The group Vi ses (See You) consisted of the artists Sune Fogde, Gudrun Key-Åberg, Nils Kölare, K-G Nilson and Bo Swenson. This is a small exhibition at the art gallery, consisting of 20 graphic sheets in color, as well as an equal part with educational material where the artists describe their work process in words and pictures. The exhibition is financed by the five artists themselves, and the art pieces are sold for SEK 250 each. In a letter to the art gallery’s curator and director Eje Högestätt on December 8, 1972, they explain their idea:
We are doing this exhibition because we believe that we as a group can offer an interesting alternative to the large central sales organizations’ massive range of color graphics.
The intention was also to make art accessible to a wider audience through the pedagogical part.
The exhibition, which was planned for the 1973-74 season, will be shown in several places in the country. Södertälje takes up the idea and takes it in the autumn of 1973, at the same time as an identical parallel exhibition is shown at Norrköping’s museum.
The artists direct a massive critique at the art gallery’s management and threaten to cancel the exhibition as early as 15 September after a visit. The art gallery, for its part, talks about breach of contract and is considering making a police report. It is clear that the Vi ses group is very dissatisfied with the location of the exhibition in the art gallery’s premises. It is pointed out that the lighting is substandard. The educational material is placed so low that you have to squat or a chair to be able to take part in it. The assistant professor Per Drougge, who has curated, takes it very badly. He tells Länstidningen 19.9-1973, that it was a deliberate move to put the pedagogical part so low, so that it would not interfere with the exhibition itself. The material came in boxes without instructions.
-I have made the best possible of the material, he says. It is presumptuous to demand more from such a small exhibition.
The posters that were sent to the art gallery to be distributed in the municipality have stayed in the art gallery. A shape of a rainbow has been made of the posters as a kind of entrance, which the artists describe as the organizer “celebrating an orgy in tastelessness”.
Drougge and Högestätt respond that the small exhibitions are always hung on the ground floor, which usually arouses criticism from exhibiting artists. On the upper level, a larger exhibition with Fritz Sjöström hangs at the same time. It is the more attractive part of the art gallery. The positive ones as a whole, they state, are that the criticism may lead to the debate about the need for a new art gallery gaining momentum again. What you currently live in is an old car park, the graphics room is the former warehouse. As for the posters, it is said that there has been no money for distribution. There have not even been posters out for Fritz Sjöström’s exhibition. Per Drougge thinks he has done the best possible based on the conditions that have existed and that the rainbow entrance with posters aimed to function as an eye-catcher. Högestätt supports and agrees.
-I think it is a festive entrance to the exhibition. If it is tasteless, I leave it to the individual to decide. Says Drougge.
-By the way, I believe that these five artists have no further to Södertälje than they could attend the hanging. But they were apparently not so interested in getting it arranged as they wanted.
The five Stockholm-based artists and their side advise those interested in art to ignore the exhibition in Södertälje and instead go to Norrköping’s museum. The exhibition may remain until the end date. The art gallery has the police on its side, and an intervention before the end of the exhibition is tantamount to theft.
Sources: Södertälje konsthalls archive folder, text and compilation Anneli Karlsson