The MISSCHIEFS exhibition opened its doors in Stockholm during the 2020 Design Week. Curated by Stockholm-born and Paris-raised Paola Bjäringer, this trailblazing feminist exhibition featured 10 outstanding Swedish womxn designers, artists, craftmakers, and performers selected for the high quality, audacity, and punk nature of their work. Aged 25 to 83, they all had different backgrounds, histories, origins, and cultures. But they had one thing in common: talent.
Each of these Misschiefs produced one collectible design artefact, handmade in Sweden exclusively for the MISSCHIEFS exhibition and sold in a maximum number of three copies. They received an individual budget of SEK 20 000 to create unique and innovative pieces. For three weeks, the finest Swedish designers took over Bångska Våningen, a 200-square-meter alternative exhibition space in the center of Stockholm. At the crossing of art, design, and craft, the works on display represented the best of Sweden’s avant-garde, as well as its most innovative and punk creations.
MISSCHIEFS was not simply a womxn-only show, rather a deeply coherent feminist project. Paola chose to work with only womxn and feminist collaborators. Even the exhibition catalogue, designed by Frédérique Daubal with texts by Sara Abdollahi and photographs by Kimberly Hire, became a way to support womxn: all the sales go to The Case for Her, a feminist funding collaborative addressing female menstruation, sexual health, and pleasure. This dialogue, this connection, between the womxn artists on display and the womxn working backstage, in the shadow, is what gives MISSCHIEFS its strength.
After its kick-off in Stockholm where it drew thousands of visitors, MISSCHIEFS was planned to travel the world and give rise to an unapologetic movement for womxn in arts and design at large. Milan, Marseille, Paris, London… In each city, a woman-run art gallery or woman curator would be chosen to invite a woman artist to create an artwork for MISSCHIEFS. As such, the nomadic exhibition would grow as it traveled. The Stockholm show welcomed Yngvild Saeter, presented by gallery Andréhn-Schiptjenko. In April 2020, MISSCHIEFS was ready to conquer Milan and the Assab One exhibition space, with curator Federica Sala and artist Nelcya Chamszadeh-Cantoni.
When the pandemic struck, MISSCHIEFS was forced to remain at home. But MISSCHIEFS adapted, survived, and grew even more. Paola managed to turn a global crisis into an opportunity to lead a rescue operation for womxn artists.