Vång. Photography, Archaeology, Landscapes | 17.06.17 – 03.09.17

17 July, 2017

From Saturday 17 June to Sunday 3 September 2017
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Venue: Kulturcentrum, Kallingevägen 3, 372 39, Ronneby, Sweden

Vång. Photography, Archaeology, Landscapes – An Exhibition presents selected works by the students on the Master in Photography of the NABA in Milan, the Master in Photography of the IUAV in Venice, and the Bachelor programme in Architecture, Visualization and Communication of the University of Malmö; together with the work of the photographers and artists Gerry Johansson, Stefano Graziani, Allegra Martin, Pietro Migliorati, Maki Ochoa and Giuliana Racco.

The exhibition starts out from the recent archaeological findings in Västra Vång, and the landscape along the Johannishusåsen ridge in Blekinge. The ridge is a nature reserve of great cultural and historical value. The archaeological site in Västra Vång (500 BC – 1200 AD) has been proved to be a central place, and along with several other remains unearthed in the area, a new picture of the region and its extensive network of contacts has emerged. Over recent years, the site has hosted a variety of scientific and pedagogic explorations.
Through Västra Vång and the Johannishus area, we may write a long-term history. The Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Viking Age and Middle Ages – these are all periods coexisting in the same place.

The findings show that Västra Vång was something out of the ordinary. Here we find everyday remains, but also exceptional ones. Västra Vång is a key site that creates an understanding of many times and places, events and changes in society. One can argue that archaeological research needed a Västra Vång, and it is indeed one of the most important findings in contemporary Swedish archaeology. But it is not only archaeological research that is affected by such a discovery. Even life on the hill changes.
This is how the collaboration with scientific institutions and various artistic disciplines emerged, with photography in particular, creating new dialogues and visions. The photographic medium originates in scientific documentation and, as it evolved, it began to study landscape through matter. Also, photography has played a major role in recording and archiving landscapes characteristics, thus being a powerful instrument in planning and heritage management.

Landscape architect Sabina Jallow, who coordinated the exhibition, says: “Suddenly it becomes important to investigate and document how the recovered past changes the current landscape and the people who live and work there. With photography and the help of photographers, conversations can be conducted and strategies formulated. Photography becomes an investigative and documentary tool, but also a way of communicating. The historical link between photography and science is clear. Less well known is perhaps how photography also played an early and crucial role in argumentation about nature and culture conservation. The photograph plays an active role in the formulation of visions. Firstly, to register and archive the character of the site, but also to formulate possible futures. The exhibition addresses the values ​​and visions of different professions. This is how this cooperation began.”

Co-director for the Vång project and archaeologist at Lund University, Björn Nilsson, explains: “If somebody asked me, ‘What has archaeology in common with landscape architecture and photography?’, I would have to say it depends. The pen, the shovel or the camera are sometimes equal tools and modes of thinking. And they could be used to achieve the same result: To expose the world, uncover the landscape and place humans in their natural and cultural setting. And when these different professions come together for a while, we will soon pick up each other’s language. An open and largely public archaeological project such as the Vång project would call for this kind of knowledge and sensitivity. Not everything can be said scientifically; sometimes words are just not enough.”

Vång. Photography, Archaeology, Landscapes – An Exhibition is a multidisciplinary project where not only different practices but also cultural and scientific institutions all dialogue with one another. Each one of them is responsible for educating and informing the citizens about art’s expressivity and science’s new discoveries. As such, the project reinterprets the archaeology in Vång and the landscape itself through the collaboration of artists who combine science with art, expanding this reality’s horizons and developing new stories. These stories became the starting point for the exploration that is now presented as an exhibition. Through material objects and artistic projects, it stimulates the curiosity of local inhabitants to discover different realities that constitute a fundamental piece of a common heritage.