Boxing and Unboxing
- 1 Starting point and context: Marabouparken Guestroom Programme
- 2 AND terms and conditions of working with institution
- 3 AND set of posters
- 4 AND Unboxing Room
- 5 AND Gear
- 6 Host: Project Playground
- 7 AND Boxing classes
- 8 AND Unboxing Talks and Workshops
- 9 AND Unboxing Calendar, published by AND Publishing London / MarabouParken Konsthall, Stockholm, 2018
Starting point and context: Marabouparken Guestroom Programme
The Marabouparken Konsthall's Guestroom programme "Acts of Self Ruin", curated by Jenny Richards, has been informed by Leela Ghandi's book "The Common Cause" and set out to explore the struggle for collectivity and equality in an age of individualism. The programme aimed to support artist groups or collectives to develop new lines of inquiry and share these with diverse publics through workshops and events.
Marabouparken’s Research Theme (2017-2019) was described as:
- Through a range of activities including exhibitions, residencies and a public programme, we will explore acts in which communities and individuals have put themselves at risk or ruin in the pursuit of other ways of living, or in pursuit of equality and solidarity. Acts that might produce shame or embarrassment in their deviation from existing hierarchies: acts of communal inefficiency of professional disloyalty, of solidarity with a persecuted colleague or the rejection of national identity. The research investigates not only overtly public political acts but also personal acts of self ruin. In what ways do we unlearn the encouraged subconscious individualistic ideology and its inherent classist, racist and sexist perpetuations? Acts of Self Ruin is a concept explored by Leela Gandhi in her book The Common Cause (2014) and informs this inquiry. The book proposes different forms of solidarity and community developed through acts of self-ruination. Acts aimed at making common the cause between individuals across cultural, political and class divides. 
AND terms and conditions of working with institution
In order to create an understanding of the institutional framework and reach transparency about the mutual expectations towards the five months research residency AND together with Marabouparken Konsthall curator Jenny Richards developed a 'Terms and Conditions' document laying out the basis for this collaboration. It discusses making the budget transparent, "creating visibility on our own [AND's] terms" when it comes to institutional framing (images, texts, announcements), as well as the potential and limitations of short-term public engagements. That document was regularly revised and adapted over the course of the residency and served as the basis for the contract between the artists and the institution.
AND set of posters
A set of four posters were printed and circulated in the imminent neighbourhood and across Stockholm. Translated into Swedish, English, Arabic and Tigrinya (the two biggest ethnic groups in the area of the Konsthall), they announced two weeks of boxing training for women, girls, trans and non-binary people in order to learn more about non-verbal negotiation, care, anger, dialogue, transgressions and defence. The boxing classes were free and open for all abilities, ages (16+), shapes and religions and were an experiment to learn to relate to each other and to negotiate the many conflicts and contradictions which shape our living and working together.
AND Unboxing Room
AND brought a pile of boxes to Marabouparken Konsthall in order to unbox them during their residency. The boxes contain publications they have worked on, documents, which they want to investigate and miscellaneous items related to their projects and inquiries. The initial plan to set up the AND Unboxing room in the gallery space of Marabouparken Konsthall did not work, because (i) it was hard to escape the stiff framing of an exhibition, (ii) in the main gallery space was a video installation by Anna Adahl with a transgressive soundscape, (iii) there was no daylight in the room. Due to these limitations to set up a welcoming and informal space in the main galleries that invites us and the public to spend the time, we moved out of the gallery and into the archive space in the administration wing of Marabouparken Konsthall. Visitors found information about the Unboxing Room at the entrance of the museum and were guided by Konsthall staff through the offices to the AND Unboxing Room.
You are welcome to explore AND’s projects and publications* in this Unboxing Room, unbox yourself, or come to one of the public unboxing afternoons at the Konsthall. AND wants you to unbox the many boxes surrounding us, including the boxes they have shipped to Marabouparken from London. These boxes contain many publications, documents, and miscellaneous items they have collected, made and worked with: The Piracy Project, Teaching for people who prefer not to teach, The Library of Omissions and Inclusions, Let’s Mobilize: What is Feminist Pedagogy?, A selection of good and bad sports bras (D cup and upwards), Keep It Complex, as well as our terms and conditions, emails and other miscellaneous items.
T-shirt and Hoodies produced by AND for the boxing training classes. On the sleaves it says BOX ME IN – NO THANK YOU, a quote from the Society for Cutting Up Boxes, SCUB Manifesto, by Rhani Lee Remedes, in LTTR#1, 2002. Screenprinted by "Do Make Say Ink" in Birmingham on Gildan Tees.
Host: Project Playground
The choice of location was important because we wanted to avoid the training program being framed as artwork, exhibition or performance. To reject this context, we moved the training classes to Project Playground, an after school club for youth refugees in Stockholm´s Hallonbergen district. The people behind Project Playground were interested to instigate more activities for females at their centre.
AND Boxing classes
For the boxing classes, Stockholm based boxers Sofia Thorne and Airin Fardipour have been invited to develop a two-week intensive course for beginners. The boxing classes took place at 'Project Playground', an after school club for immigrants in Hallonbergen. The course taught lots of technique, the basic moves and punches, as well as extensive sparring and body contact work and finished with a one-round fight competition.
AND Unboxing Talks and Workshops
This series of talks, conversations and workshops during the residency were moments to connect to a wider community in Stockholm - beyond the participants in the boxing sessions. Jenny Richards, the curator was actively connecting us to people working on similar topics, such as publishing, feminism, and radical knowledge practises.
Unboxing Talk #1: What does it mean to understand publication not as a noun, but as a verb?
In the first conversation AND talked about their publishing practice
Rosalie's and Eva are in conversation about their practice, their approach to the residency seeking to answer some of the questions on the poster. The itinerant format of this afternoon situated the event in selected public and non-public spaces at the Konsthall.
Rosalie and Eva will surprise each other with two short presentations on ownership and authorship – they don't know what each other will be presenting – followed by a discussion trying to unpick the experiences and tensions between the individual and the collective when it comes to working collectively – followed by ice-cream in the park.
Unboxing Workshop #3: Collage Reflexion
This workshop was an opportunity for the boxing trainees and trainers to reflect on the relational experiences during the boxing sessions. These sessions constituted in training a nonverbal, bodily dialogue transgressing the boundaries that we normally seek to protect. Likewise, the reflection happened less with words, but with images, pens, scissors and glue.
AND Unboxing Calendar, published by AND Publishing London / MarabouParken Konsthall, Stockholm, 2018
A calendar with 52 weekly pages containing collectively with the boxers' produced visuals. The collages result from a one-day workshop, where we tried to revisit the spirit and adventures during the boxing classes and to articulate visually the experiences, that could not easily be verbalised. The visuals in the calendar are accompanied by a text written by Ar Parmacek, at the time intern at MarabouParken Konsthall, which reflects some of the concerns of the project from her perspective of an co-organiser and observant. Choosing the form of a calendar as publication genre aims to embed its issues and contents into everyday life. A year of daily boxing and unboxing.