Three PhD Projects from the Malmö Art Academy
9 – 17 September 2006
Sopawan Boonnimitra, Matts Leiderstam, Miya Yoshida
The Malmö Art Academy, a branch of Lund University, was the first art academy in Sweden to launch a doctorate programme in fine arts. The internationally renowned art researcher Sarat Maharaj, who has been Professor at Lund University since 2003, is the principal supervisor.
Today's visual art relates closely to other fields of knowledge. During the last 10-15 years practising artists have increasingly become involved in investigations transcending a traditional understanding of 'artistic practice'. These are two points of departure for the doctorate programme at the Malmö Art Academy.
The challenge lies in testing what 'thinking through artistic practice' really means. The three doctorate projects consist of interdependent visual and textual components. The visual presentations take place at Lund Konsthall and the texts can be downloaded from the Malmö Art Academy homepage: www.khm.lu.se
Dean, Malmö Art Academy
All over the world minorities that have been politically, socially and economically silenced are reclaiming their places in society. The politics of space is central to such discussions, which focus on overcoming confrontational dichotomies of thinking such as centre/margin, global/local, self/other, hetero/homo.
The notion of 'queer space' was coined as a strategic tool by sexual minorities in the West in the 1990s. If we better understand the rapid changes in non-Western sexual cultures in the wake of globalisation, we may question the Western way of thinking and search for alternative modes that go beyond the boundary and the dichotomy.
The Thai term lak-ka-pid-lak-ka-perd literally means 'sometimes closed, sometimes open' and occasionally refers to homosexuals. My research project aims to explore the dynamic conditions of the Thai urban landscape in relation to the transformation of gay culture in and through the arts.
The project has involved research, writing, photography, videos, curating exhibitions and film events and organising seminars. These modes of activity are reflected in the presentation at Lund Konsthall. Lak-ka-pid-lak-ka-perd aims to create a metaphorical space, a platform for expressing and testing constantly shifting ideas, the research of which needs to be constantly reorganised.
See and Seen
My point of departure is the so-called pastoral landscapes by 17th century artists such as Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. In 18th century England their 'ideal' landscapes inspired landscaped parks and theories of the picturesque. These constructions spread with the British Empire and still partly determine the western notion of landscape.
Since the early 1990s I have subjected the pastoral landscape to a parallel homosexual gaze, comparing it to the cruising park. See and Seen focuses on a painting by Claude Lorrain and a real view of an existing historical landscape. I have entered into different roles - the copyist, the tourist, the art historian - and used them as 'routines for seeing'.
My research material consists of a home page, photographs, books, Claude glasses and mirrors, catalogues, a painted copy, x-rays, various documents and texts about landscapes. At Lund Konsthall I use parts of this material to create an 'architecture for seeing'.
I have conducted my research through art practice and my art practice through research. In the process my own gaze, obsessions and practice have taken centre stage. I find myself seeing my own art practice from the inside, but I also strive to present a new landscape.
The Invisible Landscapes
My research is aimed at the visible, the invisible, and the invisible within the visible. Telecommunications have long been regarded as mysterious or 'uncanny'. The Invisible Landscapes investigates the complex spaces created by mobile telephony: new realities generated by small individual acts but connecting to the crisis-ridden mass imagery of politics, the media or advertising. The project assesses the impact of the mobile phone as a connecting point for contemporary modes of thinking, not least in visual art. A related issue is how new technologies increasingly involve art.
The presentation at Lund Konsthall happens in both physical and media space. Documentation of exhibitions in Malmö 2003 and Bangkok 2006 is shown on four black iPods, whereas four white iPods contain the following video works: A Telephone Call (2006) by Jimmie Durham (USA), The Uninvited (2005) by Judith Hopf and Katrin Pesch (Germany), Hidden Curriculum (2006) by Annette Krauss (Germany), Marching Exercise (2005) by Hiroharu Mori (Japan), Superflat Monogram (2003) by Takashi Murakami (Japan) and Fasten Your Seatbelt (2004) by Pius Sigit Kuncoro (Indonesia).
Sound pieces are streamed through speakers: SMS and sound poetry (2005) by Peder Alexis Olsson (Sweden), Transmitter (2006) by Jonas Brun (Sweden), Tokyo Dream (2006) by Leif Holmstrand (Sweden) and Almost There (2006) by Maria T Alves (USA).
Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann (Germany) present their research-based Atlas on Monopoly-like Productions and The Coltan Case (2005), referring to a mineral essential for the construction of mobile phones. The group Rimini Protokoll (Switzerland/Germany) show documentation of their mobile theatre project Call Cutta (2005), a series of scripted, mobile phone-guided tours in Calcutta and Berlin.
Curators: Sarat Maharaj, Gertrud Sandqvist