A survey and exhibition catalog looking at a century of the migrant experience as realized and expressed through art.
How have artists over the past 150 years related to migration and exile? And what role can a museum play in times of mass migration? Taking as its starting point the 2019 exhibition Migration: Traces in an Art Collection, which featured more than a hundred works from Malmö Konstmuseum made between 1880 and today, this publication brings to light the radical approach of museum director Ernst Fischer, who in 1945 transformed the museum into a refugee shelter for survivors of German concentration camps. It also highlights the museum's long-forgotten Latvian Collection, comprised of art acquired in solidarity with the young Baltic nation and its exiles. Contrasting works by exiled artists such as Sonia Delaunay-Terk, Lotte Laserstein, Endre Nemes, and Peter Weiss further animate the discussion, as do the geopolitical concerns of Pia Arke, Öyvind Fahlström, and Charlotte Johannesson. Correspondingly, a conversation with the exhibition's curators foregrounds the ways in which today's artists reflect upon and articulate experiences of migration. Together, these re-readings of the collection and its potential contribute to an urgent debate on the role of museums in our time.
Ernst Fischer, Lars-Erik Hjertström Lappalainen, Maria Lind, Lotte Løvholm, Joanna Warsza, and Cecilia Widenheim
About the Author
Maria Lind is a curator, writer and educator based in Stockholm and Berlin. She has served as director of Tensta konsthall, artistic director of the 11th Gwangju Biennale, director of the Center for Curatorial Studies graduate programme at Bard College, and director of Iaspis, the International Artists Studio Program in Stockholm. Her previously published books include Selected Maria Lind Writing and Seven Years: The Rematerialisation of Art From 2011-2017, both published by Sternberg Press.
Cecilia Widenheim is director of Tensta konsthall. During her time as director of Malmö Konstmuseum, she initiated several research projects based on the collection. Previously, she was director of Iaspis, the International Artists Studio Program in Stockholm, and prior to that, curator at Moderna Museet in Stockholm.