Suddenly it Happens! Exhibition and performance, 5-19 of September at the Public Art Agency Sweden

In the exhibition Suddenly it Happens! the artist Afrang Nordlöf Malekian puts a selection from the Public Art Agency’s collection of prints in dialogue with a set of newly produced works consisting of lottery tickets, print sheets with dream poems, sound and performance.

The Public Art Agency Sweden’s collection of prints and Grafikens Hus’ graphic works created for the state owned lottery Penninglotteriet in the 1990s are examined as the artist Afrang Nordlöf Malekian tackles questions about class, democracy and dreams. In a collaboration between the Public Art Agency Sweden and Grafikens Hus’ three-year project Samlande tankar/Collecting Thoughts, the artist explores the history of printmaking as artistic expression, as well as a means to portray social changes – in an exhibition and a performance.

Exhibition and performance at the Public art Agency Sweden

In the exhibition Suddenly it happens! the artist Afrang Nordlöf Malekian begins in the history of the lottery and puts a selection from the Public Art Agency’s collection of prints in dialogue with a unique set of new lottery tickets. The idea is based on Grafikens Hus’ collaboration with the Penninglotteri during the years 1995–1998 when 75 graphic works of art were produced and then reproduced in miniature on each lottery ticket. The lottery as a phenomenon, with the task of bringing dreams and fantasies to life, becomes the starting point of a performance on September 17th.

The artist Afrang Nordlöf Malekian connects graphics, the history of the lottery and the capitalization on people’s dreams in the exhibition Suddenly it Happens!. Just as a win or loss in a lottery can affect people’s lives, the artist allows the audience to decide the fate of the Public Art Agency’s graphic artwork through his performance.

For the exhibition the artist has worked with the concept of the absence of stories and haunting. How the absent voices within the collection thus haunt the archive and, by extension, a collective history. A spectre is haunting the archive. The work is part of Afrang Nordlöf Malekian’s ongoing residency at Grafikens Hus and a collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.

Suddenly it Happens!

OpeningSeptember 5th 16.00–19.00

Place: Public Art Agency Sweden, Ateljén, plan 5, Kasern II, Svensksundsvägen 11 A, Stockholm

▪️ Performance during the festival Skeppsholmsdagen on September 17th

Time: two shows at 11.30 and 14.30

In the performance Afrang Nordlöf Malekian explores the relationship between profit and loss when it comes to collective assets. It is a dramatized raffle where the audience gets to play for a graphic work from the artist’s selection of the Public Art Agency Sweden´s collection of prints and the nine print sheets. In the performance an actor leads the lottery and portrays a ghost of socialism from 1970s Sweden. Here, the artist investigated how people’s hopes and dreams are exploited in a capitalist system and was performed for one day in September 2023.

The exhibition is open:
  5 sept 16.00–19.00
12 sept 16.00–19.00
17 sept 11.00–16.00
19 sept 16.00–19.00


Here you can read the exhibition text written by the curators Macarena Dusant, Annika Enqvist and Didem Yildirim.

Long-term collaboration between the Public Art Agency Sweden and Grafikens Hus

Grafikens Hus and the Public Art Agency Sweden have initiated a long-term collaboration within the framework of the project Collecting Thoughts. The collaboration’s point of departure is the Art Agency’s collection of prints. Grafikens Hus lost its entire graphics collection in a fire in 2014. Since then, the museum has been working on building a new art collection. The process has raised questions about what kind of art is selected for a collection and what stories these works tell. Which stories are heard and which are excluded? In the Public Art Agency’s collection there are many duplicates of graphic works of art which are now transferred to Grafikens Hus. In this way, the artworks can be viewed by more people through exhibitions, mediation and research projects.

Graphic design: Johanna Burai in collaboration with Afrang Nordlöf Malekian. In the image art works by artist Birgit Ståhl-Nyberg: Happy Boys” (1974), “Tunnelbanan” (“The Subway”) (1971) and by artist Berta Hansson “Lekande barn” (“Playing Children”) (ca 1970).