"We learn the most through practical activity, by getting lost and failing"

7 September 2022

The artist Lina Selander is Konstfack's new Professor in Fine Art, with emphasis on narrativity and installation.

Photo: Lars Ernholm

Her long-running, international practice includes exhibitions, public commissions and publishing and her teaching practice has been a key element in the progress of her work. Lina Selander is a former Guest Professor in Fine Art at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm (2017–2022), supervisor and examiner at the BA and MA level at Umeå Art Academy, HDK-Valand, Nordland Kunst- og Filmhøyskole and Stockholm University of the Arts. She is educated at the School of Photography and Film at the University of Gothenburg, the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm and at Valand School of Fine Arts, Göteborg.

"At Konstfack my aim is to give the students an understanding of the world outside of the school context and to show them how different disciplines can cross-pollinate. An art education must be open to new methods and forms of learning and include both theoretical and practical moments: experimental searches for knowledge and forms reaching across disciplines, hands-on field work, the collection of material, and studio work", says Selander. She strongly believes in the poetic language and has a great passion for installing art, at all scales and works "site-sensitively" to develop the works in a complex dialogue with their surroundings, to charge it and them.

"I want students to get their hands dirty, climb ladders, throw away ladders, wrestle with the material, leave their own marks on things, transform things with their own experience, transform experience, transform knowledge, material, desires, life, the relation between the past and present, local and global, or between humans and nature", explains Lina Selander and continues:

"It's also important to develop collaborative work methods, in which students share and merge ideas and perform collective research that leads to presentations in various forms whilst at the same time strengthening the individual research and artistic language. Most of what we learn, we learn by doing, by getting lost and failing, not knowing what something is, was or is going to be."

Lina Selander's artistic practice deals with a large scope of issues, but she focuses predominately on questions regarding the relations between historical records and visual representation. Her interest is how history is written, or rather how history takes form in images. In her work, one constant topic is the relationship between the camera (machines, technology) and human memory and cognition. She addresses trauma and image ethics in a conscientious way, and in her investigations, e.g., into various notions of temporality in the image.

"I would say that my works are situated somewhere between experimental documentary and fictional narrative, and that most of them evolve around some idea of the archive which functions both as a starting point and as something to examine and undermine. In the end the film becomes its own archive. For me it has always been important to work with historically charged material, marked by collective memory and experience. I am interested in the representations of historical events and man-made interventions into their environment and nature. This is an ongoing work through my practice, and projects and works grow in and out of each other, commenting and reflecting on each other."

Lina Selander has had a number of solo exhibitions, for example at Kunsthaus Wien – Museum Hundertwasser, Argos Centre for Art and Media in Brussels, VOX – Centre de l'image contemporaine, Montréal, Iniva in London, at the biennales in Venice, Kiev and Seoul, Manifesta in Belgium and in Sweden; Moderna Museet and Göteborgs Konsthall.

For more information, please visit Lina Selander's website.