What do you see from where you’re standing? Can you hear them moving, can you feel their breath, can you see them running towards you? Starting from living archives, the exhibition asks; what really exists on the other side of the interrogation point? Is it stillness? In the city commons tensions of queer existence are displayed in the form of sculpture, installation, textile, photography. The exhibition presents a moment for the audience to intimately encounter the deeply private, the difficult, the forgotten.
The exhibition “What do you see from where you’re standing?” is open August 12–September 30. The exhibition consists of public artworks by artists Rudy Loewe, Afrang Nordlöf Malekian and Nour Helou, and Zafira Vrba Woodski. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication edited by Samuel Girma and the curator Tawanda Appiah.
Rudy Loewe’s new body of work playfully combines painting and text in order to imagine a future in which being Black and trans moves beyond what seems possible. Included in this is a transcript of a conversation held between Rudy Loewe, Eden Lost and Levi / Tom of Tottenham. The conversation focuses on the lived experiences of Black trans people navigating a Swedish context. With Édouard Glissant’s ‘right to opacity’ in mind, parts of the conversation have been redacted and are not visible to the public.
Rudy Loewe, Generations, 2021
Shape-Shifting Flickers of Love is an illuminated installation by Afrang Nordlöf Malekian and Nour Helou. They present their three written stories about how premodern ideals of beauty live on, and how they manifest in choreographies of the gaze when battling with punishable desires. They are accompanied by paintings from both the Hermitage Museum Collection, and the Women’s World in Qajar Iran at Harvard University Libraries – a digital archive focusing on portraiture of Qajari women. They also display photographs from the Fahime Zeidan, Photo Caron, and Studio Chargh Collections, archived at the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut, Lebanon. These three collections are from the 1940s-80s and hold unique sets of hand-coloured photographic objects from Kuwait, Lebanon, and Iran.
Studio portrait. Taken by Ahmed Golinejad in Kuwait in the mid-20th century. Gelatin silver developing-out paper print, hand-colored. 0266ca00015, 0266ca – Photo Caron Collection, courtesy of the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut. Presented by Afrang Nordlöf Malekian and Nour Helou’s as part of their installation.
Zafira Vrba Woodski’s film I’m continuously crying tears of estrogen and tears of testosterone (2020) is anchored in the park as a powerful public work. It is currently showing at Malmö Konstmuseum as part of the exhibition (in)visible. This repetition serves as a way of creating more communal responsibility. Set at an eye-level Zafira plays a weeper in the film, crying tears of hormone gel. The testosterone gel was gifted from a friend who died in 2020. The estrogen gel is Zafira’s own. The film has no sound. The crying is silent.
Zafira Vrba Woodski, Crying 1. Image taken by Madde Edlund
Rudy Loewe is a visual artist from the UK. In 2018 they graduated from the Visual Communication MFA at Konstfack, receiving the Rektor Stavenowska award for academic excellence. Sharing Knowledges was their first Swedish solo exhibition at Marabouparken in 2018, exploring embodied knowledge and community histories. Rudy received the Arbetsstipendium in 2019 to continue their work investigating British and Swedish colonial legacies. Alongside their collaborator Jacob V. Joyce, Rudy has been the Early Years artist-in-residence at the Serpentine Gallery for 2020. In 2021 they became a PhD candidate at the University of the Arts London to research Black Power and British colonial legacies through painting.
Afrang Nordlöf Malekian and Nour Helou
Afrang Nordlöf Malekian’s texts, films and installations, different histories, narratives and voices are weighed against each other to examine the relation between history writing, forgetfulness, memory and action. He is interested in how political events and their consequences cannot be separated from applied technology. BFA, Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm (2016-2019), MFA, Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam (2020-2022), artistic research, Arab Image Foundation, Beirut (2019-), Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2020). Exhibitions in selection: 10th Berlin Biennale (lecture performance), Tensta Konsthall (seminar), IASPIS (lecture performance), Tegel, Botkyrka Konsthall, Norbergfestival, Marabouparken, Nuda, Pina. Publications in selection: Glänta, Paletten, Arab Image Foundation, Kultwatch.
Nour Helou (b. 1998) is a recent graduate from the American University of Beirut with a degree in Art History. She is currently working on a research project which explores the notions of gender, race, and class through the Arab region’s various visual archives, primarily with photographs from the Arab Image Foundation. Helou’s work has recently been exhibited at Tegel, Stockholm. Publications: Glänta, Arab Image Foundation, C-print, Brand.
Zafira Vrba Woodski
Zafira Vrba Woodski ( b. 1980) is a Swedish-Czech artist, curator and trans activist based in Stockholm. Zafira works with digital media, video, performance, textiles and pedagogy. Their work explores queer kinship, grief, contemporary archeology and ancestral healing. I’m continuously crying tears of estrogen and tears of testosterone is a part of Zafira’s project State of Trans, which is a journey beyond time and language as well as an attempt to embody the full spectrum of trans identities – past, present and future. Zafira is also a Death Doula dedicated to support the queer and trans communities. They will soon open the very first queer funeral home in Sweden.
As part of the exhibition a publication edited by Samuel Girma and the curator will soon be released.
Curated by Tawanda Appiah
Poster designed by Agga Studio AB
Special thanks to Malmö Konstmuseum
Tawanda Appiah, the curator of the art exhibition.