The following project, ‘Spaces of Conflict’, is based upon a series of interviews carried out in twelve locations, six exhibiting institutions and six educational institutions, between February and April 2004.

It centers around three questions:
A. In what way(s) does an art space contribute to a/the community/city/society?
B. Are there any expectations that an art institution has to negotiate and/or have to live up to?
C. Are there any actual spatial alterations that could improve the way that institutions work and communicate?

These questions were posed to directors and curators at art museums and institutions, and to art students attending art academies in each respective city. The presentation of the project is based upon the audio recordings, which have been edited together with the visual material into three parallel projections: The first projection centers around the interviews, the second (in the audio shower) contains a commentary by Bode & Schmidt on the statements in the interviews and on institutional and spatial theory. The third projection provides a sequence of stills showing views of the institutions, their architecture and surroundings.

The visual material represents actual institutional spaces, spaces in the process of being dismantled or as sites of possible future construction. In short: the spaces are presented with a focus on the institutional everyday as non-descript and transitive.

Parallel to the audio-visual presentation, the project will also be published in book form and as a series of discussions and seminars. The book will contain the interviews and commentary from the audiovisual presentation, feedback from the participants and additional texts reflecting upon the relationship between institutions and different concepts and understandings of art.

The length of the audio-visual presentation is 35’37’’

Mike Bode & Staffan Schmidt would like to thank the following persons and institutions, whose support has been essential to realisation of the project:
National Museum for Art/the x-room, Marianne Torp and
the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Yvette Brackman, Stefan A. Pedersen and Kasper Akhøj, Copenhagen (DK);
Kunsthalle Helsinki, Maija Tanninen-Mattila and
Academy of Fine Arts, Henriikka Härkönen, Helsinki (FI);
Kunst-Werke, Anselm Franke, and
Berlin University of the Arts, Pola Sieverding and Vern Johnsen, Berlin (DE);
Contemporary Art Centre, Kestutis Kuizinas and Valentinas Klimasauskas and
Vilnius Art Academy, Giedrius Gulbinas, Dovile Tumpyte and Elena Sakalauskaité, Vilnius (LT);
National Museum for Contemporary Art, Sune Nordgren and
the National Academy of Fine Art, Nikolas Orr and Tone Hansen, Oslo (NO);
Rooseum, Charles Esche and
Malmö Art Academy, Stina Wirfeldt, Malmö (SE);
Finally Nina Möntmann and Cecilia Gelin at NIFCA, Helsinki.
Spaces of Conflict is produced by NIFCA