OpenART 2013

an energy field outside the traditional norms

Good art can inspire, delight, provoke, revolt or startle. The brain grows when it faces challenges. In an overall perspective, art has an important role in social development, resisting the dark forces and superficial, material values. Art gives thoughts, stimulates the entrepreneurial spirit, builds sustainability and encourages consideration. At OpenART, we create an energy field outside the traditional norms of elitist art. Here, the ambition is high and ideas are bold.

Our work field stretches from Sweden and Europe to the entire world. We find inspiration in our international outreach and we learn to break patterns and raise the bar with every edition we organize. For many, OpenART is a delightful experience. The participating artists acknowledge that they will be professionally treated and that they have an opportunity to develop themselves in an international art arena that has become a magnet for art aficionados and tourists. The artists and the people in Örebro become ambassadors that spread the word with pride.

OpenART is a collaboration between the private and the public sector. The attractiveness of our biennial results from our courage to strive for innovation and high quality. Therefore, it is always art and content that are the best voice for OpenART.

Lars Jonnson
Director & Curator

OpenART turns the city upside down

OpenART is Scandinavia’s biggest public art biennial, running for twelve weeks in Örebro, Sweden. At its fifth edition in 2015, OpenART commits once again to turning the city upside down, with art that surprises, intrigues and inspires.

Contemporary art from all over the world is temporarily exhibited in the city center, for everyone to experience without an admission ticket. The public space becomes an intensively shared space that people acknowledge, (re-)experience and recollect. OpenART takes a broad leap into the public arena, with collateral projects and activities that reach out to a broad public. Guided tours and workshops for children, young people and families are hosted throughout the entire duration of the biennial.

When OpenART’s in town, the cityscape is lifted to a vibrant dimension, where art seems to peek-a-boo at passersby in places where people least expect it. The pieces can be seen floating on the river, hanging on rooftops, squeezed between walls, hidden in corners, displayed in shopping windows or exhibited at the museum and the art gallery.

Every edition, OpenART showcases about 100 artworks, created by contemporary artists, locally and internationally known. Since its inception in 2008, OpenART has presented cutting-edge artworks, establishing itself as a biennial with a twist. Iconic creations like BadBad Boy (Tommi Toija, 2013), The Big Yellow Rabbit (Florentijn Hofman, 2011), Bunny Project (Conny Bloom, 2009) and Spectacle Agnostico (Kent Karlsson, 2008) have infused fantasy into the public arena.

In 2015, OpenART features 72 artists from 20 countries across Europe, USA, Asia and South America. The exhibition encompasses a variety of artistic practices, including installation, sculpture, painting, video, sound,
photog­raphy and digital inter­ac­tive art. 130 artworks are showcased on 80 venues all over the city center. A special focus this year is on contem­po­rary Chinese art, the result of a collaboration between inde­pen­dent art curator Feng Boyi and OpenART Director Lars Jonnson. Ai Weiwei, Xu Bing, Song Dong and Yin Xiuzhen are among the participants.

OpenART challenges perceptions of what art is, building bridges between cultures and people, while fostering local and international art dialogue.