Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Mia Christersdotter Norman and I’m a long-time Director of Röda Sten Konsthall. I have a background in Photography, MA in Leadership and organizational studies, and studies in Art History. My passion in life is art – and particularly contemporary art. As both a professional and a dedicated visitor I take every opportunity to visit art institutions and exhibitions which both give personal experiences and benchmarking for my professional role.
Describe Röda Sten Konsthall for people who might not know you?
Röda Sten Konsthall is an art center situated in an old boiler house, an exciting building right on the banks of Gota river where you can experience temporary exhibitions and performances by Swedish and international artists. Across four floors, you can see paintings, photography, performances, video, and sound art – and there are plenty of opportunities to participate in creative processes and conversations. There is also a restaurant serving lunch, fika, and refreshments. The outdoor veranda is a popular spot for a coffee or a drink as soon as the sun is shining. Röda Sten Konsthall is an exciting place for interaction between people of all ages and from all parts of the world.
Why did you choose Grebban as a partner for your new identity?
After lots of research for a new communication partner, we found Grebban, right next door so to say. We have been working with designers in Stockholm and were prepared to partner up with someone on distance. There is a huge advantage to being able to meet in person and the relationship we initiated with a starting point in their graphic work has now evolved and we discovered a bunch of people that we got on well with. The Grebban and Röda Sten Konsthall crew seem to be a perfect match!
What is the most important part of identity when it comes to art according to you?
For the profile of Röda Sten Konsthall, I think it is important that it both catches a vibe of art and also communicates openness and simplicity that invite anyone potentially interested. Art institutions are all different in their specific context and the most vital aspect of the collaboration with Grebban is that I can see that they understand the sole of Röda Sten Konsthall and transform it into the design.
What do you like most about your identity?
Since Röda Sten Konsthall has its legacy as a grassroots and self-organized organization I appreciate the slightly anarchistic and punk aspect in the profile. Röda Sten Konsthall is a self-made material with confidence and attitude, and I can see that aspect in the design. Some letters are a bit too big; the display is a bit disorganized; the photographic manner is straight on (preferably with flash if I may choose) …
Tell us about your experience with Grebban?
I think our collaboration with Grebban was exceptionally smooth and they showed dedication and ability to understand our context even if it was partly new for them. They got many professional coworkers involved, who all were patiently listening and shaping our ideas into a great profile. We are so grateful, and we have also learned a lot from the common process.
What is happening at Röda Sten this coming year, what can you tell us about upcoming exhibitions and themes?
Right now, we have opened an exhibition with the Germany-based Artist Danica Dakić, with whom we have produced a large-scale installation and sound sculpture named STENA DANICA. The ship “Stena Danica” which passes through Gothenburg daily, was a direct inspiration for the new artistic production in the main exhibition space. This unusual coincidence of sharing her name with the ship has been the guiding idea that sparked the artist´s collaboration with composer Bojan Vuletić for the new site-specific sound sculpture.
For the summer we are planning a group exhibition with four Swedish based artists, Maja Gunn, Josefine Lindskog, Mona Namér and Nontokozo Tshabalala, who will participate with installations, textile sculptures but also dance films, and large-scale collages.
During fall we open the 12th edition of Göteborg Biennial for Contemporary Art, a biennial that takes place at several venues in Gothenburg in addition to Röda Sten Konsthall. And this year’s biennial will appear with a new design made by Grebban!
We love art, a big reason why we love working with you. Can you tell us what you think will happen in the art world in the coming years, and what’s next to come in the art world?
I think there is no such thing as an art world but many different art worlds, and I think diversity and multiplicity are increasing. Before there was more than one singular trend but nowadays, I can see that the artists to a higher degree connect with any historical reference point or context that interests them. Also, the diversity of artists is much broader, they can come from craft, film studies, design, or a variety of fields. The stories told are more diverse too.
Tell us about an art memory that made an impression on you
I must admit that I’m always impressed by video installations with high-end techniques, and I remember seeing the 13-channel installation Manifesto with the incredible actor Kate Blanchet, by German artist Julian Rosefeldt at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin in 2015. Blanchet is performing the twelve protagonists and acting/reading different famous art historical and political manifestos. Have a look yourself – the films are on display on Rosefeldt's webpage.
And last but not least, a little teaser since Grebban is also doing the upcoming GIBCA identity (Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art), what can you tell us about that?
I’m personally thrilled about the theme that is evolving for the biennial this edition and concerns the future, how we need to take impressions and learnings from marginalized groups like indigenous people, queer communities, and other non-normative groups. This starting point I think is common for how the world needs to learn in the struggle against climate change and for climate justice. That is an important aspect for me personally and professionally.
What (non-fiction) book or article do you recommend Grebban's followers to read?
I’m currently reading Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Among many things, the author is a scientist, a botanist, and a Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and through the book, she highlights how plants and animals can teach us forgotten and important things. The book is both practical and philosophical, and sometimes even spiritual. I read the book very slowly and try to digest every chapter, so I have other books as companions to this one.