Sara Arrhenius


Date and place of birth: 1961, Sweden

Living place: Stockholm, Sweden

Theme: art

ECC Participation: Congress Council

photo: Sima Korenivsky

Sara Arrhenius is a curator and critic of art. For the past six years, she has served as the director of the Boonier Konsthall in Stockholm, a contemporary art institution that is among the most modern in Europe. Arrhenius believes that the purpose of today’s galleries is to “form a connection between global trends and the local context.” She follows this fundamental premise when preparing exhibition programs and organizing lectures, seminars, film screenings, and residencies for young artists.

“What is being lost when art is moved to another context? What is being added? How are we transforming meaning, inventing new languages?”

Arrhenius is known for creating large-scale, thematic, group exhibitions that address salient contemporary issues and place art in a variety of unexpected contexts. She is fascinated with crossing borders, such as those between art and literature, theater, and ecology. Seeking to explore the modern obsession with passing time and our need to replay and retell history, Arrhenius held an exhibition titled “Against Time,” which featured work by visual artists (such as Robert Kuśmirowski) as well as writers (among them Dubravka Ugrešić). Her show “Scene Shifts” was created in cooperation with the Royal Dramatic Theatre. “Life Forms,” another exposition, was inspired by the world of nature.

Before she became the head of Bonniers Konsthall, Arrhenius supervised IASPIS (Inter-national Artists’ Studio Program in Sweden), an international exchange program. She was also the curator of the third Art Biennale in Gothenburg, and has served as the editor of several magazines and anthologies devoted to contemporary art. Her critical pieces are published in Sweden’s leading daily newspaper, “Dagens Nyherer,” as well as the art press.

listen to the content print version