An artistic approach to Gothenburg’s Chronos/Time and Topos/Space
The curatorial focus for Västlänken and Olskroken is the concept of Chronotopia (from the Greek words Χρόνος [chrónos] – time – and τόπος [tópos] – place). Chronotopia proposes an investigation of the present, a review of the value of the past, and a look into the potential of the future, with an interest in site-specific explorations. A complex network of identities, heritage and relations to a globalised world can be examined from artistic perspectives and expressed in the city’s public spaces.
This allows mutual exchange between different, synergetic spaces and times. The construction period in itself is an on-going chronotope, an urban transformation spanning ten years.
As a port city Gothenburg has, on many occasions, been a first site of encounter with Sweden for the flows of immigrants who at various times have arrived with their own spaces and history. Gothenburg has also been the city that most Swedish emigrants to America embarked from in the 19th century. By creating new links within social space, art can reinforce and deepen ethical and existential dimensions, even those that cannot always be put into words.
In the project artists will get a chance to engage in shaping the underground spaces of Gothenburg. What are the implications of these new vertical layers and the access to new horizontal connections between places? Descending into the underground involves a potential shift in perspective, where the taken for granted bonds with the local community are lost, and a desire for new connections can arise.
This project gives artists an exceptional opportunity to develop artistic visions while reshaping spaces. The art is meant to be an integral part of the overall design, and not be experienced as an addition to a previously finished structure. The project’s vision is that the artists will get to influence the design, i.e. they will contribute to shaping the architectural spaces and collaborate with the architects and constructors to make the environments unique.
The all-embracing theme of Chronotopia has thus been a more reasonable starting point for the continued work than deciding early on the physical sites for the art. This creates scope for the competing artists to use their artistic ideas to discover a place for art, along with unforeseen qualities with regard to design, positioning and expression. See more about the curatorial focus in the umbrella art programme Chronotopia.