Experimental art across boundaries

The Inter Arts Centre (IAC) in Malmö provides a forum enabling all parts of the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts to conduct research together and create joint projects. Its objective is to find new approaches and to achieve collective results which are greater than the sum of their parts.

Inter Arts Center 5An example of the Centre’s work is one of the largest symposia ever to be held in Scandinavia within the field of artistic research, which took place over several days at the end of November under the title “Tacit or Loud: where is the knowledge in art?”. The event consisted of a series of lectures, performances and installations allowing researchers and artists to meet within various fields such as choreography, theatre, music and video art.

The idea behind the IAC is to gather researchers and artists from the various disciplines of theatre, music and art in various collaboration projects. This is a specialised centre with two parts; one is artistic research and a place to create opportunities for artists to test their forms of expression and reflect on the results, the other is to contribute to the development of experimental art and find new opportunities by supporting projects which emerge from various collaborations, including those beyond the University.

“Often these two parts are connected, the artistic research within music, theatre and fine art is often innovative and the most interesting aspect is to create opportunities for a real stage, specifically for experimental art, within various genres”, says Christian Skovbjerg Jensen, the director of the IAC.

It is not so easy to measure results of contemporary artistic research; Christian Skovbjerg Jensen says that to a great extent, it is about being interested in the process and contributing to something new, as well as reflecting on why the outcome of the process is important and how it can contribute to innovative thinking. This in turn can contribute to new paths for art, a development which others can subsequently take up and move forward in a new way.

“We want both to reach out and show people the research which is conducted here at the Academies of Music, Theatre and Art, but also to create new contacts within the University for future collaborations”, he says.

The IAC contributes both premises and advanced technology, within film and audio, for example, to which researchers and artists have access. So far, those conducting the research have had to apply to the IAC themselves, but in the future Christian Skovbjerg Jensen hopes to be able to work more proactively to generate exciting collaborations, both within LU and beyond, in a broader cultural context.

He took over as head of the IAC in the spring, after working for many years as a curator for various biennial exhibitions and festivals in contemporary art. He is originally from Denmark but has lived in Sweden for a couple of years, gradually starting to steer clear of all project-based assignments.

“When this opportunity arose, it seemed exciting. This is not a static job; it is about developing boundary-crossing activities. This suits me very well as I have worked a lot with various cooperation projects within art”, he says.

Text: Jonas Andersson

Photo: Gunnar Menander