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Deep listening for longing
Borås Art Biennial 2021
May 29 – September 26, 2021
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.