Summer course: Text as an Artistic Medium (2024)

Studio visit with Vaginal Davis, Berlin 2023
Studio visit with Vaginal Davis, Berlin 2023

This summer, Index is running a new summer course, Text as an Artistic Medium in collaboration with the Royal Institute of Art. The application period closed 4 April 2024, thanks to all who applied!

Text as an artistic medium is aimed at art students, artists and cultural practitioners who want to develop their writing and find methods for using text and writing as artistic material. The course aims at individual artistic development through critical reflection on one’s own artistic practice and the working process for artistic text work.

Course Content
Inspired by autofiction, queer perspectives and contemporary overlaps between poetry, art and literature, the course participants will be provided with a set of tools to apply in their own practices. The course is based on Vaginal Davis’s Hofpfisterei, an exhibition of artist Vaginal Davis’s text works, and is held in situ in the exhibition space at Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation. Miss Davis’ texts – from poetry to investigative journalism to falsified confessional literature – form a central reference, and course participants will have the opportunity to closely study texts that have never before been shown in public.

Course Structure
The course starts on 3 June with three days (3-5 June) led by Index Curator of Learning Isabella Tjäder, writer, poet and curator Andria Nyberg Forshage and artist Ruby Nilsson. After these days of workshops, presentations and joint close readings, the course participants will continue working on their own text projects. Course participants receive individual counselling to develop content, form and work process.

In July, the group meets for a joint session on textual tone, tempo and control, focusing on the relationship between writer and reader. A common structure is established for further feedback and development of their own textual work.

During August, the students continue to work independently on their projects until the last common course week. During this week, the students present the work they have done during the summer and receive feedback from the rest of the student group, the course coordinator and the Index team.

During the final week of the summer course, the group will work for two days (29-30 August), under the guidance of artist Simon Asencio, on a performative textual work based on the radical Left/Write! conference held in San Francisco in 1981. The work will be performed during the closing of Vaginal Davis’ exhibition at Index on 1 September.

During the entire course period, students have access to writing space, technical equipment, and a reference library containing Vaginal Davis’ written works at Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation. The art gallery is located at Kungsbro Strand 19 and will be available to course participants Monday to Friday between 09.00-17.00. Please note that the Royal Institute of Art’s workshops are closed during the summer.

At the centre of the course is the student’s own individual project and the work to achieve the goal that the student has set for the project. During the course we will have a number of tutorials and joint meetings to reflect, discuss and help the student in the artistic process.

Texts can be written in both Swedish and English.

The course is held within the framework of Vaginal Davis’ solo exhibition Magnificent Product, which is an initiative of Moderna Museet and branches out to several different venues in Stockholm: Moderna Museet, Nationalmuseum, Accelerator, Index -The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Tensta konsthall and MDT (Moderna Dansteatern). Each institution highlights different aspects of Vaginal Davis’ multifaceted work.

Course Period: 3 June–30 August 2024
Application Period: 4 March–4 April 2024
Course Syllabus here