(Dis)assembled is a project and an exhibition STEALTH developed for Röda Sten Konsthall in Gothenburg, Sweden, and its not-yet-planned surrounding. It lays out the possibility to take the making of the city as a common effort into our hands – an exercise to explore the potential of assembling and assembly. The project relates to an ongoing interest in the urban development of the contemporary city and responds to the trend of citizens ‘participation’ in such development processes that is so present in Sweden, but with so varied and often disputed results.
Röda Sten Konsthall, the former thermal plant, sits on a peculiar spot, next to the huge Älvsborg Bridge over the Göta River, literally a few meters beyond the edge of the urban development plan for Gothenburg’s waterfront. From this virtual line on, the urban plans are yet uncharted. And although featuring like a desolate field, many have come to like it and use it as a space to hang out along the waterside.
As the possibilities for the surrounding of Röda Sten still remain wide open, with (Dis)assembled, Röda Sten and STEALTH took a lead to turn the area into a testing ground. For three months (June – August 2011), we created a possibility for its users to physically transform the site. Much of what could be necessary to assemble outdoor interventions had been prepared – for whoever takes the opportunity to act, alone or in collaboration.
On the floor of Röda Sten’s main exhibition space, people could find a collection of materials and equipment to go ahead and give space to their ideas – through a direct, think-on and hands-on format. Placed meticulously on the floor, stacks of wood, oil barrels, piles of bags with soil and sand, rolls of grass, dozens of boxes with screws, hundreds of different metal anchors for woodwork, stacks of sheet wood in different thickness, trees, tools and other stuff have been placed. Amidst these items, one could also find inspiration from a variety of examples of temporary and D-I-Y spatial interventions in other contexts. The exhibition featured videos/slideshows by architecture and art practices like – 72 Hours Urban Action (Bat Yam), atelier d’architecture autogérée (Paris), Babelgum/Kelly Loudenberg – New Urbanism (New York), Bruit du frigo (Bordeaux), EXYZT (Paris), raumlabor (Berlin), Rebar (San Francisco). Finally, Röda Sten Konsthall also provided assistance from building coaches, for those that get into action.
Three days before the exhibition ‘opening’, 10 people have been gathered through an open call to discuss what is necessary or desired for the site. At the opening, through the doors of Röda Sten they have literally taken the materials out to start making the first outdoors interventions. In just one weekend this varied group (artists, architects, carpenters, teachers, skaters and kids) made a skate ramp, a graffiti wall, an aqueduct, seating elements, a tree hut, in a way that suggests further connection of these elements over time. At that point we left the process. From there, for over two months, different groups and individuals have continued.
“There were many things that popped up, other things that were undone for new things to be made. In the last week there were basically only the TV monitors left in the exhibition space.” (Edi Muka, curator of Röda Sten). (Dis)assembled attracted about 8000 visitors and participants, and has started to influence the urban planning beyond the temporary. With that, the first step in co-directing the future of this area by its users has been set.
(Dis)assembled has been complemented by a screening program curated by Edi Muka, with works by Johanna Billing, Chto Delat, Latifa Echakhch, Mario Rizzi, Stefano Romano and Paola Yacoub.
- [team ] STEALTH.unlimited (Ana Džokić and Marc Neelen) in dialogue with Edi Muka (curator Röda Sten) and Röda Sten Konsthall (Mia Christersdotter Norman, director and Radha Hillarp Katz, Sara Lorentzon, Karin Lundmark, Calle Andersson, Helena Herou)
- [examples of temporary spatial interventions ] 72 Hours Urban Action (Bat Yam), atelier d’architecture autogérée (Paris), Babelgum/Kelly Loudenberg – New Urbanism (New York), Bruit du frigo (Bordeaux), EXYZT (Paris/London), raumlabor (Berlin), Rebar (San Francisco)
- [complementary screening program ] Johanna Billing, Chto Delat, Latifa Echakhch, Mario Rizzi, Stefano Romano and Paola Yacoub, selected by Edi Muka
- [building coaches] Angelica Olsson and Karl-Johan Sellberg
- [participants kick-off intervention ] Mattias Ivarsson, Mia Börjesson, Cecilia Bjursell and her children, Henrik Wallgren, Jonas Ousbäck, Liana Sjölund, Ingela Bohm – and others
- [background ] (Dis)assembeled has been initiated by STEALTH and Röda Sten Konsthall, materials have been sponsored by Beijer Byggmaterial AB
- [timeline ] January – June 2011, 11 June – 21 August 2011