Artist: Jannike Brantås
1.Where do you live in 2020? Please describe the place and the surrounding environment.
I live in central Stockholm. It is a part of the city where it is quite calm, noting well established people of high income. As have been a poorer part of the city it is now middle class area with people working in theatre, journalism, design and IT. Though these jobs not all are privileged coming to income, more of prestige. There are also people living here with low income as they have not chosen the area because of cool, rather because of low rent depending on house renting companies. I live close to the churchyard, passing through several times a day. I may spend time there when warm. Also my parents are buried here, so I can visit them often. I spend my days here in the area, not moving out of it so often, if I do I walk wherever I´m intending. I have my studio at home in one our three rooms often taking the apartment into my work. I also walk shortly to Studio44, where I am a member, to our gallery to take part in the projects there. In my block my grand children go to school. I may meet them at times when walking. Not far is the water to which I take my daily walks. This area used to be a very poor part of the city, as part of the countryside where small farming was done and also windmills since this is high above the rest of the city to the north. I can go to a cliff where I can see big parts of Stockholm below me.
2.How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect you personally in your country and its countermeasures?
This year has made my surroundings even more clear as the streets I walk has narrowed on my life. I started the year by not visiting shops too much. Buying food on deliverance and in all limiting my affairs. I wear mask if I need to shop, and meeting people I avoid coming near. So my body language is the most significant change I think. During summer me and my husband and children went to the summerhouse in an island where we kept to ourselves. Not usually seeing many but this summer even less.
I have had contact with artists friends mostly on zoom. When exhibiting we stayed outdoors or on distance. This autumn as covid came back contact with others I feel has been more and more scarce as it takes energy to be this way. More obvious as our country is dark in autumn and winter; with shorter days as closing in on midwinter. Also lack of snow make everything dark and moist air shaping clouds, we did not have any sun days the whole December, just darkness. Making everything kept at la very low energy flow. Covid restrictions has been up to each individual, since we don’t have laws that make it possible to close shops i e. And since we are very individualistic we do not respect restrictions and following not our neighbour.
3.Where is one of the places you enjoy most this year? How do you spend your time there? can you describe what it looks like?
I enjoy very much the room I use for studio. It´s part of the apartment as is jammed with materials, books and works of art. I spend as much time I can there. It may easily be an interrupted place since my husband is at home all day and I can sometimes feel interrupted by his works and doings. But it is my woman cave; this is where I can keep myself together and write and inspire myself, be creative. It is my heart, my mind and my soul place. It is really messy here now since I am making a book, not knowing how really, making a book on Studio44 from the start until now. I also make a team project called the River with four other artists, hoping it will work out fine. So, included is also a River in this little chamber….
Jannike Brantås, The River/Floden (Capsule, ongoing River project, detail)
I intend to make vertical intstallation. Between depth and sky; a large number of capsules will be presented in a windling row. Capsules will be connected with the deep waters with all that there is; mounted on long strings connected to the roof of the site. The capsules may be memories, forgotten or remembered, psycic hidden impulses, dirt that collects other dirt, still the thread of life takes you from the depth, the deep waters to the sky.
This is only one of my intended works for the River.
The River is a one year old, an ongoing group project aspiring to dive into many dimensions of River theme. Five artists with different entrances into the theme now starting to produce art works after long period of trying to meet, not meet, discussing in solitude with own fantasies and aspirations, dreams, horrors and memories…
Participating artists: Laetitia Deschamps, Madeleine Aleman, Masoud Shahsavari, Rikard Fåhraeus and Jannike Brantås
4.Where is the farthest place you have been this year?
I have been in a small island in the Baltic sea, where we have our summer house. We went there in summer though it was not a decision sanctioned by the government or by moral criteria. But in order to keep away from meeting a lot of people, be outside doing things, seeing our children outside we did it. And also not liked by people on the island or by hospital workers; if we might need help from hospital in any way we might bring in virus. But nothing happened with us. (Others continued social life in bars and elsewhere and infected mostly workers there, I am sad to say.)
5.Who do you live with in 2020?
I live with my husband.
6.How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the way you work?
In the spring I had to get more organized, as to how to get material and keep out of close contact with others. But we managed as weather was nice and we could work out an exhibition mostly outside in a garden. It became a very well visited exhibition and welcomed by the audience at that restricted time. Later on it still makes my work more organized and in not going to shops, or hurridly so, making ideas shrink in size on a conscious level probably more so on a unconscious level as time with restrictions is extended. It makes me tired and I have to rest trying to think more about things rather than doing things. So mentally shrinking my work. Still not to think the situation affects my work, but I think it does.
Exhibition: 101 Fahrenheit, Slipvillan:
The theme intended to be an interpretation of celebrating, honouring summer period in times when climate is reaching tipping point. More info please visit www.slipvillan.org/101-farenheit.html
7.Has your work been promoted in some way?
No not my personal work. But I get a small amount of money for making the book. And that project is affected I great sense by corona; as people cannot concentrate on sending me material, because artists life is very affected by the corona. Cultural workers cannot survive in these days.
8.Are you more anxious this year than in previous years? If so, how do you relieve your anxiety?
The only ways to survive is to work with art, taking walks outside and accepting. Also trying to keep contact with artists friends and family through other collective and private channels.
9.Recommend some movies or books you have seen this year (or a poem), you can briefly explain why.
I don’t look too much on movies; I enjoy images and videos from the internet, museums all over the world, listening to interviews, art talks also reading journals on art. I think poems have been a nice way to expand my personal universe. I read a biography now by a Swedish artist: Marianne Lindberg de Geer: “Tvära kast”/ “Abrupt changes”, Spark Joy by Marie Kondo ( how to throw away things that you don´t need), Nina Burton: “Flodernas bok”/ “the Book of the rivers” and Louise Glück “Wild Iris”. And other poetic scriptures.
我不太看电影；我喜欢互联网上的图片和视频，喜欢世界各地的博物馆，喜欢听采访，喜欢艺术演讲，也喜欢阅读艺术期刊。我认为诗歌是拓展我个人世界的一种很好的方式。我现在读了一本瑞典艺术家的传记：玛丽安·林德伯格·德盖尔(Marianne Lindberg De Geer)的传记：《突变》。喜欢Marie Kondo在《点燃喜悦》里写“如何扔掉你不需要的东西”，Nina Burton在《河流之书》和Louise Glück在《野生鸢尾》中的诗句。
10.Have you ever imagined what human life would be like after the end of COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes, it will be a hard struggle in order to change the way we live. I am taking active part in the climate work; so for me it is not only corona, but corona as the landmark for needing a much bigger change of life. But that is work on many/ two fronts, for recovering climate and how to affect the ones that won´t recognize the change needed, at all. Big challenges, all of them.
关于艺术家 about the artist
My artistic practice have concerned both painting and performance art. Now I continue to use simple materials that I connect to human beings and nature´s phenomenon and formulating them into object and installation.