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Visionsarbete för Sveriges museum om Förintelsen av Klas Ruin/Spridd 2023. © SHM

Remember us To Life - Vulnerable Memory in a Prospective Monument, Memorial and Museum (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond 2021-2025)

The project follows three ongoing commemorative projects in Sweden: A Holocaust museum in Stockholm, a monument illuminating Sweden’s colonial history (currently discontinued) in Gothenburg, and an anti-racist monument in Malmö. The research follows the development of the examples and addresses how contemporary discussions of public commemoration can be understood in relation to notions of repair, vulnerability and grievability, as well as the role of the commissioner. The aim is to consider how future practices of commemoration can be sensible to a variety of aesthetic expressions, voices and experiences and how these commemorative projects can be considered as a form of ethical response to the past. 

 

https://www.rj.se/en/grants/2020/remember-us-to-life---vulnerable-memories-in-a-prospective-monument-memorial-and-museum/

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Flower Memorial in Jasenovac Concentration Camp, 1966. Photo: Rebecka Katz Thor 2022.

Distrusting Monuments – Art and the War in Former Yugoslavia (The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies 2022-2025)

This project researches the development of a new kind of memory culture that has emerged in former Yugoslavia. The process of historicizing the wars in former Yugoslavia (1991-2001), as well as the Second World War, is still ongoing in the region and carries multiple perspectives, on a scale between nationalist ideology and transnationalist ideas of solidarity. Memory culture has come to involve a wide array of agents, materials and forms of expressions, rather than just state funded memorials and museums. The research also concerns a more general view of artistic interventions in the writing of history as a tendency on the transnational scene of contemporary art.

 

https://blogg.sh.se/distrustingmonuments/

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Public Memory – Monuments and Difficult Heritages (Symposium November 14-15th 2023)

Monuments have provoked discussions and actions during the past decade. Some have been toppled, others questioned. Throughout the world, production is underway of new memorials that commemorate difficult heritages and previously unaddressed issues in public history. At the symposium questions of how a society can remember and take responsibility for difficult pasts and its legacies was discussed. Along with issues concerning what the role of public art and monuments is in such context, and what roles the commissioners, artists and the public audience play. The symposium was organised by Rebecka Katz Thor and Annika Enqvist, Public Art Agency Sweden.

 

https://publicartagencysweden.com/program/public-memory-monuments-and-difficult-heritages/


 

Kiev-II-War-Memorial, 2012 by Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena, c-print, series in 7 parts.

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Lenke Rothman, "Ett Ansikte", blandteknik, bränt smörgåspapper, 1977.

Lenke Rothman – Life as Cloth (2024)

Life as Cloth presents a wide array of works by Lenke Rothman at Malmö Konsthall in the fall 2024. Rothman was a Swedish/Hungarian artist, writer, and Holocaust survivor, based in Sweden from 1945 until her death in 2008. Rothman's extensive production contained paintings, drawings, installations, books, sculptures, sewn objects and textiles. Constantly curious, Rothman experimented in a range of materials, exploring the inherent narrative potential of these materials. With an insistence on the materials' own possibilities of speaking, of expressing, and of remembering she created an oeuvre that is polyphonic and at the same time extremely personal. She worked with fragments, discarded materials and the force of narration, where time, objects, stitches and memories make up the fabric of life.

 

In her artistic practice she returns to her personal experience of the Holocaust.  In her visual art and writing, she formulates an answer to the question that occupies her; “how life should be saved and preserved from the constantly ongoing destruction” (Rothman 1980). An exhibition of Rothman’s work gives way to the question of art as a form of ethically necessary response, not only as means of expression for the individual artist but for a society to mourn, to live on and aim for a better future.

 

https://malmokonsthall.se/


 

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An explanation of the caricature of a Jewish nose, from the article "Nose" of the 1901-1905 Jewish Encyclopedia, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0. 

A new generation of scholars of antisemitism: Novel approaches to gender, sexuality and Jewish identity in a post-secular conjuncture. (Research network, Swedish Research Council, 2023-2025)

Bringing together a new generation of scholars of antisemitism, this project aims to stimulate cross-fertilization between research on antisemitism and studies of gender, religion and secularity. Across two years, a cross-disciplinary core group of five researchers from history, gender studies and aesthetics will bring together a broad international network of 14 prominent scholars in the research area, to gather and disseminate knowledge on the topic through the organization of joint workshops, international conferences, a master class, and co-written publications. 


 

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Image: Installation view

And All is Yet to Be Done (2015-)

And All is Yet to Be Done is a long-term collaboration with artist Petra Bauer, exploring how spatial and temporal structures are activated within feminist practice. The project traced similarities between contemporary associations and the early radical feminist movements (1900-1923). The interest in history is not a question of historicising, rather it is a quest of what in the historical that might help us create an alternative future. Hence, we highlight forms of resistance, which often are overlooked that continually challenge and re-shape communities. By acknowledging elements that usually remain invisible, such as the role of meetings, cooking and handicraft, one might offer a counter narrative. The project amounted to several works and iterations and was first exhibited at Gothenburg International Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2015 and And All is Yet to be Done: The Grammar of Feminist Organising (2018) was commissioned by Riga International Biennale of Contemporary Art and took place in Kanepes Kulturas centrs, in Riga.

In 2018 the project was invited for an exhibition at Extra City Kunsthalle in Antwerp, due to institutional conflicts we decided to only be present with a statement.The last part of the project, too this day, was presented in the publication Red Love: A Reader on Alexandra Kollontai published by Sternberg Press 2020.

https://gibca.se/index.php/petra-bauer-rebecka-thor

https://echogonewrong.com/feminist-assembly-riga-kanepes-kulturas-centrs/

https://www.sternberg-press.com/product/red-love-a-reader-on-alexandra-kollontai-kollontai-a-play-by-agneta-pleijel/

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