Mallrats 2012–2017 is an artistic project by Kristoffer Svenberg, which began with the platform Museum Museum. In 2013 it was presented as a live three-day exhibition with continuous performances and interventions. Since then, Kristoffer Svenberg has repeated the project in other parts of Sweden, at other institutions, and together with groups of various ages.
Mallrats wants to consciously challenge space and architecture
A mallrat is American slang for a member of a group of mainly youths who hang around in malls without buying anything. It is usually described as an undesirable trash culture. The Mallrats project aims to focus on, and encourage young people to consciously challenge this space and architecture through artistic practices.
Performance without special permission
Nowadays, public spaces are frequently discussed in architecture, urban planning and art. But most of our time is spent in our private spaces. Mallrats is a project built on collective creativity. It is structured through pedagogics, exercises and coaching. In the next step, the participants themselves formulate and implement performance art in private and semi-public commercial spaces. This takes place without special permission, and is, in practice, a critical exploration of spatial politics.
Performances in shopping malls defies
Kristoffer Svenberg, who outlined the concept for this project, claims that the shopping mall spaces are exceedingly image oriented. This kind of structure and architecture would not exist had it not been for photography. The spaces are not built to make us feel comfortable physically there. As consumers, we are envisioned as viewers who look at things. We are intended to see the advertisements on the premises and the shelves with products of we could potentially buy. Consuming defines our scope of action. To stage interventions and art performances in these spaces is a defiant practice.
Museum Museum is a development project for art and learning, and a platform for creativity. In Museum Museum, upper-secondary students mix with recent school-leavers in a quest for independence and professional identity. The encounter with art can have a decisive impact in many ways.
Published 12 December 2017 · Updated 5 February 2018