Deep listening for longing
Borås Art Biennial 2021
May 29–September 26, 2021
The Borås Art Biennial 2021 presents the work of over 20 Swedish and international artists. The city of Borås, founded by merchants, was once the textile hub of Sweden and has always been identified as a city of trade. The Viskan River that runs through the city bears witness to its industrial past. In more recent times, Borås has become a center for innovation, sustainability, and technology. Deep listening for longing tunes into past and present imaginings of the city—and beyond. Artworks will be presented in public spaces, along the Viskan River, and at the Borås Art Museum and the Textile Museum of Sweden.
Participating artists: Akinbode Akinbiyi, Filipa César, Åsa Cederqvist, Janet Echelman, Renée Green, Shilpa Gupta, Salad Hilowle, Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn, Nina Mangalanayagam, Angelica Mesiti, Santiago Mostyn, Jin Mustafa, Joe Namy, Åsa Norberg & Jennie Sundén, Okidoki, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Hardeep Pandhal, Morgan Quaintance, Tobias Sjöberg, Anders Sunna, James Webb, Samson Young, Rehana Zaman, Christine Ödlund
Learning how to listen deeply to each other’s experience is a way to build consciousness and a shared understanding of the world. New forms of collectivity are determined or defined by the depth of relationships and shared longing. It is the simple interactions that connect us, from how we relate to the people we encounter in our daily lives to how we show up in our relationships and how we exist within communities. These actions create the patterns that give rise to our social fabric. A number of the biennial artists explore the importance and transformational power of small and simple interactions as ways of renegotiating how one moves through the world.
Deep listening, as developed by composer Pauline Oliveros, is intimately linked to longing. Oliveros’s sonic meditations sought to “create an atmosphere of opening for all to be heard, with the understanding that listening is healing.” The practice extends beyond the traditional understanding of hearing to a relational and active listening that requires the presence of both body and mind.
Many of the biennial artists enact an advanced form of listening that turns inwards, while at the same time finding a mode of outward deep listening that attempts to document, present, and understand the sociocultural contexts, histories, and politics of our time.
Borås Art Biennial 2021 curators:
The 2021 edition of the biennial, Deep listening for longing, is curated by Stockholm-based Ulrika Flink and London-based Amanprit Sandhu.
Ulrika Flink is based in Stockholm and has curated exhibitions throughout Sweden and abroad in recent years. Her recent exhibition in Borås, Somewhere in Between at the Borås Art Museum, which concluded in January 2020, explored landscape’s memory, national identity, and the role of myth in the writing of history. Flink is currently working in Hökarängen, outside Stockholm, as Artistic Director for Konsthall C, a leading force in a socially engaged art scene where innovation and curatorial and artistic experiments take center stage. Flink is also co-Artistic Director for the arts advocacy organization Konstfrämjandet Stockholm and she holds the position as curator at Black Archive Sweden. Internationally, she has curated for prestigious biennials such as Momentum 9—The nordic biennial of contemporary art in 2017, an important arena for contemporary Nordic art. Flink has long experience of working with art locally, nationally, and internationally, including institutions such as Tensta Konsthall, Autograph ABP (London), the Tate Modern, and Bonniers Konsthall. She has a master’s degree in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art in London.
Amanprit Sandhu is a London-based curator, writer, and educator with a focus on commissioning, performance-based practices and collaborative approaches to working. She was the co-founder of the curatorial collective DAM Projects (2014-20), whose work supported underexposed artists, art scenes, discourses, and sociopolitical debates in the UK and internationally. Previous roles include: organizer of the inaugural biennial programme for Brent Biennial in London, Curator at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire, Public Programme and Residencies Curator at Camden Art Centre, Projects Curator at Art on the Underground, Project Manager for the 2014 Folkestone Triennial and the 2012 Frieze Foundation projects, and Assistant Curator at the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art. She is a Curatorial Practice tutor on the Curating Contemporary Art MA at the Royal College of Art, and Senior Lecturer on the Fine Art BA at Chelsea College of Arts. Between 2017–20 she was a trustee at Arts Catalyst.