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18 Oct 2009

Informal Cities - Bombay. Exhibtion and book-release

Maria Lantz, Roof-top view of Dharavi

Exhibtion Informal Cities - Bombay & Book-release Dharavi: Documenting Informalities (Indian edition)


Press: Friday, Oct 30, 16:00

Saturday, Oct 31 Opening with artist talks and panel.

+46 7 077 55 014

Coomaraswamy hall, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, M. G. Road, Fort, Mumbai, India

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Artists: Stefan Canham & Rufina Wu, Francesco Jodice, Maria Lantz, Anna Erlandson, Johan Rutherhagen, Michele Masucci & Sofia Wiberg, Erik Rosshagen & David Herdies, Monika Marklinger, Johan Widén

Curatorial team: Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Anna Erlandson, Maria Lantz, Michele Masucci

'The space of the city is a far more concrete space for politics than that of a nation. It becomes a place where non-formal political actors can be part of the political scene in a way that is much more difficult at the national level. National politics needs to run through the existing formal systems: whether the electoral political system or the judiciary.'

Sassen, Saskia, Global City: Strategic Site/ New Frontier in the book Dharavi - Documenting Informalities, Academic Foundation, New Delhi, 2009 (edited by Jonatan Habib Engqvist & Maria Lantz)

In official, formalized, national politics, informal actors are often invisible; but in the city they cannot be ignored. Regardless of legal status, sheer numbers create visibility. And the city is also dependent on the informal functions at its core. With this exhibition we want to puncture the presupposition that 'slum' is mere desperation and chaos and affirm the warmth, creativity and organizational capacity that we have experienced in slums around the world. We want to show that what happens in informal settlements is not just the concern of the local government.

Our project can be described as investigations into how art and architecture can contribute to social and political discussions. We have concrete goals: to increase knowledge about informal living in cities all over the world; to suggest more participatory, complex and inclusive descriptions of the urban poor; and to work toward increased infrastructure in informal areas by searching for new collaborations and networks. By allowing the voice of the informal to speak, we hope to the build an inclusive space for negotiation and communication, one that exists outside the traditional contexts of contemporary art.

With support from The Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centers (SPARC), The Swedish Development Foundation (SIDA), The Swedish Embasy in Dehli, The Royal University College off Fine Arts, Stockholm and in collaboration with Partners for Urban Knowledge (PUKAR) and Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Insttitute of Architecture and Environmental Studies.


The artists:

Stefan Canham.

Born 1968, England.
Lives in Hamburg, Germany. Studied Film at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg, Germany and has been working free-lance on documentary photo and television projects since 1995.
His work focuses on the usage of urban space, in particular on marginalized communities and forms of self-housing. His photographic record of the mobile squatter culture in Germany was short-listed for the 3rd International Bauhaus Award 2004 and published under the title Bauwagen / Mobile Squatters by Peperoni Books (Berlin) in 2006. Has exhibited internationally and contributed to journals like An Architektur (Berlin), Critical Planning (Los Angeles), and Sarai Reader (Delhi). Artist-in-residence at Hong Kong's Art and Culture Outreach, collaborating with Rufina Wu on Portraits from Above published by Peperoni Books, Berlin.

Rufina Wu.

Born 1980, Hong Kong
Lives in Hong Kong, Vancouver, and Toronto, Canada. Degrees in Environmental Studies and Architecture from University of Waterloo in Canada. CCSEP Visiting Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China from 2005 to 2006. Received AIA Medals for her Bachelor of Architecture thesis (Three Gorges Commune) in 2006 and Master of Architecture thesis (Beijing Underground) in 2008. Artist-in-residence at Hong Kong's Art and Culture Outreach (07-08), collaborating with Stefan Canham on Portraits from Above, published by Peperoni Books, Berlin. Her research focuses on informal housing tactics associated with rapid urban development and population mobility.

Francesco Jodice.
Born 1967, Italy
Lives in Milan, Italy. Since 2004 he is professor of the Theory and practice of the technological image at the Unviersity of Bolzano as well as Professor of Photography, NABA, Milan, both in Italy. Jodice is founder of the multi-disciplinary plattform Zapruder in Milan, Italy (2004) and one of the founders of the international network of artists and architects Multuplicity (2000). His major projects include 100 Stories and Citytellers, a docu-fiction about self-organization in Hyper-cities. His work is being shown in venues all over the world in spaces like Galerìa Marta Cervera, Madrid, Spain and Kunsthalle, Lugano, Swizerland (08) Tinglado 2 in Tarragona, Spain (07). He has particapated in group-shows in the Swedish Museum of Architecture in Stockholm, Sweden (08) and the Tate Modern, London, England (07), Documenta XI, Kassel, 50th Venice Biennal and the 27th Sao Paulo Bienale.

Anna Erlandson.
Born 1964, Sweden
Lives and works in Stockholm Sweden. Master of Fine Art from the Umeå University of Fine Arts, Umeå, Sweden. Erlandsson was one of the driving forces behind he Stockholm Urban Think Tank, Informal Cities, Dieselverkstaden, Stockholm (08). She particapated in the 2006 World Urban Forum, Vancouver Canada and has written and taken photographs in the book Dharavi: Documenting Informalities (08, 09). In 2004 she initiated the artist-run space Konsthall C in Stockholm, Sweden and in 2000 she was also one of the founders of Moment, an artist-run theater and culture house, Stockholm, Sweden.

