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Trial and Error (Janna Holmstedt + Po Hagström) was formed 2005 in relation to the 2-year project Monument for the Masses. Here we took an existing proposal for a monument in Estonia, altered it in substantial ways and presented our re-make as a counter-monument. Rather than focusing on the values and virtues monuments are said to symbolize, we explored the misunderstandings, conflicting relations and stories associated with them.

We have continued to collaborate around related topics, using narrative strategies as well as sampling and recontextualization of already existing material. Below you find articles, exhibitions and other activities listed in chronological order.


 
         
 
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ACTIVITIES
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EXHIBITION: LABYRINT 09 WRITINGS AND OBSERVATIONS
Botkyrka konsthal, Sweden, Nov7-Mar 13, 2009.
Labyrint isan international artist's book exhibition, curated by Joanna Sandell and Pia Sandström. The title refers to the artistic practice of writing as a way of seeing, a way of altering the world. This year’s edition will focus not only on artist’s books, but also text art, and the aspects of writing in contemporary art. Trial and Error participates with the book
"A Concise History of the Universe – An Opera in Two Acts" (see below).

 
         
EXHIBITION: NANO
Studio 44 , Stockholm, Sweden, Feb 11-Mar 1, 2009.
For the Swedish-Brasilian group exhibition "Nano", where no work is larger than 10x10 cm, we made the artist book "A Concise History of the Universe – An Opera in Two Acts". The history of the Universe, that spans 13 700 000 000 years, is depicted in 284 images. 48 300 000 years pass between each page.
   
    MAGAZINE: ENCYCLOPAEDIA FOR THE FUTURE
Glänta Magazine #3, August 2008.
The new Glänta issue is an entire encyclopaedia, consisting of explanations of more than two hundred words that doesn't yet exist: Ascetics, Crazy Frog Disorder, Dream ache, Fritzling, Neuropolitics, Poezak, Yroni... Over one hundred contributors have invented these words, words that -- arguably -- will be needed in the future. The result is a collective piece of literature, an imaginative image of the future, or a critical image of the age in which we live -- it all depends on the reader's (time) perspective.
 
       
  EXHIBITION: IT'S NOT EASY
Exit Art, New York, USA, Jul 24 - Aug 29, 2008.
It’s Not Easy is an exhibition inspired by the recent tidal wave of efforts to go “green”. As major corporations seek to “green” their practices, and as global warming puts the need to be green at the forefront, we are virtually inundated with social pressures to be environmentally sustainable. But how is the word ‘green’ really interpreted? Read more >>
 
       
  WEBLOG: MADE IN SWEDEN
Point of View, Jul 9, 2008.
On a recent journey we visited two well-known Asian landmarks: The Chinese Dragon Gate and the Royal Thai Pavilion, both located in remote places in Sweden. The Dragon Gate will be a center for Swedish-Chinese financial relations and 15 billion € has been invested in the project. The center includes a restaurant, a 300 square meters kung fu school, 200 terra cotta warriors, a hotel with 56 rooms individually designed inspired by the 56 provinces in China and much more. Read the article >>
 
       
  WEBLOG: ALMA LÖW, ART IN THE WOODS
Point of View, Jun 8, 2008.
About the 16 pavillions and the maze of exhibition rooms inside a rebuilt barn, run by artist Marc Broos in the middle of nowhere in Sweden. Every summer artists from all over the world, such as Annika von Hauswolf, Gilbert and George, Leif Elggren and Nathalie Djurberg chooses to participate because of the ambition and high energy level. Read the article >>
 
       
  WEBLOG: EPITAPH FOR PAUL CSEPLÖ
Point of View, Jun 1, 2008.
An epithap for the artist Paul Cseplö who died this spring. He was the only artist in a small village in the northern part of Sweden, where art was looked at as queer. And though people did not want to pay for his work, Paul kept painting and now, 30 years later, the village is changed because of him, as the lives of many who live there. Read the article >>
 
