way for us to relate to both the history and the future of Index.
Index has been changing a lot with every exhibition as we offer the entire institution to the invited artists. The Index team works in and from the exhibition space, and it is the artists who are the ones defining how we interact with visitors and from which position. At the same time, Index has also been working physically outside our location at Kungsholmen: Members of Index Teen Advisory Board (ITAB) curated an exhibition at Galleri Syster in Luleå and the Index team curated an exhibition at Kunsthall Charlottenborg in Copenhagen. It was an extremely interesting experience to curate at another institution from the point of view and way of working at Index, from which we could see new ways to understand the art context.
This year we also had and intense program of events. Index is a small art institution, but we have managed to present around one event per week. We don’t expect our visitors to be at all our events — we know that every situation is for its specific users — but it feels good to open the institution to independent publishers, artist collectives, magazines and other artistic agents. It’s a learning situation always in process and there is a desire to create community.
We must accept that we face 2023 with some fear. We will continue working, weaving networks, producing, and distributing art and ideas. We want to understand the celebration of Index Foundation’s 25th anniversary as an open dialogue to think together about institutional possibilities, with complexity and a multifaceted understanding of reality. Yet, the political construction of reality is becoming more and more polarized, the economic difficulties are bigger, and we are no more than a fragile and small institution. However, we are a warm one, an institution that wants to be in dialogue with you.
Director, Index Foundation