Stockholm's contemporary art space, Tensta Konsthall, reopened after reconstruction on January 12, and started off the 2012 season with two exhibitions: “Abstract Possible: The Stockholm Synergies” and “Bidoun Library”. Tensta art space was founded in 1998, the year when Stockholm was the European Culture Capital; it holds both national and international artist and designer shows, and concerns itself with research and publishing. Reconstruction was done by the architects Nikolaus Hirsch and Filippa Stålhane.
View from an exhibition at Tensta Konsthall. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
Tensta Konsthall's homepage, www.tenstakonsthall.se, has also seen changes; its bold new design was done in cooperation with the notable Metahaven studio in Amsterdam and the Mexican painter, Jorge Munguía.
The Dutch design studio Metahaven represents such famous clients as the internet magazine e-flux and the globally popular design periodical Icon, as well as numerous other publications, businesses and art museums. Metahaven also delves into research – the studio's latest book, “Black Transparency” – on transparency as a sign of the times, will be coming out this spring. Metahaven studies and illustrates the design principles of this new direction in the zeitgeist, using the whistle-blowing document database WikiLeaks as one example, and not unintentionally. A year ago, Daniel van der Velden – one of Metahaven's cofounders, made a statement at a graphic design conference urging WikiLeaks to get a new visual identity – one that would clearly support WikiLeaks' main activitiy; in other words, it should be transparent. The designer even offered up specific proposals; this happened at the end of 2010. In the summer of the same year, van der Velden had e-mailed the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, asking if he could change the website's graphic identity. Assange answered, “Absolutely. J.A.”, and van der Velden started working on sketches.
At the end of last year, Metahaven created the design for T-shirts, scarves and other articles of clothing. They were sold on ebay.com and all profits went to the financial support of WikiLeaks.
On January 22, Tensta art space will host readings by Metahaven designers quoting from the forthcoming book, “Black Transparency”; the newly-renovated graphic identity of Tensta Konsthall will serve as an illustrative example.