Alte Schweden (Joakim Hansson/Sebastian Mügge)

Born: 1974
Nationality: Swedish
Based in: Finland
Media: Multimedia / Video, Cross Discipline, Public Space, Sculpture / Installation, Sound / Performance
Content: Conceptual, Knowledge Production / Discursive, Participatory


Alte Schweden is an artist duo formed in 2012, consisting of Joakim Hansson (FI) and Sebastian Mügge (SE), both graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Umeå, SE, at masters level. Alte Schweden mainly works with experimental installatorial projects with participatory aspects from the audience. Their main focus lies on discovering how societies (re)gain identity and distinct visions of the future. For each project they choose to collaborate with an external artist or artist group preferably with a local connection to the area they work in.
Working like Alte Schweden can be a delicate balancing act because the end result is never set, the audience is often involved as an active participant and co-creator. Alte Schweden tries to fill the space between different and/or conflicting views in order to trigger curiosity, questioning and uncertainty.
Depending on the project they choose to work within public space and/or within the white cube. They want to bring together different audiences and make them meet inside the works that often are site-specific. The way Alte Schweden sees it, interhuman and political questions that might be difficult to address in a more traditional setting, such as trauma, identity and prejudice, can be explored openly and unconditionally by using artistic means. An example of this is bringing together rival groups to work on parts of an installation, the outcome is often surprising and above expectation. Alte Schweden´s work is often presented as a site-specific installation consisting of various techniques such as video, photo, sound, performance, found objects, or anything else that fits the theme. They mainly work with museums, non-profit galleries, kunsthalles and community based organisations. Alte Schweden´s work is often based on the findings through a residency or similar research environment, past residencies includes Kultuuritehaas Polymer in Tallinn, Estonia and GeoAIR in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Alte Schweden takes a keen interest in the development of the first generations of people born into post-revolutionary and post-war societies and often work in areas such as ex-Yugoslavia, and the former U.S.S.R.

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"Tbilisi, lost and found in transit", 2014, advertising from the streets of Tbilisi, found objects, wine, sound recordings, gingerbread cathedral, souvenirs from the Stalin Museum in Gori, old photographs from a Georgian fleamarket etc., dimensions variable

"Get it all and more!" at Survival Kit 6 (Riga, LV), 2014, Alte Schweden in collaboration with Poetic Robotism (LV) & fashion designer Vita Radzina (LV), video works, 5-channel sound installation (customer messages & techno music), objects, photographs, one bottle of vodka, pumpkin, robotic fish in aquarium, helium balloons, site-specific objects, found bar, 11 kilos of German, Latvian and Swedish commercials in plastic bags, 2 fashion models walking around in the room etc.

"Tbilisi Cake", 2014, baking performance at Center of Contemporary Art Tbilisi

"Shop til U drop", 2015, 2015, mixed media, several objects, sound installation, interviews, advertising & found barricade tape from Sweden, Finland, Georgia, Kosovo, Latvia, Estonia, Canada, Bosnia-Hercegovina & Germany, bed linen, broken bottles, frames, Estonian soil, candle, shopping cart, dimensions variable

"What is Freedom?", the result of 2 residencies in Estonia, 4 workshops with local art students and the participation of the audience at Kalmar Konstmuseum in September 28, 2013 to January 19, 2014

"In Rust We Trust", 2012, various found objects from an old German base in Sigulda, Latvia (discovered with the help of a metal detector)