Erik Rosshagen
Born 1974, Sweden
Lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. Rosshagen holds a Master of Fine Art from Konstfack, University of Art and Crafts in Stockholm as well as a degree in Art History, he has also studied Science of Religion and the History of Literature. He has recently exhibited at MAC - museo de arte contemporanea, Santiago de Chile (09) and produced film about urbanization for Swedish National Televsion, SVT (08) and written articles for Amnesty Press (07, 09)

David Herdies
Born 1974, Sweden
Lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. Herdies is a filmmaker and video-artist. He has studied The history of Religion, Conflict Resolution, and Media at Stockholm University and Uppsala University as well as a post-graduate program at The Royal University College of Fine Art in Stockholm. He works with experimental documentaries focusing on social issues, often in informal settlements in Kenya, India and several counties in Central America. The major questions have evolved around means for alternative voices, social empowerment and the city-space. He has exhibited in Stockholm and Rio de Janeiro (09) and has produced several films.
Currently working on the two productions The Guerilla Son (Feature documentary in co-production with Swedish Television) and the short documentary-film Dad, do you think grandpa is cold up there...? Herdies runs the independent filmcompany Filmfront Sthlm together with Georg Götmark.

Monika Marklinger
Born 1968, Sweden
Currently living in New York with a studio at the ISCP, Marklinger holds a two year grant from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee (07-09). She is educated at Valand Academy of Fine Arts, Gothenburg, Sweden and The Royal University College of Fine Arts in Stockholm. She has participated in several publications and artistic research projects such as 'What is to be done - Chto Delat' (part of Documenta Magazine Table, Kassel 07) and 'Painting Beyond Space', Stockholm, Sweden (07). She has produced public art work for the Swedish Arts Council and exhbitied in several venues in Sweden and abroad. She is represented by Galleri Flach+Thulin, Stockholm. Marklinger has participated in group-shows at The Royal Swedish Academy - Konstakademien, Stockholm (07) Moderna Museet, Stockholm (06) and Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria (07). Her drawings are reproduced in the book Dharavi: Documenting Informalities.

Johan Widén
Born 1955, Sweden
Lives and works in Sweden. Educated at The Royal University College of Fine Arts in Stockholm. First solo show in 1988 and has ever since made exhibitions, and participated in groupshows, in Sweden, Norway, Russia, Holland and Egypt. Since 2000 Widén is professor in fine art, with specialization in painting, at the Royal University College of Fine Arts, Stockholm. He has been active in the Art & Architecture department since 2002. Ever since his youth has he been personally engaged in Middle East issues, from many different angels, and has traveled in the region extensively for decades.

Michele Masucci
Born 1980, Sweden
Lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. Apart from his artistic education at the Royal University College of Fine Art in Stockholm, Masucci has also studied Information Technology at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm and Biochemistry at the University of Ferrara, Italy. His artistic practice is project-based and spans from performance to video art. Masucci often works in collaboration with other artists. Together with two other artists he runs a TV channel in Sweden - Good TV, through an open channel network. His current research is focused on questions of immaterial labour and possible correlations to the informal labour sector in urban areas.

Sofia Wiberg
Born, 1977, Sweden
Lives and works in Stockholm. She is a Political Scientist and works with creating new ways and spaces for democratic dialogue and debate in contemporary society. She has been working as a researcher at the Swedish Government Offices, Regeringskansliet and project leader at Färgfabriken in Stockholm, a space for contemporary art and architecture. She is currently engaged in Medborgaranalysen – a project aimed at improving dialogue between decision-makers, planners and inhabitants in the cities of Stockholm and Solna as well as other municipalities in Sweden.

Johan Rutherhagen
Born, 1973, Sweden
Lives and works in Stockholm Sweden as well as in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is a self-employed graphic designer, illustrator and photographer. Studied graphic design at Beckman's School of Design in Stockholm. Was for many years art director and visual journalist at Sweden's major newspaper Dagens Nyheter. He has been living in Berlin where he was involved with Scandinavian art and design. Rutherhagen is also a social entrepreneur exploring the designer's role in social, environmental and ecological contexts

Maria Lantz.
Born 1962, Sweden.
Lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. She has exhibited in major venues in Europe. Including Umeå Bildmuseum (09), Botkyrka Konsthall (08), BB3, Bucharest Biennale, Bucharest Romainia (08), Liljevalchs, Stockholm (07) and the Townhouse Gallery in Cario, Egypt. Co-editor of the book Dharavi: Documenting Informalities. Lantz is also employed as Associate Professor and Pro Vice Chancellor at the Royal University College of Fine Arts, Stockholm Sweden where she runs the post-graduate program Art&Architecture. She is Vice Chairman of Swedish Arts and Grants committee and writes critique and reviews for Dagens Nyheter and the Swedish Radio.

Jonatan Habib Engqvist.

Born 1973, Sweden.
Free-lance curator and theorist with a background in Philosophy and Aesthetic Theory. Recently employed as curator at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden where he still works on a free lance basis. He is currently project-leader at the International Artist Studio Program in Sweden, Iaspis. He co-edited and translated the book Dharavi: Documenting Informalities and has produced international conferences, programs and exhibitions. He has edited several journals and frequently lectures on subjects relating to philosophy, art and architecture.