Work for Gnosjö 
Title: The Spirit of Gnosjö
Artist: Rui Mourão, Lisbon, Portugal 

Media: Video, 2 ch

Rui Mourão is a video based artist. In DISTANCIO he takes on Gnosjöandan in a personal and collective reading of the phenomena.

Rui Mourão 
 initiated this process in the fall of 2019. Then as he was coming to Gnosjö a second time to really do his work it coincided with the pandemia hitting us all. A different idea emerged to ask the people of Gnosjö to contribute video clips towards and archive from which the artist then would create his work.

One should know it is challenging for any video based artist to let go of the process of being in controll of the body of collected material.  Especially if you work from a methodology at the intersection of art, documentaries  and ethnography. It is without hesitation I can say very few artists  would even take on this endeviour focusing on the almost mythical concept of Gnosjöandan (The Spirit of Gnosjö). A concept very unique emerged in a blend by  entreprenurial,  innovative and religious people in the area around the town of Gnosjö, Sweden. I don´t doubt for a second that the people of Gnosjö takes pride in contributing video clips toward an archive (Jönköpings läns museum)  the very same material forming the raw material for the artist. A selection of the array of video-clips sent in will become a two channel video by artist Rui Mourãu. /AV

Submission is open: June-August
Contact the artist thespiritofgnosjo @ for more information. The video on this page the artist gives you an introduction to his project and some production recommendations for your video clips. Skarmavbild 2020-06-22 kl 124122png
Please keep your phone in horizontal mode as you are filming!

The a submitted material will reside in the collection at Jönköpings County Museum, Jönköping, Sweden.

 Timeline, 2020 
June - August 18th, Collecting material
People of Gnosjö contributes video clips towards an archive of Gnosjo Spirit. The material will be used by artist

August 21th - October 15th production/editing
By August 21st Rui should be able to planing to review the material  and slide in to  editing the raw material in to a two channel video.

Mid October,
Work by all participating artists will be online. In conjuction with this a panel.

Date to be decided, artist talk
Videolink between City Hall Gnosjo and the artist in Lisbon.
(invitation link to be published here)

December 18th,

Screening in public space in Gnosjö, Sweden and in digital showroom on

Mark Rautenbach

based in Cape Town, South Africa, working with Tranås

Rui Mourão

based in Lisbon, Portugal, working with Gnosjö

Oscar  de Carmen & Marinka Bobrikova

based in Cape Town, working with Mullsjö

Melissa Vandenberg

based in Richmond, KY USA, working with Värnamo

See all artist invitations >>>


Tranås, Mullsjö, Gnosjö and Värnamo in Sweden are all part of the regional art project Its co produced between the municipalities and Region Jönköpingslän together with curator Anna Viola Hallberg. The project was initiated in 2018 and has evolved in to a highly relevant topic due to the pandemic time started globally in the spring of 2020. Each artist has formed a town specific project from the curatorial concept of DISTANCIO bringing forward immersive and community-reflective processes. Through their practices the artists evoke aspects of distance in and in-between society and what possibly can create new forms of belonging. By this it takes a stance in a socio-political art context.
DISTANCIO is site, situation and dialogue dependent, it address layers in society that goes beyond the four towns;  Mullsjö, Gnosjö, Tranås and Värnamo. It explores:

- the dynamics and unforeseen relationships within and between different groups in society as well as the concepts of public art and audience. The artist embark upon the crossroads of social art and its potential to interact with and detect political and social contingencies and structures.

- audience, the relation between public space and public sphere and embraces subaltern counter-publics towards social equality, cultural diversity, and participatory democracy. 

"My artistic practice is being developed around the transformative power of art and reflects about the construction of identity and meaning in different cultural contexts. For this socially engaged art project, I'm interested in showing how the so-called "Spirit of Gnosjö" structures, and it's structured by, the people of Gnosjö.
  Crossing conceptual perspectives and poetic video art with a participatory process involving the Gnosjö people (through visual anthropology and documented performative contributions), I want to reveal what is possible to find as a paradoxical link between what is particular and what is universal."

- Rui Mourãu


 Framework The spirit of Gnosjö 

I shall begin with asking people of Gnosjö to use their own cameras (in mobile phones, computers, i-pads or traditional cameras) to film short simple videos (mandatory horizontal framing, with a minimum of 10 seconds and a maximum of 3 minutes, without or with non important dialogues, monologues or voice-over). With those video clips, I challenge people to portray the so-called "Spirit of Gnosjö", in their own way. People can show how they live or feel this "spirit" by filming themselves or another people, the town or their environments (at home, in nature, at work, in leisure time, or as they like). I will specially ask the Gnosjö people to show how they are resisting in the actual covid-19 pandemic context and how the "Spirit of Gnosjö" is present in this difficult moment.
  The multiple short videos will then be collected. On the one hand, a footage archive will be created with all the images, documenting different perspectives according to the workers and/or inhabitants of the town. On the other hand, I will edit a new artistic video using several of those short videos, reframing them in a way that new meanings could appear.
  I am interested in linking the result of this participatory process involving the community with an intuitive sensibility that could reverberate unconscious collective archetypes. As an artist, I intend to be a kind of absent presence, that via online, in another place and time, works like a distant and close figure that crosses linear and non-linear perspectives. This result will depend, first of all, on the willingness of Gnosjö people to show the "spirit" of their own town, and also, in my particular video edition with a strategy, in terms of form, based on the split-screen (where image A + image B are not equal to meaning AB, but rather produces something new, AB + C).
  With this art work, I aim to reflect in a poetic way on the harmonious relations, as well as on tensions, between the individual and the collective, the different and the equal, the ephemeral and the continuous. My idea is to make a symbolic and oneiric approach to how an immaterial thing, such as the so-called "Spirit of Gnosjö" — which is at the same time practical and utopian — embodies and is embodied in a local identity. /RM

If you have questions to the artist please use form below or email Rui Mourão by


With support from: Region Jönköpings län with Mullsjö, Gnosjö, Tranås and Värnamo municipalities.     Curator: Anna Viola Hallberg   Contact: curator @