(Dis)agreements? – the utility, effectiveness, and problematics of categories

Föreningen JA!, (Dis)agreements? – the utility, effectiveness, and problematics of categories, 2010 © Föreningen JA! Stillbild från video 6 min, teach-in, performance 45 min, Equality-Diversity Agreement, avtal 10 sidor, del av Making ourselves visible: a day-long project in feminist space making, Elisabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum, New York, 2010. Projektet genomfördes i samarbete med Hong-An Truong och Tressa de Andrade

Föreningen JA!

The YES! Association is an artist group that operates in Sweden and the US A to promote a more heterogeneous and more equal art scene.

The YES! Association was founded in 2005 by Malin Arnell, Johanna Gustavsson, Line S. Karlström, Anna Linder and Fia- Stina Sandlund in connection with the exhibition Art Feminism – Strategies and Consequences in Sweden from the 1970s to the Present. At the exhibition opening, the YES! Association performed the work Press Conference/Performance in which they presented gender-separated statistics for the institutions responsible for the exhibition. Towards the end of the press conference, the institutions were invited to sign the YES! Association’s Equality Agreement. All institutions declined unanimously.

Today, the YES! Association is run primarily by Åsa Elzén, Johanna Gustavsson and Malin Arnell, with provisional project committees. The Agreement has been reformulated and renegotiated and now exists in several versions, all aimed at promoting social diversity in the field of art. In their works, the YES! Association explores fiction, enactments and performance. Recently, they have taken Augusto Boal’s forum theatre as a starting point, using fiction as a preparation for the future. One of the fundamental concepts is to practise on a certain situation, thereby gaining experience and skills that can be applied in a future “real-life” situation. The activities of the YES! Association focus on issues relating to how we can name and use identity categories (sex/gender, ethnicity/race, sexuality and class) for the purpose of emancipation and liberation, without reproducing the prevailing discriminatory power structures yet again. The YES! Association has been invited to intervene with The Moderna Exhibition’s structure to highlight these issues.

Research Right Now!

Föreningen JA!/The YES! Association

Formed by Johanna Gustavsson, Malin Arnell, Fia-Stina Sandlund, Line S Karlström & Anna Linder. Today run by av Åsa Elzén (since 2008), Malin Arnell & Johanna Gustavsson with temporary work groups for specific projects. Works in Sweden and the US.

Projects, performances, exhibitions

2010 (Dis)agreements? – the utility, effectiveness, and problematics of categories, teach-in, performance på/at Making ourselves visible: a day-long project in feminist space making, Elisabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum, New York [US]
2009 Feminist lines of flight in art and politics, del av projektet/part of the project How Do We Go On From Here?, initierat av/initiated by Faith Wilding & Kate Davis, Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Glasgow [UK]
2009 När helvetet frös över – en iscensättning i 4 delar, del av utställningen/part of the exhibition A Space on the Side of the Road (cur. Kajsa Dahlberg & Henrik Andersson), Röda Sten, Göteborg/Gothenburg
2009–pågående/ongoing JÄMLIKHETSAVTAL 2010 (5 år senare), Röda Sten, Göteborg/Gothenburg
2008 Privilege Walk/Symposium – Feminist and intersectional aspects of contemporary art, Lilith Performance Studio, Malmö.
2008 The Name of This Association Shall Be Transmission, en del av utställningen/part of the exhibition Moot Points: Exercises in Self Organization, Discourse and Collaboration (cur. Kathryn Elkin), Transmission Gallery, Glasgow [UK]

Selected bibliography

Sinziana Ravini, ”The Last Temptation of Socio-Romanticism”, Site #28, 2009.
Dan Jönsson, ”Kritik och konservatism – samtidskonstens alternativa teater”, Hjärnstorm #88–89, 2006.
Nina Lekander, ”Konstfeminism”, Ordfront #01/06, 2006.


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