Exchanging Notes, Part I - Seminar on Artistic Production in relation to Identity

13-14 February, 2016


The seminar took place in Norrköping, at the Art Museum and Verkstad konsthall and was organized in collaboration with Iaspis - The Swedish Arts Grants Committee's International Programme for Visual Artists. It was the first in a series of international seminars that will take place in 2016.

Parts of the program was open for professional artists interested in discussing the meaning of place in relation to artistic practice and questions such as: How does the site where you work play in to your artistic production? Do you have experience of being part of a minority, of migrating or of working in a context where you don’t have a sense of belonging? Do you address identity in your art? Perhaps you have an interest in the construction of communities or nations?

The public part of the program included a performance by Liv Strand and Marcus Doverud, a screening and Q&A with Can Sungu (TUR) and a lecture by Fikret Atay (TUR)

The following Artists participated in the dicussions led by Liv Strand:

Silje Figenschou Toresen, Mattias Åkeson, Annika Kupiainen, Babak Salimizadeh, Marcus Doverud, Elin Magnusson, Lisa Torell, David Larsson, Erik Berggren (Curator, Museum of Forgetting), Bodil Axelsson (Researcher, LiU)


Exchanging Notes Part II will take place at Norrköping Art Museum December 2-3, 2016

IdentityLab (co-curated with Naz Cuguoğlu)



IdentityLab is a collaborative project between the Istanbul based maumau Art Residency and Verkstad konsthall in Norrköping, Sweden. It is produced in the context of the Tandem Exchange Program. The two curators Naz Cuguoğlu and Susanne Ewerlöf researches identity issues in various parts of the two countries together with a group of four artists.


The participants, four people in total, will travel together and meet colleagues, experts from fields such as Cultural Heritage and History as well as activists and researchers. Visits will be conducted at local heritage institutions, universities, art spaces and more depending on what the local context has to offer and the interest of the participants.


The research travels will take place in the spring of 2016 and is considered the fundamental and first step of the project. When the artists come to Norrköping and Istanbul their general practice and interest in the issues at hand will be presented together with the project as either a public event or an exhibition. In later stages of the project greater exhibitions may be produced depending on the interest of the participants and external funding.


Project Blog



Freelance Curator and Project Manager

Since the beginning of 2015 Susanne Ewerlöf is the Director and Head Curator at Verkstad konsthall in Norrköping. She founded the organization together with Matilda Bengtsson 2009. Verkstad is a platform for art production. It is an independent, non-profit organization working to present contemporary art to publics in Norrköping and beyond.




Liv Strand - Begränsningens anatomi (The Anatomy of Confinement)

November 7-29


Liv Strand’s solo exhibition was developed especially for Norrköping. The artist presented new sculptures and prints in dialogue with the previously made series of sculptures Quicksand frontier under-standing. The artist also made a new piece that was placed floating in the river outside the artspace during the exhibition period. The works in the exhibition dwelled on the notions of ‘nation’ and the Swedish, newly popular, third person pronoun ‘hen’ that do away with the gender distinction.


Sindri Leifsson Exi(t)

September 26-October 11 2015


Sindri Leifsson has processed Norrköping producing art as he moves through the city. It is as if he wants to use his time here to accustom his eyes, so he can see the city holistically and habitually. He searches for objects and spaces in the industrial landscape, and lets them become his material and art gallery.


Verkstad, which is usually an exhibition space, has functioned as a studio and gathering place. Here Leifsson created an installation consisting of found items assembled into art objects, and gave them various treatment to highlight certain aspects of the work.


Exhibition Caalogue, design Erik Månsson


Unni Gjertsen LESSONS

September 26-October 11 2015


A 15 minutes long interview film. Produced in the context of Norrköping Air.

Participants: Azzma Nouman. Amani Ali, Rafil Alinnbjörk, Shahad Alkhalisi, Valeria Valdes och Zamzam Mohamed


July 4 2015


A ten hour performance and a trip from Stockholm to Verkstad in Norrköping with stops at friends on (off) the way. An odyssey south with an unclear goal and an odd itinerary which included book releases, exhibition visits, a new holiday tradition and a public speach. The Away Day travellers visited Art Lab Gnesta and Passagen Konsthall ( Linkoping ) before the bus tour arrived at it's destination.



Hägerstens Botanical Garden, Anna Kinbom , Elin Magnusson , Lena Bergendahl, Tomas Nordmark, Iris Smeds and all bus travellers


The book about Verkstad



The 140-page document about the first six years of Verkstad tells the story about the creation of a creative plattform for contemporary art in Norrköping Sweden. The book contains texts by Erik Berggren and Per Hüttner and interviews with Joanna Sandell (Botkyrka Konsthall), Petri Saarikko (Kallio Kunsthalle) and Signe Johannisen (Art Lab Gnesta) by Susanne Ewerlöf. Graphic design by Erik Månsson and illustrations by William Sulka.


