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TV-Trampoline: From Children’s Television to Contemporary Art and Literature

Kartongdjuret, Andjeas Ejiksson, 2021

A bright pink playground with a slide will greet everyone who visits Kiruna City Hall from 3 October. In this autumn's exhibition at the Art Museum of the North, eleven artists and writers have been commissioned to create a new work inspired by a children's program on SVT from 1965-1985.   

In the exhibition TV-Trampoline: From Children's Television to Contemporary Art and Literature, the audience can revisit in a new and different way programs that were broadcast during the years when Swedish television focused on the youngest viewers. Based on the idea of considering the programs as an important cultural heritage, eleven artists and authors have been invited to make their own interpretation based on a specific children's program. They simply act as trampolines for their imagination.  
The playground with a slide, which will stand in the middle of the golden entrance hall of Kiruna City Hall, is the work of Stockholm-based Behzad Khosravi Noori, who grew up in Tehran. When he discovered that the cartoon series Professor Balthazar was also broadcast in other countries, including Sweden, he realized that children from different parts of the world shared the same childhood memories. His sculpture, which the public is welcome to try, is entitled Professor Balthazar and the Monument of the Invisible Citizen and is based on an episode of the series that touches on questions of who and what is considered important to remember together. 

Another participating artist is Katarina Pirak Sikku, born and raised in Jokkmokk.  She is best known for her search for the traces of the racial biologists' abuse of the Sami people in the 20th century. "Her" children's program is the Chinese animation King Markatta, first broadcast on TV in the late sixties. The memory of the wild monkey king causing trouble in the sky takes her back to her childhood and the Sami tales of the elusive character Stallo. When she finds an abandoned school, similar to the one she attended herself, she finds forgotten objects that become part of her artwork.  

Luleå-born Staffan Westerberg's Lost in the Pancake has inspired author Balsam Karam to create a video, a textile application and a new essay. The exhibition also includes a YouTube channel, a children's book, new texts, drawings and archive material.

The TV Trampoline: From Children’s Television to Contemporary Art and Literature was produced by Bildmuseet in Umeå and Kalmar Konstmuseum, where it was shown in 2022. It has also been shown at Fabrika, an independent art center in Moscow, and at Norrtälje Konsthall.

The exhibition is curated by Andjeas Ejiksson and Maria Lind.

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