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Annica Karlsson Rixon

Queer Community through Photographic Acts. Three Entrances to an Artistic Research Project Approaching LGBTQIA Russia

The compilation thesis is made within the field of fotografisk gestaltning (photography) and is a study of the potential for queer community to emerge through photographic acts. It consists of two artworks that have been presented in a series of exhibitions, published texts, workshops, and lectures. The artworks are the photography-, video-, and sound-based installation State of Mind, and the photographic series At the Time of the Third Reading/Vid tiden för den tredje läsningen/Во время третьего чтения, which is presented as framed images as well as in book form.

The publication Queer Community through Photographic Acts introduces the research through three entry points: photography, queer, and artworks. The first two entries highlight how these concepts are used in the research as practices and theories. The latter is a written visit to the artworks that takes place from different temporal and situational positions, and reflects on the work with LGBTQIA issues and community over borders.

The focus is on the emergence of community within, and through, the artworks, and how this may produce recognition of certain identities. At the same time, the artworks may destabilize what is taken for norms. How community emerges in the process of making art, as well as when activating the finalized works through exhibitions, workshops, and other presentations, is also explored.

The subject of the artworks is lesbian living in St. Petersburg, a Russian women’s camp, and how one may navigate through society as queer identities. Group portraits and community form the overall foundation for the gestaltning of the artworks. The conditions for making art with the Russian LGBTQIA community as an artist from abroad are taken into consideration, as well as other shared embodied positions such as queerness and whiteness. This is performed through notions of positions and movement, as well as paying attention to an in-between – Trinh T. Minh-ha’s concept which opens for a space of change and resistance to fixed positioning.


queer community, photographic acts, fotografisk gestaltning, photography, feminist theory, queer theory, community, embodied position, movement, performativity, intersectionality, situated knowledge, in-between, insider, outsider, Russian LGBTQIA, artistic research, Trinh T. Minh-ha.

ISBN: 978-91-88031-03-7 (printed version)
ISBN: 978-91-88031-30-3 (digital version)

Artworks and publications

Queer Community through Photographic Acts. Three Entrances to an Artistic Research Project Approaching LGBTQIA Russia (thesis frame).

At the Time of the Third Reading/ Во время третьего чтения, edited by Annica Karlsson Rixon, published by Art and Theory Publishing, 2016. ISBN: 978-91-88031-29-7.

At the Time of the Third Reading/Vid tiden för den tredje läsningen/Во время третьего чтения (2013), photography series. Selected photographs from the series represented in the collections of the Erna and Victor Hasselblad Foundation (2013) and Malmö Art Museum (2014).

State of Mind (2008), a photography-, video- and sound-based installation made as a collaborative project between Annica Karlsson Rixon and Anna Viola Hallberg. Part of the Gothenburg Museum of Art’s collection since 2016. Annica Karlsson Rixon

Dissertation exhibition

State of Mind – Queer Lives in Russia, Museum of World Culture, Gothenburg, June 8 – September 4, 2016.

Other exhibitions

State of Mind, Galleri K1, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden. 07.25.08 – 08.28.08

State of Mind and Resonance, ROSPHOTO – Russian National Center of Photography, St. Petersburg, Russia. Curator: Xenia Nikolskaya. 09.05.08 – 10.19.08.

Talkin’ Loud & Sayin´ Something: Four Perspectives of Artistic Research, Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden. Curator: Mika Hannula. 09.24.08 – 11.16.08.

State of Mind, Kharkiv Municipal Gallery, Charkiv, Ukraine. 07.17.09 – 04.08.09.

State of Mind at GogolFest 09, Art Arsenal, Kiev, Ukraine. Initiator and director: Vlad Troitskiy. 09.11.09 – 09.29.09.

State of Mind, “Y” – Gallery for Contemporary Art, Minsk, Belarus. 03.05.10 – 03.30.10.

The Moderna Exhibition 2010, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden. Curators: Gertrud Sandqvist, Lisa Rosendahl, and Fredrik Liew. A digital presentation of the project. 10.02.10 – 01.09.11.

State of Mind, Fotohof, Salzburg, Austria. 08.03.11 – 09.18.11.

In Mind and Memory, Worth Ryder Art Gallery, UC Berkeley, California, USA. Curator: Anurada Vikram. 09.28.11 – 10.22.11.

Queerography, International Queer Culture Festival, Art Space TAIGA, St. Petersburg, Russia. Curator: Nadia Plungian. 09.10.12 – 09.20.12.

The Visible: Contemporary Swedish Photography, Artipelag, Stockholm, Sweden. Curators: Jessica Höglund, Magnus Jensner, and Niclas Östlind. 02.08.14 – 05.11.14.

En egen röst – om kvinnors kamp för rösträtt och mänskligt utrymme, Malmö Art Museum, Sweden. Group exhibition. Curators: Cecilia Wiedenheim, Joa Ljungberg, and Marika Reuterswärd. 06.05.14 – 09.10.14.

Framing Bodies, Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg. Curators: Dragana Vujanovic and Louise Wolthers. 05.30.15 – 08.30.15.

Other texts published in connection with the PhD project

Annica Karlsson Rixon and Anna Viola Hallberg, State of Mind, Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Something – four aspects of artistic research, ArtMonitor, no. 4 (2008).