       
  ARTICLE: UMWELT
Glänta Magazine #1-2, Apr 2008.
The theme of this double issue of the Swedish cultural magazine Glänta is "The missing links". The article "Umwelt" focuses on different kinds of perception – using John Wilkins, Jakob von Uexküll, a selection of museums and a blind man on a moped as references. Glänta was released April 9 at Café Publik in Göteborg. Read the article >>
 
       
MAGAZINE: DON'T MIND THE GAP
Glänta Magazine #1-2, Apr 2008.
"Don't mind the Gap" stretches over 160 pages of the magazine and is a tribute to James Bond in the double issue of the Swedish cultural magazine Glänta on the theme "The missing links". Glänta was released April 9 at Café Publik in Göteborg.
   
  ARTICLE: WELCOME TO ESTONIA, A ROADMOVIE IN FIVE PARTS
Paletten #270 / 271, Feb, 2008.
This issue of the Swedish art magazine Paletten focuses on biennales and art events. The article ”Welcome to ESTonia – a road movie in five parts” describes the project ”Monument for the Masses”. We also visit a private museum in Setomaa and discuss the attempt to put the Swedish town Borås on the map by erecting a huge statue of Pinocchio. Paletten was released at the international artist-run art fair Supermarket in Stockholm, Feb 15-17, 2008. At Sollentuna Art Fair, 13-16 Mar, 2008, Paletten showed works by Lisa Jonasson and Trial and Error. Read the article >>
 
       
  WORKSHOP: ÄLSKAR, ÄLSKAR INTE [LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT]
Nyckelviksskolan, Stockholm, Feb 4-5, 2008.
Fifteen art and crafts students at Nyckelviksskolan documented public expressions in Stockholm that they have strong opinions about during one day. The following workshop mainly focused on art in the subway, street art, the monument for Karl XII – the ”war king” that are celebrated by neo nazis every year – and the new kind of monument that are mushrooming everywhere in Stockholm at the moment: The Shopping Center.
 
       
  WORKSHOP: MONUMENTOS PARA LAS MASAS
Facultad de Arquitectura, Urbanismo y Diseño de la Universidad Nacional, San Juan, Argentina, Nov 26-29, 2007.
What sites in the city provoke strong emotions and opinions? What narratives can be found beneath the surface of a contested, neglected or much loved place? The workshop was an attempt to establish a dialogue between old and new sites in the city – activating them through connecting the personal, historical, and political narratives that accompany them. Read more >>
 
       
  WEBLOG: OUR NEIGHBOUR CYCLOP
Point of View, Oct 15, 2007.
In a deserted parking lot beneath a dumpsite in the Southern suburbs of Stockholm one does not expect to find much. But here a group of hard working enthusiasts have built a culture house called Cyklopen (The Cyclop). Read the article >>
 
       
  WEBLOG: A BUFFALO IN OMAHA AND THE PLEASURES OF MISINTERPRETATION
Point of View, Aug 29, 2007.
Walking in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, you will at some point encounter a buffalo – slightly larger than life and cast in bronze. It looks lost and a bit scared among the skyscrapers trying to navigate in this modern urban landscape, but soon you realize it is not alone. Read the article >>
 
       
  WEBLOG: DIRECTOR INGMAR BERGMAN AND SWEDEN
Point of View, Aug 7, 2007.
Bergman’s way of portraying his country in his films had a massive impact in the 1950s and 1960s. Around the world the people of Sweden was regarded as brooding, depressed and consumed by guilt. And Sweden itself was, according to the American Associated Press: ”the claustrophobic gloom of unending winter nights, its glowing summer evenings”. Read the article >>
 
       
  WEBLOG: PUT THE LIGHT OUT, ERASE A LINE
Point of View, Aug 7, 2007.
The Stockholm Pride Festival 2007 has offered many things. The media still exclusivly focus on the flamboyant part of the gay community; all political parties (except for the christian conservatives) have competed in Pride exposure and there has been a very good artist run exhibition. Read the article >>



Artwork (detail) by Stefan Forss, polaroids and text.
 
