During a meeting in Paris in November 2016, I cheekily suggested to other members of Objektiv’s editorial board that we temporarily rename the magazine in honour of our yearlong focus on the relationship between art, politics, and subjectivity. To my surprise, we chose to pursue the idea; the magazine’s two issues published in 2017 explored the topic, and this exhibition grew out of that work.
I co-curated this exhibition with Lucas Blalock, Ida Kierulf, Susanne Østby Sæther, and Nina Strand. It debuted in 2017 at the Malmö Konsthall and traveled to the Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo.
Subjektiv’s points of departure are the potential relations between art, politics, and subjectivity at a moment when the basis of democratic subjecthood is called into question. While there is a sense that the shared public space of politics is being overwhelmed by affective content, we are simultaneously witnessing a reinvigoration of the power of the collective and the resolve of community. The exhibition and accompanying journal issue explore questions of what subjektiv might mean in this context.
The exhibition brings together artworks from recent years that speak to the current political situation through their strategic staging of subjectivity and its political potential or impotence. All the works are camera-based—photographs and films, collages and a poster project—and span from straightforward documentary to a post-internet aesthetics of the interface. While radically different in strategies and aesthetics, these works all investigate the friction between the subjective, the collective, and the political.