We’re saying what you’re thinking is an exhibition by the acclaimed Swedish artist Johan Tirén, which closely examines the thoughts, ideas and arguments made by some of the most prominent voices opposing immigration. In an unconventional fashion, Tirén's CAMP open! exhibition tries to unveil what lies beneath the xenophobia and hostility towards immigrants and asylum-seekers, by letting the words of Sverigedemokratanes' main ideologues speak for themselves.
About the exhibition:
The show consists of a videoinstallation, recorded as far back as 2005, and features a complimentary photoseries (2006-2019). The work draws on the political program of Sverigedemokraterna, and unpacks each of their concept in interviews with two of the most prominent ultranationalists of the 2000s: party secretary Jan Milld, and press secretary Jonas Åkerlund. The exhibition is an attempt to understand the strategies and thoughts behind the ideals of Sverigedemokraterna, a party, which had not yet achieved their parliamentary breakthrough at the time the interviews were conducted. Today Sweden is but one of many European countries, where right-ring extremists have managed to build a parliamentary platform and change the entire political landscape.
Besides providing a crucial insights into the fundamental ideas prominent among Europe’s new political force, and inviting us to reflect over the last decades’ developments, the exhibition also demonstrates how the European continent has been incapable of dealing with difference.
About Johan Tirén:
Johan Tirén (1973) has a MFA from Konsthögskolan in Malmö (2004) and has studied at the Danish Royal Academy of Arts (1998-2003). He works with different medias such as drawing, graphics, video and text, and utilises his research-based artistic practice inside art institutions and outside them, e.g. in city planning processes with a focus on sustainability and planning itself. He strives towards being open and precise in his artistic work, as he searches for a political clarity that preserves art’s poetic qualities. Amongst other places, Tirén has been on exhibit in Göteborg Biennalen, Galleri Tom Christoffersen, Overgaden, and has together with colleague Anna Högberg created public decoration tasks for Statens Konstråd and Örebro Kommun.