The Bright Lights of the Institution


The Bright Lights of the Institution
A framework for being together by Freja Bäckman
built together with Heidi Lunabba and Karolina Kucia
Curated by Nora Sternfeld in collaboration with Darja Zaitsev

Welcome to the opening performance Oct 18 at 18
NODE Space, Hämeentie 135 C
5th Floor, 00560 Helsinki

“Even when we say “everyone” in an effort to an all-inclusive group, we are still making implicit assumptions about who is included and so we hardly ever overcome what Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau so aptly describe as “the constitutive exclusion” by which any particular notion of inclusion is established”
– Judith Butler, Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly

How do we act together in a world that isolates us? What exclusions are we still performing, when we create spaces and possibilities for working, learning or just being together? And what are the (in-)visible mechanisms of opening and closing spaces?

The project in Node Space creates a framework for coming together and is part of the seminar “Theoretical Frameworks for Curating and Mediating Art” by Nora Sternfeld. When thinking about how we negotiate when working together and how borders are established, the act of the building, the physical creation of the space also becomes important. The space is accessible but not without a deliberate attempt at entering it. The fence we have to cross, when we enter is the visible reference to the borders of the institution – which, as every border are usually felt by some and (almost) invisible to others. It means both the concrete space at the Art Department of Aalto University as well as the art institutions we are talking about as part of a theoretical framework for curating and mediating art.

Freja Bäckman
Freja Bäckman’s practice is situated between art, education and socio-political work. Mainly working in different forms of groups and collaborations, the most central ones being Wir Spielen/No play, Land-Institut and the artist group Megafån. Recent projects are “No play Feminist Training Camp” at nGbK in Berlin, being part of the Partisan Café team at Bergen Assembly, and wood chopping sessions that got their start as I was told I chop wood as a ballet dancer at Repose in Krakow. Plays bass in the doom metal band Lithalsa. Bäckman has a MA from Art in Context, UdK Berlin and is currently doing a doctorate at the Aalto University, Department of Art.

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