Misschiefs is originally a groundbreaking feminist exhibition of contemporary collectible design showcasing a unique group of ten trailblazing Swedish womxn selected for the punk nature of their work, at the crossing of design, craft and art.
In each country Misschiefs visits, a local womxn curator is invited to select one womxn artist of her choice to join the show. All the Misschiefs in this collection have been minutely selected for the excellency of their individual mastering of a particular craftsmanship and artistic style. The designers are aged 28 to 87 years old, some are internationally known, others established names in the Swedish design world and a few are young upcoming figures. They come from different parts of the country, have various cultural backgrounds and work from studios in distinct locations in Sweden and abroad.
This collection was first shown in Stockholm in February 2020. The choice of only female and non-binary artists springs from a desire to actively participate in boosting womxn’s visibility in the arts at large. Part of the sales of the objects and the exhibition catalogue go to an international womxn’s foundation. All the objects and furniture in this collection are handmade only for Misschiefs and sold in a maximum number of three copies each.
Punk by nature, our Misschiefs objects stand for freedom of individual expression in a design culture traditionally strict and controlled. The combination of individual mastery of specific craftsmanship, the free reins of the brief and the nature of the design uniqueness and rarity, has enabled the creation of a truly singular nomadic collection of womxn-made contemporary collectible design.
Due to the pandemic that struck the world in April 2020, Misschiefs was unable to travel to its next international destinations that were planned first in Milan, then France and the UK. In a unique rescue operation led by a major Swedish property firm, Misschiefs was offered a street level 500m2 raw space in a prime location in central Stockholm, rent-free. During two years this old laundry factory has been temporarily taken over and converted by Misschiefs into what we call Misschiefs Takeover: a unique pop-up with exhibitions, a showroom, a shop and live art studio spaces offered to selected womxn artists.
Born in 1981 in Stockholm and raised in Paris, Paola Bjäringer is one of those people who always think ahead of their time. With her bicultural background, Paola is what Swedes call a mellanförskap, navigating between two opposite cultures which both inspired her. France taught her the beauty of art and fostered her interest in design and arts; Sweden gave her deeply feminist values and a strong sense of gender equality. Not only did she develop a great curiosity for the world and others, but also a profound desire to cross borders and go against established streams.
Paola grew up with two strong role models: her feminist mother, founder of the Parisian section of the Swedish womxn’s Education Association (SWEA), and Pippi Longstocking, “the strongest girl in the world”. She learned at a very young age that womxn can achieve anything, but also that the fight for equality is far from being over. Feminism could only be at the very heart of Paola’s life and work, first as a student and scholar, and then as a curator and entrepreneur.
After graduating in sociology and gender theory in London, with a research focus on womxn’s sex toys, she deepened her exploration of design in relation to society. Fascinated by what objects have to say about us as humans and society, she collaborated with French designer Matali Crasset to design a new sex-toy for womxn. She then opened two collectible design galleries in Paris, where she once again questioned established norms by selecting creators who challenged definitions of fine arts and handicraft.
Her life and career have been a continuous dialogue between her two national cultures, as well as between two sides of her personality: the feminist scholar and the visionary curator. By founding MISSCHIEFS, Paola took that dialogue one step further while remaining true to her vision. Her will to break the rules and challenge power structures gave birth to an international community for all womxn, which feeds off solidarity and mutual support. She created a new type of art space which is the opposite of the traditional lucrative white cube: a hub where categories, both artistic and social, are constantly being questioned and reinvented, and where creation leads to liberation.
over 100 womxn artists
So far at Misschiefs Takeover in Stockholm over 100 womxn artists and designers have shown and sold their work directly to the public, commission free. Misschiefs Takeover in Stockholm was born out of a desire to actively support womxn artists and designers acutely impacted by the economical repercussions of the crisis. Womxn artists everywhere are particularly vulnerable due to their independent status as creators and as womxn. Misschiefs is a feminist art project from the start aiming at empowering womxn artists, designers and curators. We envision and build Misschiefs as an active interdisciplinary platform, both digital and physical. As a new kind of bridge between the public and the real-life process of making art. We strive for more strategic urban visibility, for womxn artists to take up more space, everywhere.
In collaboration with:
The Case For Her
With the financial support of:
Kulturrådet - Swedish Arts Council
City of Stockholm