In my artistic practice I work in the public space with participatory and community art. Groups or individuals take part in different ways in the creative process or the end result. Through installations, events, photography and video I explore questions surrounding identity, gender and communication in public and private space. My background is in lens-based art and I often use photography in my work, but I always choose the technical solutions and materials based on the needs of the project, and therefore I have in addition to photography worked with everything from large-scale constructions made of wood to performance and net-based projects.
My art can be seen as political and questions around identity are a key theme in my practice. The political element in my community art means that participating in the cultural action is simultaneously part of the societal discussion. I think all cultural products are part of a larger context and can be placed in a political discourse, but I have noticed that when art challenges the prevalent norms instead of upholding them, it is considered political. My aim is to work in a norm-critical way and I choose to do it openly and explicitly. This means that often the participants’ willingness to take part in the work is connected to their willingness to participate in societal discourse. Art provides a possibility for the individuals to express themselves and participate in creating change on a societal level.
The political aspect of my work focuses on creating space to live in for all, but especially those whose identity differs from the norms of the majority culture. Identity is closely tied to feelings but also visual expression, and it is therefore an interesting theme to work with artistically. Art becomes a language to express something personal and important. Community art can also create a context with a structure of norms that create new possibilities for individuals. My role as an artist is to direct the process, which begins with the involvement of the participants, towards an artistic whole.
My objective is a collaboration where professional artistic competence meets the world of the participants’ experiences and interpretations, and that the result is relevant in the context of contemporary art but also in situations that the participant feels at home. As an artist I am in a position of power as I have access to art as a tool for communication. Through community art practice I can lift forth thoughts, experiences and ideas from participants who don’t have this access to the art world. Because art as a profession is not equally accessible to all, community art is more relevant from a norm-critical perspective. My privileged position as a white, middle class, abled adult has enabled me to choose art as my profession. To work norm-critically, I need to give room to experiences other than my own in my creation.