tina carlsson

tina carlsson is educated at the University of Photography (Valand Academy) in Gothenburg and at Konstfack (University of Arts, Craft and Design) in Stockholm. She holds a PhD in artistic research with the dissertation the sky is blue, and has since 2013 been working as a senior lecturer at The Department of Visual Arts and Sloyd Education (IBIS) at Konstfack. In many of her works the point of departure is an autobiographical story that she through her works writes into a wider social context. As an example her dissertation the sky is blue is touching upon two losses; her mother´s death in 1975 and the Swedish Social Democratic Party first election loss, after 40 years in governmental power, in the election 1976. carlsson’s father was deeply involved in the Swedish Labour movement which induced that the latter loss partly also had an impact on carlsson’s private family life. Other topics that carlsson has been engaged in, in corporation with Konstgrupp Almedalen (KA), are politics of culture in relation to contemporary art, representation and education.


the sky is blue (2011)

tina carlsson’s research the sky is blue emphasize the notion that both institutional and subjective limitations are present in our lives but that we also have the ability to go beyond these limitations by way of our dreams, our fantasies and our visions. The maintained ability, which is built into the title’s adamant claim that the sky is blue, carries within it the possibility to change the present. However, knowledge and understanding of the now is also needed for change. the sky is blue wants to show how the individual experience and the subjective story are equally productive and necessary parts of the formation of that knowledge.

A central aspect to the works in the sky is blue, is the particular and individual experience. carlsson’s research contains of photographic works, artworks and textual works. Works like i collect skies, i collect the sky, 1000 stories about a blue sky and under a sky are the departure points for the dissertation as well as its central works. A subjective story that seeks to answer the question why the artist does what she does forms itself around these works. By choosing the same method in the dissertation work as in her artistic practice, carlsson lets the question intervene with the question what she does when she does what she does. This indicates that the dissertation the sky is blue, which has come into being in the search for a why, is an implicit answer to the question: “what I do when I do what I do”.

In the work two background texts, it is described how two losses have formed the conditions for the coming into being of the sky is blue. In aspect to two background texts a series of micro-essays have been related, which, instead of looking backward, take their point of departure in the present. In twelve reflections, the everyday flow is central; in these texts comes the thoughts and reflections on expressions that take up space when the artist is confronted with different events in her everyday life. The texts in four descriptions of works are written in intimate relation to the works, and are, instead of reports on the material of the works and their coming into being, rather portrayals of the personal “state” that are the points of departure for these works. Just like the personal experience, which never forms itself in a linear way but rather consists of different parts or wanderings here and there that correspond to each other, the sky is blue is built up on different parts that are situated in a dialogical situation with each other.

In order to maintain the dialogue between the different parts of the dissertation, carlsson chose not to use the book format, which, in most cases, invites linear reading. The different parts of the dissertation have instead been placed in a box. The dialogical situation between the works does not only correspond to carlsson’s artistic practice – but to a methodology that carlsson considers nurturing and vital in order to convey knowledge and meaning within the arts.