HDK-Valand, University of Gothenburg & Gislaveds Konsthall
On march the 18th the title of this exhibition took on a radically new meaning. With the closure of HDK-Valand campus we have stopped in our tracks, we remain where we stand.
As measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect students and staff at HDK-Valand entail that work on physical pieces due to be presented in Gislaved is halted. The works that are under construction remain unfinished, the space that is under preparation remains empty. Yet we have found that we cannot remain but must go on, shifting our mode of presentation.
The exhibition, which was due to open on April 3rd 2020, would be the third iteration of a collaboration between the two institutions centred around the site specific and contextual qualities, and creation, of art work. The brief given to BA Fine Art Year One students is an introduction to the site of the exhibition, to the municipality and town of Gislaved in general; the historical and present. A particular site, an exhibition space, was later selected, a disused part of the old rubber factory at the centre of this industrial community. The students research further tied us into the localised context, in which the works would be presented. Where we now stand, is at the point of placing the works at the site of the exhibition, but we have lost our foothold.
Monitoring the spread of COVID-19, and the development of the Corona crisis, we had cancelled the public opening of the exhibition, and started to consider the transferrable aspects of the work; what might be digitised, streamed and printed. (Our final meetings where attended as much via various modes of telepresence as physically). With social distancing coming to the fore as a principle governing all work, this exhibition, previously informed by presence must now in equal measure be informed by absence.
HDK-Valand and Gislaveds konsthall continue to work closely together albeit at a distance. This exhibition will take on a new format, or several. And as we shift into a new mode of presentation the exploration and investigation of the 'site specific' remains central. Where we stand, moving forward.
Nils Svensk, Curator Gislaveds konsthall
Behjat Omer Abdulla, Adjunct lecturer and course responsible, HDK- Valand
Future developments will be published on our websites and in the exhibitions facebook event.