Janna Holmstedt

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| >statement
 

Voice, vision and sense of place

I am an artist and researcher based in Stockholm, Sweden. I work transdisciplinary with various media and contexts with a particular interest in listening (see for example the artistic research project Are You Ready for a Wet Live-In? Explorations into Listening). In recent years, I have primarily worked with installations, sonic fictions, performances, and lecture performances.
My work is rooted in both contemporary art and performing arts and several installations have been co-produced with Teatr Weimar in Malmö. I often use fictionalized situations and set-ups together with sound. Voice and time are vital ingredients, as well as the situation at hand and what you as visitor bring into it. The stories told, fictional and documentary, are related to what you see, but also the situation you find yourself in while listening. Voice and vision, or lack of vision, are thus used to activate specific perceptions and preconceptions in a kind of one-man performances.

Collaborative projects are an important part of my artistic practice and I see them as temporary universities where new approaches and activities can be tested and specific topics explored. In the two-year-project "Monument for the Masses", for example, made in collaboration with Po Hagström, narrative strategies as well as sampling and recontextualization of already existing material were used on a large scale. Here we took an existing proposal for a monument in Estonia, altered it in substantial ways and presented our re-make as a counter-monument. Our proposal was used as a point of departure for mapping stories and rituals surrounding art in public space. Rather than focusing on the values and virtues monuments are said to symbolize, we explored the misunderstandings, conflicting relations and stories associated with them. Another example is “To Mushroom”, made in collaboration with Anna Högberg. We produced a collection of maps that explored social systems and different types of public spaces from an ecological perspective. Concepts such as social capital, exclusion, and democracy were examined – this in order to discuss more or less invisible social values in relation to urban planning.

Together with the film maker and director Karin Wegsjö, I run Nu-institutet [The Now Institute], which is an independent and non-profit culture organization. We have among other things initiated collaborations and international exchange projects with artists and film makers in China, and made the short fiction film "Happiness, a Five-Year Plan" together, which was shot in China and Sweden.
In 2005 I started SQUIDproject.net together with the artist Katja Aglert. "SQUID" is an ever-expanding, online archive of texts written by cultural producers from different countries, but also a framework for offline activities such as readings, artist talks, screenings, etc. Between 2008 and 2013 Martijn van Berkum [NL] was a third project manager.

Theatre
Since 1992 I have also made works for the stage.