Underverk in Belgrade

I’ll be working from co-working space Nova Iskra in Belgrade, Serbia for the next two months. Besides working on our new website, Jonna and I are planning our next upcoming events and a program for Stockholm Design Week 2016. So stay tuned for that.
Send me a message if you’re in Belgrade and want to say hi!

Photo from Nova Iskra


Feminist Film Screening

Together with curator Kim McAleese, Underverk presented a set of feminist film screenings punctuated by food provided by meal ecologist Ayhan Aydin and experience designer Josefin Vargö, who translated certain elements from the film into taste.

A set of food snacks were presented during Underverk’s feminist film screenings, co-curated together with Kim McAleese.

For each film certain elements were translated into taste and interaction. Produced together with meal ecologist Ayhan Aydin.

Film 1: La Blanchisseuse, Rohesia Hamilton, 1993.

An experimental video examining the emotional and aesthetic underpinnings of the tendency that still exists for women to take a greater responsibility than men for domestic work and nurturing. The images of a woman ironing pay homage in their composition to paintings of laundresses by such artists as Edgar Degas, Honor, Daumier, Edouard Manet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and others. Many of the paintings of laundresses by these artists create an ambiguously gentle impression, portraying the task of laundry as sensual, feminine, and producing contentment.

La Blanchisseuse examines the relationship between the images with which we have grown up and the expectations women place upon themselves. Equally poignant texts; from Intrusion (Denise Levertov), Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law (Adrienne Rich), and To The Lighthouse (Virginia Woolfe) scroll over the images, alluding both to the pull of tradition for a woman to provide nurturing care to others and to the sense of betrayal and rejection that can be the reward for providing such care.

FOOD ACCOMPANIMENT: Steamed dumplings, filled with foraged greens, served in linens on an ironing board. The texture is very soft, while the taste goes from subtle to bitter tones to resemble the conflict of domestic labour.

Film 2: Semiotics of the Kitchen, Martha Rosler, 1975

In this performance Rosler takes on the role of an apron-clad housewife and parodies the television cooking demonstrations popularized by Julia Child in the 1960s. Standing in a kitchen, surrounded by refrigerator, table, and stove, she moves through the alphabet from A to Z, assigning a letter to the various tools found in this domestic space. Wielding knives, a nutcracker, and a rolling pin, she warms to her task, her gestures sharply punctuating the rage and frustration of oppressive women’s roles.
Rosler has said of this work, “I was concerned with something like the notion of ‘language speaking the subject,’ and with the transformation of the woman herself into a sign in a system of signs that represent a system of food production, a system of harnessed subjectivity.”

FOOD ACCOMPANIMENT: ‘Semiotics of a carrot’; X small carrot cubes, Y dried purple carrots, Z carrot caramels, showing the value of an ingredient. This was shared on a long wooden board, between 3-4 people.

FIlm 3: Our Time Is Coming, Selma James, 1971.
Selma James, a socialist and feminist, uses her own experiences working in low-paid jobs and being a mother and housewife as a starting point in this investigation into whether women are exploited in all areas of society. Interviews with full-time housewives, and with females who work outside the home but still do almost all of the household chores, reveal the true extent of women’s work. James goes on to ask whether equal pay outside the home and a real division of housework between men and women will ever become a reality.

In 1972, a year after this programme was broadcast, a key work by Selma James, Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, was published. In this, she expands on the ideas put forward in the programme and argues that the entire labour market is built upon the unpaid work of women. Also in 1972, James set up the International Wages for Housework Campaign, which argues that running the home should be recognised as work in official statistics and that people doing this labour should be paid a wage by the government.

FOOD ACCOMPANIMENT: A big pot with a miso-dashi soup, served in paper mugs. They will huddle around two small bonfires, the perfect environment to create a communal feeling for discussions and opinions.

Supported by Stockholms Stad and CuratorLab Konstfack.


Feminist film screenings: 12 May

For many women, the home was a natural subject of artistic production as a highly charged site of rampantly contradictory meanings. As Lucy Lippard noted, ‘[women artists] work from such [household] imagery because it’s there, because it’s what they know best, because they can’t escape it.’

