Johanna Byström Sims and Eric Andersson, Selected Artists for Shadow Play Residency
Forgotten Realms / Residency
Deadline Oct 26, 2023
Art Inside Out
Kungsbacka, Sweden

Art Inside Out invites artist applications for participation in Forgotten Realms, an artistic residency that explores new representations of reality in the borderland between the mundane and the fantastical, myth and reality, past and present. The residency is connected to Tjolöholm Castle in Kungsbacka, at the Swedish west coast, with a relationship to Nordic and Celtic folklore, reflected in both the breathtaking natural surroundings and the impressive castle interiors.

Ghosts, giants and trolls. Nymphs, lantern-carrying spirits, werewolves, and witches. The region of Halland, southwest on the Swedish westcoast has a history filled with old stories, myths, and legends about supernatural creatures and phenomena, and the county of Kungsbacka is no exception. These are narratives and testimonies that have been passed down for generations and become part of a cultural-historical heritage. In the old farming society, nature’s beings were a living element of everyday life and gave expression to our fears, cares, and moral dilemmas. The sea, lakes, and the deep forests were portals to that which could not be controlled – a border between the everyday life and the supernatural, where humans were only temporary visitors of whom respect and reverence were demanded. In the twilight hour, the unthinkable became possible.

In the age of modern society, the time of myths appeared to have passed. Industrialization, capitalism, and scientific advancement gradually alienated people from their belief in ensouled nature and the deeper dimensions of being human. Yet, at the same time, the supernatural never ceased to fascinate and for many remains an integral part of life, identity and belonging. In a time characterized by advanced weaponry, ‘fake news’, conspiracy theories, extreme weather, selfies, screens – speed and affect – ensouled nature, the spiritual and magical world seems to have taken on new meaning that tempts our fantasies and needs in the search for our inner selves. Global mobilization in the face of environmental and climatic threats, along with a growing longing for a life in harmony with nature, have meant that the forest and its inhabitants’ mystique, knowledge, and power have become a sought-after refuge – far from the din of city life. Mythological and magical beings’ re-emerging presence crosses the boundaries of reality’s possibilities and points toward new queer worlds in which gender roles, perceptions of good and evil, beautiful and ugly, and us and Others stand to be dissolved. With the artistic residency Forgotten Realms, Art Inside Out wants to invite artists to explore the irrational, fantastic and magical in our lives through various forms of artistic investigations.

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  • Mara Palena: Oikeiôsis
    Witty Books

    The knowledge of one’s inner self as the sole tool for self-fulfillment, for stoically embracing the human condition in all its turmoils – that is what ancient Greeks used to call Oikeiôsis. The same word was chosen by Mara Palena to call a project that unfolds over the duration of existence. The analog images shot by the artist from her childhood to today do not follow any external precept. (more…)