• 10 Nov 2017
The Swedish Institute the center of the Marais in Paris

The Swedish Institute, Hôtel de Marle, Paris © Svante Tiren

The history of the Swedish Institute

Located in the Hotel de Marle since 1971, after its purchase in 1965 by Sweden, the Swedish Institute is a cultural center offering various activities. Exhibitions, language courses, film screenings, and literary discussions, among others, are open to everyone. It is also the only Swedish cultural center outside Sweden, making its presence in the French capital even more atypical. With a rich collection, it aims to show the artistic connections between Sweden and France since the 17th century. For the reopening is organized the exhibition Next Level Craft, bringing a bit of contemporary Sweden to Paris, until 2018, January 7th.

Expo design, crafts and fashion: Next Level Craft

Staircase with an artwork on the wall made of marble and wool and glass elements hanging from the ceiling

The Swedish Institute, Next Level Craft, Paris, 2017 © Julien Lafaye

The exhibition is a true panorama of figure from the art scene in Sweden, with a great diversity of styles, ages (from 20 to 85 years old) and backgrounds. 30 artists, designers and craftsmen are gathered around a common theme: Nordic nature. The latter is a source of creation, inspiration. For about ten years, France knows a craze for objects of Scandinavian inspiration, through Ikea, among others. This phenomenon can lead us to forget where these objects actually came from and the ideas that shaped them. All artists offer a vision of Sweden, each in their own way.

A fantasized Sweden, with traditional creations in the spirit of the times

From nature to electro music and fashion, we are offered a real immersion in all types of creations. Classified by materials, each object or fabric recalls the codes of a fantasized Sweden. Aia Jüdes aims to make materials, that the younger generations consider “old fashioned”, more modern and contemporary. His art questions the ratio between price and value of objects in France. She creates in the most traditional material that can be found in Sweden: birch bark. Karin Frankenstein works with clay, ceramics, textiles and wood, as well as sound and image. We think in particular of these supports of candles made of sandstone. The material of it is traditional but shaped in a contemporary way.

Next Level Craft has shown us another facet of Swedish art in all its forms. We were introduced to the plurality of “Beauty“: traditional but nevertheless very contemporary.

Read our article on the interview with Agata Preyzner, an Art-Trope artist.