2019.11.02 - 2019.11.02

On the Role of Art in Class Conflict

Panel discussion on Knud Stampe's drawing at SKF, the cultural engagement of unions, and today's labour art

Saturday, 2 November 2–5 pm
Göteborgs Konsthall
In Swedish

In the years following the Second World War, Sweden’s “workshop clubs” began collecting art as part of the growth of union organizing and political collectivism. Art and other forms of cultural expression helped establish political issues, historical conflicts, and worker identity. The discussion will be based on artist Knud Stampe’s (1936–96) Väggteckning (Wall Drawing), a work about the “time tracking men” employed in factories, which is on loan from SKF’s workshop club for the exhibition at Göteborgs Konsthall. The piece Stampe created for the workers at SKF conveys a critical view of working conditions that persist in factories to this day.

What can we learn from the cultural engagement of unions during the twentieth century? What does today’s labour art look like, and how is a political movement expressed in form? Michele Masucci talks with Margareta Ståhl, PhD, former archivist for the Swedish Labour Movement’s Archive and Library and an active member of Arbetarkonstgruppen (The Labour Art Group), and with artist Benj Gerdes, who presents his on-going project about the conflict in Gothenburg Harbour.


Photo: Knud Stampe, Väggteckning (1970-71); taken by Malin Griffith