All Makt Åt Fantasin - staden som lekplats
8 maj–15 augusti 2021
Play can take many different forms and expressions, but one thing is certain: for humans, play is vital. While playing, alternative worlds and orders can be created. It is through play that children test their limits and learn to handle and challenge reality.
The participating artists in the summer exhibition approach play and the city in different ways. The artist Camilla Carlsson examines the playground Fagerlid, which was created in 1956-57 as part of the neighbourhood planning in Hökarängen. The new work Lager av lek includes studies of play in the park game Fagerlid, from the 1950s to the present. The cartoon collages show children playing, play equipment, documents related to children's play, park play with its development and organisation. Not only the play environment but a living environment emerges, based on generations of children who played on the site. Carlsson has extensive experience of investigating connections between play and art nationally, as well as internationally. Her practice is interdisciplinary, and she often works with children in participatory processes. Since 2008, Camilla Carlsson has spent a lot of time researching construction playgrounds: outdoor environments where children design the play environment in the presence of educators.
In his artistic research, Mats Eriksson Dunér examines self-organised collectives of children and adults who during the sixties and seventies used Stockholm's public spaces as playgrounds. In his film Aktivering Samtal , which is shown in the exhibition, we meet the artist group Aktion Samtal, which was the result of discussions among activists, child educators and parents who became involved in the cities/Stockholm's planning and transformation. How do we build a city from a child's perspective with space for play? Actions were carried out, some around a passage on a residential street, others were about the meeting between children and adults on playgrounds and about the inner city courtyards' opportunities for togetherness.
Priscila Fernandes examines play in the adult world by focusing on teambuilding companies that instrumentalise play as a method to increase employee productivity and create greater motivation. Fernande's video work To the playground! takes place on one of the Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck's playgrounds from 1968 in Amsterdam. Van Eyck, who also was a philosopher, developed his own theories on how playgrounds can promote a child's exploration of imagination and creativity. Instead of traditional play equipment, van Eyck developed simple forms to build and climb on, forms that would offer an environment with open opportunities for play.
Hökarängsarkivet (The Hökarängen Archive) tells the story of Hökarängen and the surrounding area. The archive is constantly evolving with new images and texts that contribute to giving an ever broader picture of life in Hökarängen over the years. The exhibition also presents photographer Yngve Hellström's play pictures from the first years of the construction play in Fagerlidsparken.
Through an exploration of what construction play would look like in an art gallery, the framework for the exhibition All Makt Åt Fantasin - staden som lekplats is taking shape together with children and adults who are interested in building. You can read more about the building here. The construction is the first of several program items around the exhibition, which will be released regularly during the spring.
The world's first construction play, ”skrammellegepladsen”, opened outside Copenhagen in 1943. It's idea was that city children would be allowed to play more freely in a way that children have always done. Helsingborg's city gardener in turn took the Danish ideas to Sweden. Construction plays became popular in Sweden and during the 60s and 70s, staffed playgrounds where children had access to materials and tools to build their own play environment were common. Since the 1980s, however, almost all of these construction playgrounds have been closed both for financial reasons and due to an increased focus on safe play environments.
The exhibition is a collaboration between Konsthall C and Hökarängens stadsdelsråd (through Sebastian Dahlqvist and Sara Brolund de Carvalho).
In April, Konsthall C invites children and adults to together with us explore what a construction play can be if it is situated in an art gallery. Come and test your abilities and your imagination by collectively participating in shaping a construction play that frames the exhibition! We are building on April 29 and 30 between 12-17. Children are welcome in adult company. If you want to be sure of your place (we are never more than 8), you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08-604 77 08.
The exhibition includes a public program that is presented ongoingly. On May 8, a workshop will be held by Grafikskolan between 2 and 4 PM outdoors in Fagerlidsparken. The workshop focuses on block print / letterpress inspired by Aktion Samtals aesthetics.
Konsthall C is summer closed during July, the exhibition is open May 8 – June 20 and August 5 - August 15.