Angel­i­ca Mesi­ti: Borås Art Biennial

Deep lis­ten­ing for long­ing
Borås Art Bien­ni­al 2021
May 29 – Sep­tem­ber 262021 

The 2021 edi­tion of the Borås Art Bien­ni­al presents the work of over 20 Swedish and inter­na­tion­al artists. The city of Borås, found­ed by mer­chants, was once the tex­tile hub of Swe­den and has always been iden­ti­fied as a city of trade. The Viskan Riv­er that runs through the city bears wit­ness to its indus­tri­al past. In more recent times, Borås has become a cen­ter for inno­va­tion, sus­tain­abil­i­ty, and tech­nol­o­gy. Deep lis­ten­ing for long­ing tunes into past and present imag­in­ings of the city — and beyond. Art­works will be pre­sent­ed in pub­lic spaces, along the Viskan Riv­er, and at the Borås Art Muse­um and the Tex­tile Muse­um of Sweden.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing artists: Akin­bode Akin­biyi, Fil­i­pa César, Åsa Ced­erqvist, Janet Echel­man, Renée Green, Shilpa Gup­ta, Sal­ad Hilowle, Jacque­line Hoàng Nguyễn, Nina Man­galanayagam, Angel­i­ca Mesi­ti, San­ti­a­go Mostyn, Jin Mustafa, Joe Namy, Åsa Nor­berg & Jen­nie Sundén, Oki­do­ki, Nolan Oswald Den­nis, Hard­eep Pand­hal, Mor­gan Quain­tance, Tobias Sjöberg, Anders Sun­na, James Webb, Sam­son Young, Rehana Zaman, Chris­tine Ödlund

Learn­ing how to lis­ten deeply to each other’s expe­ri­ence is a way to build con­scious­ness and a shared under­stand­ing of the world. New forms of col­lec­tiv­i­ty are deter­mined or defined by the depth of rela­tion­ships and shared long­ing. It is the sim­ple inter­ac­tions that con­nect us, from how we relate to the peo­ple we encounter in our dai­ly lives to how we show up in our rela­tion­ships and how we exist with­in com­mu­ni­ties. These actions cre­ate the pat­terns that give rise to our social fab­ric. A num­ber of the bien­ni­al artists explore the impor­tance and trans­for­ma­tion­al pow­er of small and sim­ple inter­ac­tions as ways of rene­go­ti­at­ing how one moves through the world.

Deep lis­ten­ing, as devel­oped by com­pos­er Pauline Oliv­eros, is inti­mate­ly linked to long­ing. Oliveros’s son­ic med­i­ta­tions sought to cre­ate an atmos­phere of open­ing for all to be heard, with the under­stand­ing that lis­ten­ing is heal­ing.” The prac­tice extends beyond the tra­di­tion­al under­stand­ing of hear­ing to a rela­tion­al and active lis­ten­ing that requires the pres­ence of both body and mind.

Many of the bien­ni­al artists enact an advanced form of lis­ten­ing that turns inwards, while at the same time find­ing a mode of out­ward deep lis­ten­ing that attempts to doc­u­ment, present, and under­stand the socio­cul­tur­al con­texts, his­to­ries, and pol­i­tics of our time.


Borås Art Bien­ni­al is organ­ised by the Borås Art Muse­um. Estab­lished in 2008, the bien­ni­al has focused on pre­sent­ing sculp­ture in pub­lic spaces. In 2021 Borås marks the 400th anniver­sary of its found­ing with a jubilee cel­e­bra­tion. In con­junc­tion with the fes­tiv­i­ties, the Borås Inter­na­tion­al Sculp­ture Bien­nale has changed its name to the Borås Art Biennial.

The 2021 edi­tion of the bien­ni­al, Deep lis­ten­ing for long­ing, is curat­ed by Stock­holm-based Ulri­ka Flink and Lon­don-based Aman­prit Sandhu.

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