Title: u [ntelling] s [tories], (us)
Artist: Mark Rautenbach 

Location: the work developed for Tranås 

Material: processed fabric, video-based performance, process images 

Size:   12x0.6x2.10 meters sculpture (varying) + video (1080x1920) 


"For me, it’s about just sitting in the body and working with the body – with my hands – with material matter, not with ‘ideas’ about the self. This approach comes from my interest in identity and the narratives that make us. It’s an important feature of my work that it is so physical and non-verbal while dealing with subjects like gender identity which have so much language around it. This is how I will approach Tranås.”

- Mark Rautenbach, 2018

The concept of showroom was developed in response to the pandemic. The artist's month-long stay in Tranås was canceled and a work for the public space was developed as a hybrid work. On the one hand, there were a number of performances where Rautenbach worked with Transås residents via video link. The material then became the basis for the installation in gallery Smatten. Feel free to upload videos in full screen format.


South African artist Mark Rautenbach lives in Cape Town. He would have worked in Tranås during April-May. Instead, the country and the world were shut down due to the pandemic. A reality that we all had to relate to. The interpersonal distance that DISTANCIO revolves around was given another bottom, created by what came to be called social distancing. But even before that, Mark Rautenbach intended to work with talking about distance and identity through his work. Via video calls, a number of collective performances were carried out partly to collaborate and discuss democracy, inclusion, cultural heritage through art but also to jointly create the material that makes up the sculpture installed in Tranås public spaces. The work was added by Mark Rautenbach inviting to talks from his studio in Cape Town.It became a reflection of the time we are in, of Tranås' future and history. Via Mark Ratuenbach's performance / craft circle, a larger story was revealed at the same time as yarn was produced from the clothes he had brought with him. Stories were woven together.

Further reading about the process >>>

Mark Rautenbach is an artist and textile designer. His practice is in the span between art, craft, design and meditation. Rautenbach explores unconventional (not infrequently recycled) materials. He has an interest in needlework as "a lasting act" and how this is shared with others. This is interwoven into works of art that explore identities and affiliations. Much of Rautenbach's practice takes place as social art with an emphasis on ethical and democratic aspects of South African society. His work is characterized by performance and collective learning situations. In parallel, he has an internship that focuses on studio work. In Tranås, he approached this method through a study of materials and reflections that arose in exchange between Tranås residents and himself, which is then transferred to the installation (sculpture &video).

Rautenbach is a graduate of the University of Natal. Among other things, he has been a teacher at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

DISTANCIO has been developed in collaboration with the cultural administration (varying): Claes Sjökvist and Region Jönköping County: Mike Bode and Märit Lundsten. Collaboration also took place with Epic, Kultivera and Omställning Tranås. Curator: Anna Viola Hallberg

Comments to n slide shows:
1. Sculpture of deconstructed clothes and a video that holds documentation images from the gatherings and Mark Ratutenbach's reflections on identity, Tranås and the special time that prevails.

2. Street view outside gallery Smatten, Tranås. The plant installed for 3 weeks from October 21, 2020.


"For Tranås to receive a South African artist who during his stay will enrich the Tranås area and the region with his art. Mark Rautenbach lives and works in his homeland, from Tranås measured about 1,010 km by bird or 1,570 km by car, so who will not be curious and impatient? "

- Claes Sjökvist, Kultursekreterare, Tranås, 2018



Contact: curator@distancio.se