“The Greatest Untapped Resource in the World,” 2011. Exhibition view at Signal—Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö. Courtesy Signal
Signal—Center for Contemporary Art was founded in 1998 in Malmö, Sweden, by five artists with a shared aim to contribute to a more elaborate discussion on art and thought, and to compensate for the lack of art spaces dedicated to international art practitioners at an early stage of their careers. Over the years, the team at Signal has developed into a curatorial collective, comprising both artists and curators, and has evolved organically into a discursive platform focusing on the production, presentation and diffusion of contemporary art, with a central focus on exploring the possibilities of a collaborative, curatorial practice and the manifold functions of an art arena. Since the start, Signal has played an important role as a counterpart to the institutional as well as commercial art scene in Sweden.
Signal’s program spans diverse activities such as exhibitions, lectures, concerts, film screenings, performances, events, symposia, publications, and reading groups. As an approach to further challenge the traditional exhibition display, it constantly investigates new ways to communicate and produce art projects and criticality. An important method in its practice, besides working with contextual curating in our projects, is the intimate dialogue between Signal and the artists, which endorses an open learning process for the team.
An important cornerstone in Signal’s program is the sharing of knowledge, and over the years it has organized a series of talks titled Metod (“Method”), where it invites curators, writers, scholars, and artists to discuss and present their working methods. As a way to also discuss the prevailing values within the cultural policies of today, part of Signal’s agenda consists of talks and writings on the current production of art, the working conditions of the artist and the culture producers, and the implications in the prevailing market economy of the kind of exhibition-making that produces immaterial knowledge rather than easy entertainment. Another important aim is to facilitate a functioning infrastructure, which in this case led Signal to compile an archive with Malmö-based artists’ material. The Artist Archive at Signal plays an important role as a place for professional encounters, by enabling international curators and writers to research and meet artists based in the region.