Per Hasselberg, From Hökarängen to Hötorgcity – Architect David Helldén, 2005 © Per Hasselberg. Photo: John Håkansson

Per Hasselberg

The structure of Stockholm’s suburbs was founded on an ideal of democracy and a fear of the fascism that laid waste to Europe during the Second World War. A vital requirement for the expansion of the suburbs was the underground railway, or tube, which made mass transit possible for journeys to and from work.

The first suburb in what was known as the tube-city – Hökarängen – was a model for the way in which the metropolitan structure could provide a democratic society on a small scale. This structure would combine the rationality of functionalism with a social content and was known to as “neighbourhood planning”. In neighbouring units, contact between individuals was encouraged by the creation of natural meeting-places such as parks, communal laundries and development of community centres.

The starting point for Per Hasselberg’s artistry are the conceptual ideas underpinning architecture and social planning. In the architecture of Hökarängen itself are embodied ideas about the suburb as a democratic nursery for good citizens. For this reason during the autumn of 2003 he initiated the Konsthall C project, which takes up half a still functioning communal laundry. The konsthall or art gallery is separated from the laundry by a frosted glass wall and is the site for exhibitions, seminars and workshops. It also houses two permanent exhibitions as well as Centrifug, an exhibition space which members of the public can apply to use.

The role of the communal laundry as a meeting-place forms the physical starting-point for Hasselberg’s study of the vision of the good society. The investigation also encompasses ideas concerning “neighbourhood work”, which the social services started during the 1970s and the concept of relational aesthetics, in which the role of the artist is sometimes likened to that of the social worker.

Per Hasselberg

Born 1971 in Skillingaryd.
Lives and works in Stockholm.


Malmö Art Academy, Malmö

Selected solo exhibitions

OPTION, Index, Stockholm

Nya Vägar, Skånes Konstförening, Malmö

das Schwedenhaus, Galleri Signal, Malmö

Selected group exhibitions

DMZ 2005, Seoul, Korea [KP]

Whatever happened to Social democracy?, Rooseum, Malmö

Changing Places, Index, Stockholm

Selected bibliography

Ronald Jones, “Whatever Happened…”, Artforum International, Summer 2005.

Cecilia Blomberg, ”I samhällets tjänst”, Bildrutan, P1, 2005-02-23.

Måns Holst-Ekström, ”När ingenjörerna visar vägen”, Sydsvenskan 2003-12-10.

More about this exhibition