A selection of the exhibitions presented during the years are also included with documentations and some quotes by the artists. Texts are in Swedish.


Edited by; Erik Månsson and Susanne Ewerlöf


To get a copy please contact Verkstad:

LENA BERGENDAHL - Displacements of the Visible

Opening May 9, 2-5pm

May 9 - June 14 2015


Lena Bergendahl’s artistic practice is an exploration of visual encounters between space and moving images. For Verkstad: Art Space she has created the large-scale installation Displacements of the Visible where multiple video channels are projected on screens and objects. She has traveled and searched for the history of the Italian nature and optics researcher Giambattista Della Porta (1535-1615). Her video material relates to his theories and depicts places where he worked, among others Naples. The city has been rebuilt, altered, restored, demolished and displays layers of both past and present. Today, optics and various reproduction techniques are means for us to experiment with the concept of time and fantasize or gather facts about the past and preserve our "present." Della Porta’s early experiments and the future of technology offered the reproduction in real time by, for example, camera obscura - an image technique that Della Porta refined.

Today we live in a constant flow of images, and we know that the true picture is an illusion in itself. Since Della Porta’s time, the optical art has found a variety of applications and each of us consumes and produces photographic images. Bergendahl's art brings together different time dimensions, both literally and figuratively. Displacements of the Visible combines early optical elements and the possibilities of current digital techniques, while the form of the artwork offers a constructed multi-dimensional state in which we are simultaneously experiencing multiple time ranges. Bergendahl’s filmed images from Italy are projected on screens in different formats. In front of them, in the image, she has placed sculptures and objects, which can be seen as props, as if the viewer is part of something ongoing. Films are being screened, but at the same time the exhibition space is created in the moment, a new stage for other things that may take place.


More on Lena Bergendahl



Så Därför Kom Vi Hit | 22 NOVEMBER-7 DECEMBER 2014

DNK - Den Nya Kvinnogruppen


An exhibition at Verkstad konsthall with the feminist arts and crafts group DNK (The New Women's Group). DNK comprises of: Evelina Hedin, Anna Nordström, Hilda Hellstrom, Kakan Hermansson, Åsa Norman, Malena Norlin Feat. Sandra Lundberg.


The exhibition was based on the works of the participating artists as well as conversations about objects and feminism that took place during a workshop at Verkstad: Art Space earlier during the fall . The discussions revolved around objects and what fills them with meaning, how they belong in the culture and prevailing power structures. The participants memories and stories were the core of the meetings that took place.


Curated by Susanne Ewerlöf and Yvonne Olofsson


More info about DNK



Inconvenient Architectures | 27 SEPTEMBER-12 OKTOBER 2014

Quynh Vantu (Norrköping Air resident 2014)


Quynh Vantu is trained as an architect, but works as an artist giving her the space to formulate various conditions by affecting the environment around us. She is interested in the experience of spatiality, as architects are, but in contradiction to being someone who solves practical problems Vantu usually creates them. She takes note of architectural elements that connects rooms like thresholds, bridges, corridors and staircases. By sensitizing the transition from one room to another she raises our experience of the moment and our presence. Being aware of one's own body and its position in space, the feeling against the ground or the air around it is often the way to a meditative and relaxed state. But we can’t relax while meeting Vantus works. As the title Inconvenient Architectures suggests she has in her great project for Norrkoping created an uncomfortable state. The works forces us to perceive the built environment around us and the meetings becomes negotiations where one's own body must adapt if it is to be moved from one place to another.


Among Vantu's spatial challenges, one can find references to older architecture. At the entrance to tStröms Panncentral, after having climbed her Step This Way meet a low doorway with a high threshold that forces us to humbly bow down before we enter into the exhibition space. Once inside begins another exhibition, the Museum of Forgetting’s Is this the time for art? The work that forms the entrance to the room is titled Humility Threshold and refers to the humility that arises when we leane forward to negotiate our way in. The narrow passage also refers to the openings of old Japanese teahouses where the samurais were forced to remove their weapons and their bulky war regalia before stepping into the peaceful rooms.


More info on Quynh Vantu


Susanne Ewerlöf was the manager and curator at Verkstad Konsthall

2009-2010 and produced the exhibitions Old Media - New Work, One Moment in Time and many more. For more information on Verkstad, press here.

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