       
  REPRESENTED: RHIZOME ARTBASE
Rhizome.org ArtBase, June 19, 2007.
The web project "Monument for the Masses" is now represented at Rhizome.org ArtBase, an online archive of new media art, affiliate of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. Go to Rhizome.org >>
 
       
  WEBLOG: MY SWEDEN. NOT ONLY CLEAN BUT ALSO WELL REGISTERED
Point of View, June 13, 2007.
Everyone born in Sweden since 1975 is registered in a large DNA file, and voices are raised that the police should have a DNA register over everyone living in Sweden. Read the article >>
 
       
  WEBLOG: MY SWEDEN – CLEAN SPACES, CLEAN INFORMATION
Point of View, June 12, 2007.
”I dont understand what you mean by street art. If it has no permission, it is regular destruction and should be punished. I think it is equal to destroying someones car.” (Mikael Söderlund, vice mayor Stockholm). Read the article >>
 
       
  WEBLOG: THE ART SPACE RACE
Point of View, May 29, 2007.
When walking in downtown San Francisco we pass Frey Norris Gallery. The current exhibition is entitled ”American Debut” and shows paintings by Zhong Biao. The subtitle reads: ”First ever American solo exhibition for internationally recognized Chinese artist”. We look at the large scale, skilled paintings and discuss the ever increasing interest for contemporary Chinese art in the West. Read the article >>



Artwork (detail) by Zhong Biao
 
       
  EXHIBITION: VITALIZE OR NEUTRALIZE?
Liljevalchs konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden, Jan 26-Mar 18, 2007.
The 4 min. DVD "Vitalize or Neutralize? In Search of a Revealing Example" was shown in the Spring salon at Liljevalchs Konsthall.
 
       
  EXHIBITION: INAUGURATION-KIT
Supermarket, Konstnärshuset, Stockholm, Sweden, Feb 22-25, 2007.
The portable Inauguration-kit contains everything one might need for inaugurations, unveiling of public art and similar events. Read more >>
 
       
  ARTICLE: "SOME DAY THEY'RE GONNA NAME A STREET AFTER ME"
Estonian Art no 2:2006, Feb, 2007.
The Russian artist Zurab Tsereteli has developed a curious business strategy. He offers his sculptures as gifts from the Russian people to cities all around the world, specializing in huge monuments to commemorate victims of recent tragedies or popular historical figures. Read the article >>
 
       
  EXHIBITION: TRIAL AND ERROR – MONUMENT FOR THE MASSES
Linnagalerii / Tallin City Gallery, Estonia, Sep14-Oct 1, 2006.
We use an existing proposal for a huge statue in the bay of Tallinn as a starting point to investigate monuments as a phenomenon and the rituals surrounding art in public spaces. Why are there so many naked women in Swedish cityscapes? Are they in any way related to the contested Soviet Bronze Soldier in Tallinn? Read more >>
 
       
  ONLINE PROJECT: OPEN CALL FOR PARTICIPATION – PARK FOR UN/WANTED PUBLIC EXPRESSIONS
Virtual park, May 17, 2006-ongoing.
Is there any public art, architecture or other manifestations that you would like to remove, exchange or rebuild? Then you are welcome to contribute to our virtual park. The park can be seen as a growing archive of values by which we judge art, architecture and other expressions in different public spaces. Visit the park >>
 
       
  ONLINE PROJECT: MONUMENT FOR THE MASSES – PROPOSAL FOR A COUNTER-MONUMENT
Release of online project, May 17, 2006.
What kinds of monuments are possible? Where and when? New York has its Statue of Liberty and Rio de Janeiro its Statue of Christ the Redeemer. In Estonia the artist Tauno Kangro has offered a 14-meter statue of the national hero Kalevipoeg as a gift to the City of Tallinn. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it the wrong location, an occupation of public space by private capital, a marvellous gift or a huge stupid mistake? Go to online project >>
 
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