Between 2008-2014 part of my practice was located in the district of Husby in northern Stockholm where the projects were nomadic hybrid-organisms for collaboration. In 2008 I co-founded Kista Theatre and worked with them until 2011. The practice in Husby followed the transformation of a district for several years, and investigated how politics materialized in urban space. It consisted mostly of site-specific work´s in public space in different collaborations. Below are some examples of the work
Performing the Common, Husby Konsthall, Stockholm 2012
Husby 2012 is a poster with a color wheel composed by the colors of Husbys facades since the time it was built in 1972-76. Behind the color wheel is a pattern taken from the city plan of Husby made by a black and white picture of a facade of Trondheimsgatan 26th
The colored facades in Husby was a reaction against the “municipal grey” that dominated new constructions since the 1950s. The different communal real estate companies got different colors. HSB areas became red, Svenska Bostäder area have main colors in division of blue, green, yellow and red in different shades with the addition of color accents.
The vision was the small-scale village and the kind of community it creates but in an urban context. Husby’s structure is a space modeled to produce an intimate shared space where shopping or rallies is not the primary expression of public life, a place that invites you to form other activities. Instead of the so called ‘problematic million program’ that is debated in city planning Husby should be a model and an alternative for urban planning and public life.
Husby was one of the last large residential areas built during the building boom of the 1960s and 70s. On the basis of lessons learned from previously built districts, the buildings in Husby were adapted to the surrounding landscape. They were 5-storey houses with small inner courtyards and colourful façades; blue, yellow, red and green composed the base colours, which were combined with coloured details on balconies and doors. The unique character of the district is largely due to the strong façade colours.
Husby was in desperate need of renovation. However, the controversial structural plan for Husby was put on ice because of the residents’ protests. Conflicts between the housing company, the local authorities and the residents seem never ending. The driving forces behind the renovations are formed by a complex interplay between the economic/political powers and the social structures which determine the place and identity of Husby residents in relation to the rest of the city.
Aesthetics, ideology and power relations in the renovation of Husby
Together with artists, local school, reseachers and interested persons, a collective piece, an artistic documentation and an investigation of the processes involved in the renovation of Husby in north Stockholm was conducted. An architecture, a period of time and an urban development process was depicted. The project was made in collaboration with artist Eva Arnqvist, Filippa Arrias and Lisa Torell. Researcher in urban planning Göran Cars KTH, Love Ekenberg (Department of Computer and System Sciences) and Karin Hansson (Phd Royal Institute of Arts and DSV). Year 9 in Husby school worked with documentation and Husby Konsthall supported with space.
The changing of the facades from a wide range of colours in the style of the 1970s, to a contemporary sea-side white/blonde aesthetic is a symptom of changes in the economic, political and social structure. The project examined, through studies and documentations of the colour scheme and examinations of the planning process, the processes of decision-making that behind the change. An architecture, a period of time and an urban development process was depicted. Using the colour scheme as a point of departure, we investigated how politics, ideology and aesthetics became visible in the renovation process. How can the presence of the body and the meaning of an action be part of the communication and decision-making processes that compose urban development? In 2012 I made Husby 2012, a poster, where the façade colours formed a circle, a kind of logotype. The poster was put up and distributed in Husby. This project concerns colour experienced in a space rather than measured NCS colours. The impressionists’ decision to leave their studios and paint “reality”, while at the same time emphasizing their subjective impressions, was at the time a radical political choice in a period pervaded by a rational scientific point of view. But they were also part of the “branding” of a bourgeois city. Husby was one of the last large residential areas built during the building boom of the 1960s and 70s. On the basis of lessons learned from previously built districts, the buildings in Husby were adapted to the surrounding landscape. They were 5-storey houses with small inner courtyards and colourful façades; blue, yellow, red and green composed the base colours, which were combined with coloured details on balconies and doors. The unique character of the district is largely due to the strong façade colours.
In 2012 Husby was in desperate need of renovation. However, the controversial structural plan for Husby was put on ice because of the residents’ protests. Conflicts between the housing company, the local authorities and the residents seem never ending. The City Museum, the Beauty Council (Advisory council on aesthetics) and the city planning department considered that the facades should be preserved. However, we saw how the facades were changing, becoming white, grey, light green, and furnished with wooden panels and glassed-in balconies. The driving forces behind the renovations was formed by a complex interplay between the economic/political powers and the social structures which determine the place and identity of Husby residents in relation to the rest of the city. How does one feel when one hears, year after year that one lives in an ugly, inhospitable and problematic dwelling? What lies behind the decision to remove the original colours? Are the expensive renovations meant to show decision-making prowess? Do the decision-makers wish to compensate for deficiencies in the social services and for the closure of association premises and public services? Can one change a social reality by changing its image?
Performances, Dialogues & Affirmations – dealing with art as a method of working with location and urbanity. 25/8 Husby Konsthall, 26/8 Moderna Museet 2012. Seminars for exhibition Performing the Common, An exhibition on public spaces,private networks and the art of organizing collective meaning.
Lecture and discussion with sociologist Catharina Thörn and Megafonen an activist organization from Husby at Royal Institute of Arts in Stockholm.
The lecture was part of the course Research, Space and Spectacle. Organized in collaboration with Åsa Andersson Broms. The course deals with political and artistic discourses and strategies working in public space and in processes in urban planning, as well as current research in sociology, architecture and art
Antigone scen 1-12
Collaboration with Kista Theatre,
Site-specific public temporary sculptures connected to and based on the drama Antigone, placed in twelve different sites in Husby , Stockholm.
For more info go to www.kistateater.com
With support from konstnärsnämnden
Scene 1, 2011-2014 in Husby square in Stockhol. Construction plywood painted in public green (NCS S8010-G10Y)
Trondheimsgatan 26 (2009)
Trondheimsgatan 26 was the first collaboration with Kista Theathre,
We worked together withseventh-grade students from Husbyskolan:Khayala Aliyeva, Nabi Amanuel Haval Khalil, Vlada-Christina Korsun, Medea Tairova, Astera Ako, Mansour Osama, Rashid Arman, Nasir Shalash, Mohammed Hans Wolff, Reine Magnusson/Visual Arts teacher Husbyskolan, Steven Cuzner/Artist, Virlani Hallberg/Artist, Jenny Palén/Artist, Allan Stein/Filmmaker, Liv Strand/Artist
Trondheimsgatan 26 was a piece and a flat in Husby. The flat has been lended by Svenska Bostäder and was a meeting point for various activities between Dec 08-Mar 09. The focus for the piece and the participation has been the location and the play Down on Earth a play on solitude, friendship, power, powerlessness and belief, class, social and cultural capital. Down on Earth was performed between 12-15 May in Husby. It was produced by Örebro Länsteater and directed by Rebecca Forsberg/Artistic director at Kista Theatre.”Trondheimsgatan 26″ was part of Kista Theatre’s program, aiming at using art as a means of expand the play in time and space.