Malin Lennström-Örtwall works with vulnerability as a theme. In recent years, the focus has been the vulnerability of people and families exposed to external factors, such as war and power abuse. Having worked with object-based installations, her work has now taken a more process-based and political direction.
This is reality
At Visningsrommet USF and Galleri Boa, Lennström-Örtwall showed a neon sign with the text «This is Reality». The sign was made after an artist-in-residency stay in a Palestinian refugee camp in Oslo, and is a direct comment to the strict asylum policies that have been imposed in Norway in recent years, and the difficult circumstances that asylum seekers are forced to live under.
Performance / stamp
On the opening day of the exhibitions at Spriten Kunsthall and Visningsrommet USF, Lennström-Örtwall staged a performance in collaboration with a group of asylum seekers. The exhibition's visitors got "Entry denied" stamped on their hand on their way into the gallery. The same stamp immigrants get in their passport when refused entry into a country.
A handshake is a way to greet you, but can also be a symbolic act when confirming your agreement or promise. The custom of shaking hands as a greeting probably began as a gesture to show that you were unarmed and that you did not want to hurt each other.
The flag depicts two hands trying to reach each other underneath a closed gate in the Israeli separation wall. Two hands separated by politics, conflicts and boundaries.
Welcome to Reality
Welcome to Reality is a narrative project initiated by Katrine Meisfjord and Malin Lennström-Örtwall in collaboration with storytellers.
The project presented personal stories and experiences from people who relate to asylum in their everyday lives. How the Norwegian asylum policy affects individuals and society was examined through the stories. The narrators were prosecutors in asylum cases, asylum seekers, people working with and for asylum seekers, and people who have volunteered in asylum issues in various ways. The narrators presented their own stories in a direct meeting with the audience. Welcome to Reality is a dialogue-based art project aimed at exchanging experiences and knowledge, with the desire to get closer to each other in a multicultural community.
The project was presented at the opening of the exhibition at Visningsrommet USF in April 2013.