Joanna Nordin has been the Director of the Carl Eldh Studio Museum in Stockholm since 2020. As of April 2023, she will be the Artistic Director of Bonniers Konsthall.
– It will be great to see how Bonniers Konsthall develops under Joanna Nordin’s leadership, and I am convinced that she will ensure that the Bonniers Konsthall continues to challenge, engage and be a voice for contemporary art, both locally and on the topmost international level. Pontus Bonnier, Chair of the Board of Bonniers Konsthall.
Joanna Nordin was born in Halmstad in 1982. Interested in transdisciplinary thinking, collaborative processes and context specificity, Nordin’s work has often focused on correlations between ecology and local cultural history. During her time as director of the Carl Eldh Studio Museum, Nordin has organised experimental programs and exhibitions furthering the museum’s orientation towards contemporary art. She has priorly worked as curator of contemporary art at Sörmlands Museum and curator of learning at Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation. She holds an MFA from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.
– I am honored to be entrusted to lead a new chapter of Bonniers Konsthall. I’m looking forward to working with the team on site, and working closely with exciting artists and finding ways of telling their stories. This is a time to think about the challenges of our times collectively, with compassion and imagination. I’m looking forward to seeing the way that art in an expanded program here at Bonniers Konsthall can be groundbreaking and bold while growing on the established legacy and years of artistic innovation. Joanna Nordin
Joanna Nordin succeeds Theodor Ringborg, who has been the Artistic Director since 2019. Bonniers Konsthall is led by the Artistic Director, the Executive Director, Ellen Wettmark, and the HR Director, Li Erlandsson.
Q&A WITH JOANNA NORDIN
As a curator, how would you describe your interests?
As a curator I am interested in looking at the ways the past collects and how the social, ecological and political interacts tracing how these forces, gather between the atmosphere, the earth and our bodies. In the last few years as director at The Carl Eldh Studio Museum – a site in itself full of histories and materials, I’ve been working with art and artists in close interplay with the environment at hand and all the layers the place holds. At Sörmlands museum, a large newly built museum focusing on exploring new perspectives on cultural history and collecting, I often worked in experimental formats and across disciplines, and created several large exhibitions taking its starting point in the local history through an expanded viewpoint. Throughout my time at Index Foundation I was thinking about the possibilities of an audience and what it is to gather together.
Throughout these years as director and curator I’ve been fortunate to work with outstanding artists such as Lenke Rothman, Alina Chaiderov, Åsa Elzén, Susanna Jablonski, Cara Tolmie and Ingela Ihrman, together making exhibitions and publications creating dialogue between objects, history and sites exploring new perspectives. With each new context my curatorial approach focuses on collaboration and arts ability to harbor complexity – to be profoundly existential and yet at the same time part of the everyday. I believe that art has the means to shift and transform us, as a way to glimpse other realities and to consider the beauty of complexity. These are perspectives I will bring into my new role at Bonniers Konsthall.
What do you see as the greatest challenges facing the art world at this moment
We’re standing on the brink of great existential changes as well as urgent social and political challenges, and from that perspective art is more important than ever. We turn to art in times of crises, grief and joy, and this is no different. Art as a force has always been at the forefront re-envisioning the present. Great art gets under your skin, and I believe we are in need of experiences that can transform us. Practically, we need to reformulate the ways we work and produce, and carefully and thoughtfully consider the way we use our resources. In the crisis we find ourselves in, we need to find new ways to lead the way forward, together, with openness, generosity and curiosity, and I hope that Bonniers Konsthall can be part of that change.
What is your relationship to Bonniers Konsthall?
My relationship to art grew and formed when I was young in New York. When I returned to Sweden to study at the Royal Institute of Art, Bonniers Konsthall was a young institution that always offered something exciting and unexpected. Since then, I have followed the program with great interest. Bonniers Konsthall has a potential that few other institutions in Sweden can match. It is always great to see art claim the space in this way and – especially at Bonniers – to note how the artistic processes make the foundation of the whole organization.
What are you looking forward to in your new role at Bonniers Konsthall?
I am looking forward to thinking about the challenges of our time together with the dedicated team on site, and delving into new processes with fantastic artists. It is an incredible honor to be entrusted to lead a new chapter at Bonniers konsthall, drawing on the profound legacy of artistic innovation. I am also looking forward to trying out new models for collaboration to investigate the ways the kunsthalle can give back to the local community beyond what’s evident – fantastic exhibitions with artistic processes at the center.
Photo: Oskar Omne.