Barn av sin tid: från Hallwylska palatset till Hammarkullens miljonprogram
Children of their time – from the Hallwyl House to the Million Programme at Hammarkullen
The exhibition presents works from the photographer and writer Jens S. Jensen’s documentation of Hammarkullen. His portraits of children and teenagers living in the suburb of Gothenburg in mid-1970s are juxtaposed with images from the von Hallwyl’s family archive of three sisters von Hallwyl – Ebba, Ellen and Irma. They were born in the late-1800s and belonged to the Swedish upper class, and had a very different childhood.
The exhibition in Stockholm was financed by Hallwylska museet with support from Hasselblad Foundation. The exhibition in Hammarkullen was financed by Hammarkullem konsthall with support from Gothenburg City Museum.
Description of project
The aim of the exhibition was to present a selection of works from the photographer and writer Jens S. Jensen’s (1946–2015) large documentation of Hammarkullen. Jensen was 27 years old, and had just graduated as an architect from Chalmers University of Technology, when he started his documentation project 1973. He was driven by a desire to explore the new suburb outside Gothenburg and to portray it in a more balanced way than the one-sided, negative picture promoted by the media. Although it was never intended from the beginning he continued the project for forty years, and it became a unique documentation of the development of a part of the so-called Million-program in Sweden, and the lives of the people he met during four decades. The selection of works and the theme of the exhibition were guided by the history and identity of the institution where the exhibition was shown. Hallwylska museet is a stately owned public museum located in the city of Stockholm. It used to be a private palace built in the late 1800 by one of richest families in Sweden at the time. The contrast between Hammarkullen and Hallwylska from the point of view of class, time period and questions concerning centre-periphery were important factors. From the large body of works we focused on Jensen’s portraits of children and teenagers living in Hammarkullen in mid-1970s, which are juxtaposed with images from the von Hallwyl’s family archive of the three sisters von Hallwyl – Ebba, Ellen and Irma. They were born in the late-1800s and belonged to the elite of the society, and had a very different childhood. The exhibition shows how class and other socio-economic factors determine the life of children, and how our understanding of childhood and adolescence is dependent on historical circumstances. A part of the curatorial method (used in other practices as well) we invited a research in the field of studies of child and youth culture, doctor Malena Jansson, She contributed to the project with her knowledge of how the ideas about childhood – and the experiences of being a child – have changed due to historical and social factors. As a part of the exhibition Hallwylska museet and Niclas Östlind produced a 15 minutes interview film with Nettan Johansson. She had an important role in Jensen’s documentation, and in the film she is reflecting on how it was to grow up in Hammarkullen during the 1970s. Nettan is also asked about the experience of having her life documented by Jens S. Jensen for more than 40 years. Nettan’s memories of how Jensen worked, and his relation to the teenager he portrayed, gives a deeper understanding of his methods and adds a new layer to the story. A smaller version of the exhibition was curated in collaboration with the team at Hammarkullen konsthall, represented by Hendrik Zeitel. By presenting the images parallel at Hallwylska and Hammarkullen the project created a connection between the two places, and made the different histories visible. The photographs of Hammarkullen did also show people who lived there and how it looked like forty years ago.
Type of work
Curated exhibition, Filmed interview, Web exhibition
15 February 2017 – 13 August 2017 (Hallwylska musset)
14 February – 9 June 2017 (Hammarkullen konsthall)
Info in Swedish and English
Link to web site
Niclas Östlind, in collaboration with the curators Joakim Geiger and Sara Dixon, and Doctor Malena Jansson, researcher in children and youth culture at Stockholm University. The version made specifically for Hammarkullen konsthall was curated in collaboration with a representative of the team responsible for the program, Hendrik Zeitel.
Suburbs and Urbanism