Descend by Christoffer Berg and Lena Trapp. Photo: Queenning Zhao


In the next few years, ICIA will be working with a few lines of thought that are at once separate and interdependent and where several of the artistic projects overlap. The most comprehensive artistic manifestations to be found in our coming program are connected to art and technology, social participation and performative art as well as art in the public sphere. If this breaking up of art into separate fields is relevant, that is – even in the 18th century, the philosopher Immanuel Kant questioned in his third Critique the very delimitation of the system of the beaux arts ; namely the separation of fine art from other artistic production. Art which finds its expression in our common spaces is of course always socially engaged to some extent and demands public participation. Just as the public sphere is far from a natural given or fully common, or the institutional space is non-public, this constitutes a complex weave of various greyscales to be continually renegotiated. Art and technology are often connected to a strong engagement in societal developments and the usage of technical innovations becomes a way of stepping into and making visible the human unconscious and the most intimate parts of ourselves.


Rather than a division of artistic expressions, perhaps it is more interesting to speak of a certain curatorial approach towards artistic practices. Since the foundation of ICIA seven years ago, the close relation and dialogue with artists has been central, most often resulting in newly produced work and co-produced exhibitions. Up until the summer of 2018, ICIA was a nomadic organization where various projects took place at shifting sites and in various contexts departing from the desire of the artist or the nature of the art work and it’s correspondencies with different audiences, situations and surroundings. This is what most clearly has connected ICIA’s productions.


Since a few years back, the desire for a fixed locality has grown stronger; an ambition to explore and create a community together with artists, a place where relations, commitment and new knowledge may be sustained and developed.


In the summer of 2018, ICIA moved into our new large facilities at Järnmalmsgatan 5 in the small scale industrial area Ringön, located at the waterfront in central Gothenburg. The premise holds an exhibition space of over 500 m2, a shared space with a bar and a stage, a large workshop and several studios for artists. A number of artists work within our building and take part of our enterprise to a various extent. The fantastic area that surrounds our building has enabled ICIA to set up an open air cinema and work artistically with the exterior of the building. We will also work with the park and the full area that extends throughout Järnmalmsgatan. Our vision is for all of the surroundings of Ringön to become a place where artistic expressions come together, butt heads, make us reflect and not least make us experience art that captures us emotionally and precedes a more intellectual experience. In 1920 artist Paul Klee wrote “Art does not reproduce the visible but makes visible”. I want to add that it may also make us feel and think with all our senses.


To some extent, art is always political (and all politics aesthetic). The recurring artivistic practice that has pervaded ICIA’s previous projects, where art as a space of action has been investigated and made use of, will persist and form the basis from which many of our productions will emerge. While art is far from the only space where political action is possible, it does hold a potential through its emotional language to precede the intellect and for the aesthetic directness in the experience of the recipient, together with an intellectual reflection, to question established presuppositions and add new perspectives or counter-images to the dominant discourse. It is our firm belief at ICIA that art is necessary to breath in a society where the intense pace often stifles our existential libidos. It is not for nothing that the right wing extremism that once again pervades in our society declares war on contemporary art. We will in every possible way create a space of action on Ringön through acquiring our means of production and creating space for critical reflection through our program and exhibitions.


Anna van der Vliet,
artistic director


translated by Benjamin Wagner