Glass is never still – it is mass in movement.
Moving Mass explores glass as a concept, commodity and as part of history and the process of production: an interplay of industry and humans as the basis for the construction of a society and sense of community. In Moving Mass six Swedish artists have explored the “Kingdom of Crystal”. They take as their cue the local and global transformations of society. What has been the role of glass in the Kingdom of Crystal? And how is it to live there after most of the production has been moved abroad? Has the contribution to the glass industry’s success by immigrant labourers been overlooked? How are the losses and changes in terms of work, identity and community dealt with and portrayed?
The artist Ingela Johansson, born and raised in Boda by a family consisting of three generations of glass workers, initiated the project and invited in turn the artists Eva Arnqvist, Johanna Gustafsson Fürst, Åsa Jungnelius, Caroline Mårtensson and Malin Pettersson Öberg. In dialogue with the place and the people who were there, and still remain, the artists analyse and portray the changes in Swedish glass production as an example of a wider transformation in society.
Moving Mass is a three year project running from 2014 to 2016, enabling site-specific residencies and workshops at various locations in the region, an exhibition at Kalmar konstmuseum 05.12.15 – 28.02.16 and one at The Glass Factory in Boda 03.09.16 – 16.10.16, an adjoining conference organised by Lisa Rosendahl and a book to be published by the end of 2016. The project is carried out in dialogue with Kalmar konstmuseum, The Glass Factory and The Design Archive Pukeberg and is a.o. supported by the Swedish Arts Council, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Regionförbundet Kalmar Län and Nybro Municipality.
In the leaflet for the conference Art and the Manifestation of Social Change, organised by Lisa Rosendahl in collaboration with Kalmar konstmuseum and Moving Mass 18.02-19.02.16, the project is described as follows: ”Moving Mass deals with the history, present and future of glass production in Småland – a region popularly referred to as ‘The Kingdom of Crystal’ – from six different artists’ perspective. The emphasis of the project is on questions about the glass industry in relation to changes in local and global society. The conference Art and the Manifestation of Social Change takes Moving Mass as the starting point to create a cross-disciplinary conversation about different methods to visualise our contemporary time and its underlying history. The conference also addresses the question of what it means for artists, curators and art institutions to work site-specifically. What are the methods to engage in dialogue with a specific context and take that as a starting point for your work?”