State of Mind

Annica Karlsson Rixon and Anna Viola Hallberg


During our first visit to St Petersburg in 2006, we noticed that production on queer life of women in Russia was quite limited. We talked to activists, artists and academics before collecting personal stories constituting State of Mind. Now, five years later, as we return to Russia with the installation it is accompanied by a segment where we ask all visitors to give their testimonial and be part of producing the continuation of the legacy of LGBT history in Russia. Our objective was, and still is, to make an art project providing challenging and critical readings as well as contributing to self organized history writing and representation.
- Annica Karlsson Rixon and Anna Viola Hallberg, Sept 2012

Concept note

State of Mind consists of personal stories and group portraits. In large format photographs friends and families gather at different sites in the city. The video installation is constructed as a group portrait with a projection of the Neva River as a backdrop. On seven monitors all together 39 people talk about life in St Petersburg addressing LGBT issues, East-West, personal and political matters, and the view of the future. Focus is set on conditions of everydaylife for lesbian and bisexual women.

The artists, Karlsson Rixon and Hallberg, collaborated with organizations, activists and select individuals in St Petersburg during returning visits 2006-2008. Trust and friendship were important concepts collecting the documentary material.

State of Mind explores boundaries between ethics, legislation, prejudice and civic expectations of queer life in the city. Leadership, democracy and human rights are central matters. The art installation emphasizes subjects such as shortcomings and possibilities, belonging and alienation, appointed and selected identity. A discussion on intercultural perspectives to identity politics is suggested.

Among the matters brought up was how society would look like for the community in the close future. How was the personal relation to change and to what degree would one see oneselves involved? The predictions were many, but today far more are engaged in organized work striving for a fair society of equal and just treatment.

Annica Karlsson Rixon and Anna Viola Hallberg

Karlsson Rixon & Hallberg are based in Sweden and collaborate as artists and curators with lens based projects. In addition they both have independent careers as artists, curators, educators and lecturers.

Issues of community and group identity are central in their projects. The photography and video based works are often presented in spatial installations interlocked with seminars or workshops. The works often include thorough research and are presented in art installations with fluid and multiple ways of interpretation. One interest is the relation and tension between the boundaries of photography and moving images, another is the construction of legacy via oral history and visual imagery into public memory.


State of Mind is part of an installation trilogy Resonance, State of Mind and Code of Silence dealing with socially and culturally constructed identity-based groups in contemporary society.

State of Mind (Installation view)
Gothenburg Art Museum, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2009
(11 c-prints)

State of Mind (Installation view)
Gallery K1, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden, 2008
(Projection hd, 7 monitors sd, sound)

Title: State of Mind
Artists: Annica Karlsson Rixon & Anna Viola Hallberg
Media: Installation, 11 color photographs (c-prints), seven monitors (sd) and one projection (hd) with sound (stereo).
Duration: 7 x 35 min of interviews, running independently (7 loops), 1 x 30 min backdrop (loop)
Voice: Russian, English, Swedish
Subtitles: English & Russian
Original installation: 65 square meters, black box video installation + wall space for 11 large format photographs.
Production year: 2008 (2006-2008)

(Installation views, Art Arsenal/Gogol Fest 09, Kiev, Ukraine)

Lezzie Think Tank and Leaving Your Traces
State of Mind travelled (2008-2011) with two formats carried out by the artist in addition to the traditional artist talks also performed at each venue. The other are two workshops done with the local activists and academic communities; Lezzie Think Tank a relay of questions pass on from one city to the next and Leaving Your Traces new video segments from each city based on a set of questions designed to give a notion of the everyday life for an LGBTQ person in that specific city.

Artwork/installation views
State of Mind view photographs >>>
Installation views and texts Moderna Exhibition >>>
Excerpts from the video installation>>>
Documentation videos of installation>>>
Documentation slideshow of installation in Kiev>>>
Sample installation sound, listen (mp3)>>>
List of works (pdf) >>>
Presentations, seminars etc >>>
Lezzie Think Tank/Leaving Your Traces>>>

Russian texts
Заявление, Обзор проекта, Карлссон Риксон и Халлберг >>>

From Sweden, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine (print/video/radio/web) >>>

State of Mind Exhibitions
Space Taiga, St Petersburg, Russia, 2012
The Worth Ryder Art Gallery, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA, 2011
Gallery Fotohof, Saltzburg, Austria,2011
Moderna Museet, The Moderna Exhibition, Stockholm, Sweden,
October 2010 - January 2011
Y Gallery for Contemporary Art, Minsk, Belarus, March 2010
The Kharkov Municipal Art Gallery, Kharkiv, Ukraine, July-August 2009
Art Arsenal/Gogol Fest 09, Kiev, Ukraine, September 2009
Gothenburg Art Museum, Sweden September-November 2008
ROSPHOTO, St Petersburg, Russia, September-October 2008
Kulturhuset Stockholm, Sweden, July-August 2008

Selected folders, posters and press release
Rosphoto, St Petersburg, Russia, 2008>>>


Research trip to Moscow Feb 20-24, 2013

State of Mind will open at Space Taiga during Queer Fest in St Petersburg Russia, September 2012

State of Mind tour to Russia in 2012 made possible with grant from Swedish Institut

Swedish Arts Grants Committee awarded support for exhibiting State of Mind in California, 2011

State of Mind tour to Ukraine and Belarus in 2009-2012 made possible with grant from Swedish Institut

Karlsson Rixon and Hallberg in The Moderna Exhibition 2010, Moderna
Museet, Stockholm, Sweden, 2 October 2010 - 9 January 2011>>>

Essay by Annica Karlsson Rixon and Anna Viola Hallberg, (Pdf) >>>
Full exhibition catalog from Gothenburg Art Museum/Monitor
Reviews for State of Mind >>>
Video spot from the mulitmeda magazine 34 >>>

With support from
NIFCA/Nordic institiute of contemporary art, Helsinki, Finland
Pro Arte, St Petersburg, Russia
University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden
The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Stockholm, Sweden
Swedish Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
Swedish General Consulate, St Petersburg, Russia
Swedish Embassy Kiev, Ukraine
Swedish Embassy in Minsk, Belarus
Stadsbudskontoret, Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm Pride/Europride 08, Stockholm, Sweden

Polina; Language Facilitator & translator (RU-ENG, ENG-RU)
Nadya; Language Facilitator (RU-ENG, ENG-RU)
Lilliana; Language Facilitator (RU-SWE, SWE-RU)
Tanja; Language Facilitator (RU-ENG, ENG-RU)
Irena; Language Supervision (RU)
Therese; Language Supervision (RU)

Other projects by Karlsson Rixon and Hallberg
Code of Silence
State of Mind - Prologue
Leaving Your Traces/Lezzie Think Tank
Aview Nomad Gallery
Public Projections - Gothenburg

Annica Karlsson Rixon and Anna Viola Hallberg are lens based artist
working with conceptual art and installations. They are collaborating
on a an installation trilogy Resonance, State of Mind and Code
of Silence
dealing with socially and culturally constructed identity-
based groups in contemporary society. >>>

Karlsson Rixon & Hallberg collaborate in art installations, curatorial
projects and lectures/workshops among them the LTT Project
and Public Projections Gothenburg, often in the constellation
Aview Nomad Gallery >>>

More about the artists
Annica Karlsson Rixon and Anna Viola Hallberg

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