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Barnstugan
BY
Mattias Åkeson

A room for children, a house. A place for collective play and learning. Mattias Åkeson’s Barnstugan refers to the state inquiry (1968-72) of the same name which led to legislation that legally enshrined the rights of children in Sweden to have access to public pre-school education and care. The artist’s work has its starting point in this particular period in history, when the idea of the collective was stronger than that of the individual. His focus however is directed at contemporary times, towards our situation today. The artist is interested in how the passage of time has affected us, as much as he is interested in how architecture and its spaces affect us.

A specific type of pre-school buildings that were designed at this time and were built in many locations in Stockholm and surrounding suburban areas – often in the middle of residential areas – originate from the same drawing board as Ingmar Bergman’s house that was located inan isolated spot at Hammars on the island of Fårö. These two building designs resemble each other so strongly that one could almost believe that there must have been something of a mix up among the design blueprints at Abramson’s architecture bureau. Or is it simply the case that the orders and specifications for these different buildings were just very similar?

/Niklas Östholm (translation: Finbar Krook Rosato)

Keywords Architecture
Aspect ratio 1,33:1 (4:3)
Prod. format Generic HD-video
Duration 00:15:00
Language Swedish
Color BW
Year 2012
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About the artist

Mattias Åkeson

Born in 1970 in Visby, Sweden. Currently based in Söderköping, Sweden.

Mattias Åkesson’s education includes the Art academy of Bergen (KHiB), Norway, Konstfack in Stockholm, and KHiB´s studio in Berlin, among others. He has also been a teacher at Norrköping school of art. He was one of the founder members of the Norwegian Artist group gutengut (1999 – 2004) who made a wide range of interdisciplinary projects working with performance, video, installations and social interactions.

Today he divides his time between artistic practice, teaching and commissions as an exhibition designer. His field of interest could be explained as dealing with Scandinavian welfare, middleclass consumption identity, and the relation between community as a collective and the individual. He has been doing projects looking at the shopping mall, the art gallery and the kindergarten. The relationship between architecture, activity and user is an important base for his practice. In 2009 he published the book Northern Comfort (Labyrinth press) which contains essays and a series of photographs dealing with the Shopping mall. In 2012 he had an Artist in Residence at Ingmar Bergman´s home on Fårö, Gotland.

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