Together with curator Kim McAleese, Underverk presents a set of feminist film screenings punctuated by food provided by meal ecologist Ayhan Aydin and experience designer Josefin Vargö, who have translated certain elements from the film into taste.

In this film programme, the artists explore domestic issues such as motherhood, familial relationships, control of physical space and the preparation and consumption of food.

20:00-20:30 — Course 1: Blanchisseuse, a steamed introduction.
20:40-20:50 — Course 2: Semiotics of the Carrot, the value of an ingredient.
21:00-22:00 — Course 3: Our time is coming, communal soup experience.

Limited food, available on first come, first served basis.

Ayhan Aydin (Meal Ecologist) works interdisciplinary with how the food system as a whole functions. Aydin integrates social sciences, natural sciences, food craftsmanship and practical farming. Ayhan has previously participated in the projects Restaurant roam (Parkteatern), Fittja Open (Botkyrka Konsthall), Nordic Sound Bite (New Nordic Food). In the three different projects, food has been a central and fundamental part of the story.

Photo from Rohesia Hamilton Metcalfe: La Blanchisseuse (1993)

Supported by Stockholms Stad and CuratorLab Konstfack.


Housewarming Dinner at Konsthall C

In Konsthall C’s kitchen, together with curator Kim McAleese, Underverk invited commercial ‘chef’ and a domestic ‘cook’ to respond to the questions posed in the Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ Manifesto for Maintenance Art.

Produced in 1969, the manifesto connected to other feminist activities around the world which began to articulate the gendered inequities between paid and unpaid labour. The chefs Josefin Günther and Magdalena Günther were invited to make a dinner, using the food as their material to convey what they believe to be ‘maintenance work’ as an attempt to readdress the issues raised in Ukeles manifesto.

The dinner was part of the public program of the Ukeles exhibition at Konsthall C, the idea being that members of the public are invited to engage in some of her thoughts and artistic concepts over a meal in the space.

30 guests joined the dinner and together we discussed our thoughts about maintenance work with the following four courses:

First Course
The Perfect Façade
A selection of vegetarian and vegan canapés

Main Course
The Sacrifice…Blood, Sweat and Ears
Polish beetroot soup and Uszka

The Disposal
To be enjoyed with your hands

After Dessert
The Notion
One for everyone to take away

Josefin Günther is a sommelier currently working as a freelance writer. Food, beverages, scents and flavours have always been a very big and natural part of her life and she is always looking to add new scents and flavours to her palate. Finding new ways of expressing what we experience when we eat and drink is an ongoing home-project of hers.

Originally from Poland, Magdalena Günther came to Stockholm via Copenhagen where she attended a College of Arts. Her entire professional career as a graphic designer/art director has been spent trying to juggle work, family and social interactions. Her passion lies in exploring gastronomy and culture from other countries, and she has always cooked.

Photos by Konsthall C and Underverk

Openfarm Harvest Mingle ● 30 Nov

Explore the Dome of Visions and join the discussion about the future of food!

“Climate change and population growth are putting great pressure on the global food systems. How do we deal with local urban challenges related to the food we eat, how it is grown, where it comes from, our food security and our roll in the system. Can urban farming be an alternative for the self-sustaining city?

During the afternoon, the speakers will address some of these issues, specifically in relation to the city of Stockholm. How do these changes affect our everyday lives today and in the future? What can we as individuals do to help out?”

For more information go here.

Photo from Openlab

30 Nov 16:00 — 19:00 Free Show on map
Nytt gränsland ● 10 Dec
Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 21.43.41

Attend a reading of the artist Hito Steyerl’s writings, arranged in conjunction with the video installation Liquidity Inc. by Hito Steyerl at Tensta Konsthall.

“In her numerous writings, Hito Steyerl has drawn her readers’ attention to questions about aesthetics and communication in a globalized, digitized, and inter-connected world.”

Read more here.

10 Dec 18:00 Show on map

PALS PLAY TAG! PART THREE: NORWAY- FINLAND – SWEDEN is a new series of international exchanges in performance art in cooperation with PAO – Performance Art Oslo, PAB – Performance Art Bergen, Tonight (Helsinki), PERFO! (Tampere) and Kulturrådet.

Read more here.

27 Nov 18:00 Show on map