Annica Karlsson Rixon and Lena Martinsson Översättningar i rörelse – Experimentell etnografi och konstnärligt forskande, Kulturella perspektiv, no. 3–4, (2011).

Annica Karlsson Rixon and Anna Viola Hallberg, Handlingsrymd, Paletten no. 4 – 1 (2011/2012).

Annica Karlsson Rixon and Lena Martinsson, Trots Allt, Tidskrift för genusvetenskap, no. 1 (2013). <http://ojs.ub.gu.se/ojs/index.php/tgv/article/view/2665>

Selected Presentations, Lectures, Seminars

Loving the Alien – Artistic Research Conference, School of Photography, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Lecture. May 30, 2008.

Talkin’ Loud & Sayin´ Something: Four Perspectives of Artistic Research, ELIA 10th Biennial Conference, Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden. Artistic research symposium, presentation and panel discussion. Oct 31, 2008.

“Queer Photography,” Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden. Lecture. April 21, 2009.

State of Mind, 7th European Feminist Research Conference, “Gendered Cultures at the Crossroads of Imagination, Knowledge and Politics,” Utrecht University, Netherlands. Paper presentation and panel discussion. June 6, 2009.

“Beatrice Bain Research Group Presents: Impossible Translations and Unexpected Intersections, Panel Discussion on Two Intercultural Projects.” Ewa Majewska, Annica Karlsson Rixon, and Anna Viola Hallberg. Presider Professor Paola Bacchetta, University of California, Berkeley, USA. Presentation and panel discussion. Feb 9, 2010.

“Palpable Curating: In and Out of Institutions,” “The Task of the Curator – Translation, Intervention, and Innovation,” in the Exhibitionary Practice Conference, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA. Paper presentation and panel discussion. Karlsson Rixon and Hallberg. May 15, 2010.

State of Mind,” Changing Identities and Contexts in the Arts: Artistic Research as the New European Paradigm for the Arts, Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Finland. Conference, paper presentation. Nov 9, 2010.

International Photo Symposium in Gothenburg on Portraiture, Gothenburg University, Sweden. Arranged by the School of Photography, Gothenburg University, and the Hasselblad Foundation. With Geoffrey Batchen, Tanya Sheehan, Annica Karlsson Rixon, and Frøidi Lazlo. Seminar, lecture. Dec 2, 2010.

“Gespräche zur Fotografie – eine Diskussion mit den Künstlerinnen,” Fotohof, Salzburg, Austria. With Silvia Eiblemayr, Christiane Erharter, Katrina Daschner, Anna Viola Hallberg, and Annica Karlsson Rixon. Panel discussion. Aug 3, 2011.

“In Mind and Memory,” research presentation hosted by Townsend Center Working, Group on Socialism and Sexualities, University of California Berkeley. Organized by Anastasia Kayiatos and Annica Karlsson Rixon. Oct 3, 2011

“In Mind and Memory,” Artistic Research Symposium, Wurster Hall, University of California, Berkeley, USA. Participants: Deena Al-Adeeb, Annica Karlsson Rixon, Anna Viola Hallberg, Johan Öberg, Lena Martinsson, and Greg Niedermayer. Moderator: Laura Fantone. Organized by Anurada Vikram and Annica Karlsson Rixon. Oct 3, 2011. <http://anthropology.berkeley.edu/content/mind-and-memory-oct-3>.

State of Mind,” Conference on Identities and Resistance. Heritage, Shristi University, Bangalore, India. Presentation. Karlsson Rixon and Hallberg. Feb 23, 2012.

State of Mind and Other Works,” Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia, Moscow, Russia. Presentation. Karlsson Rixon and Hallberg. June 18, 2012.

“The Politics of Forms and Forces,” University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Arranged by Lena Martinsson and Annica Karlsson Rixon for the Center for Interdisciplinary Gender Research (GIG). Lecture and two-day workshop with Prof. Trinh T. Minh-ha, UC Berkeley, USA. Apr 25-27, 2013.

“State of Mind, konst i rörelse med rysk hbtq-aktivism,” Uppsala Queerseminarium, Uppsala University, Sweden. Seminar, presentation. Oct 3, 2013.

“A Sense of Our Times: A Symposium on Current Debates in Feminist and Queer Theory,” Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Panels and presentations with Jackie Stacey, Anu Koivunen, Lena Martinsson, and Annica Karlsson Rixon. Respondents: Lisbeth Larsson and Mikela Lundahl. June 16, 2014.

State of Mind – konst i rörelse med rysk hbtq-aktivism,” Temakväll Pussy Riot and the Cossacks, Havremagasinet, Boden, Sweden. Lena Jonson and Annica Karlsson Rixon. Lecture and panel. Sep 24, 2014.

“Queer Art in Russia,” Museum of World Culture, Gothenburg, Sweden. Participants: Nadia Plungian, independent curator and researcher, Moscow, and Annica Karlsson Rixon, visual artist/photographer. Moderated by Louise Wolthers, head of research and curator at Hasselblad Foundation. Panel discussion. June 8, 2016.

Sidansvarig: Anna Frisk|Sidan uppdaterades: 2016-07-07

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