u[ntelling] s[tories], (us)

 Social Art Work for Tranås 

Title: u[ntelling] s[tories], (us)

Artist: Mark Rautenbach, Cape Town, South Africa

Media: perfomances/craft Circle, video, photographs and clothing turned in to a yarn monument. (Yarn= Garn och berättelse)

The Yarn monument, containing the stories of the people from Tranås, along with documentation of the circles, will be on show at the library until November.


The performance/craft circle by Mark Rautenbach is a very special way of getting to know each other's stories. It's listening and doing. A simple task creating a togetherness. Cutting up a favorite garment is unraveling a story by itself. As we start this process together we don’t know what we will share. The work of the hand un-telling the stories of ourselves and visually creating a ball of yarn (that could be made into something else). In our case we are, together, creating a ball of the specific time we are in, a collaborative monument. The more circles we do the bigger the ball gets. We are all part of it hence this the fabric we have touched is only our own. Then they are linked together in to a shape and pattern. The process of doing this is a private space but since we are documenting the process it also in parts become public something we can share in the gallery space and on social media. Each group experience an exchange between old and new friendship and explores the dynamics of being present in the space and in the body. As material is produced the artwork starts to evolve in its material form. The ball gets bigger and bigger with each circle. The time-frame dedicated to this is between the Swedish summer and the South African winter. Or between summer solstice and winter solstice and the reversed in the times zone I'm in here in Cape Town. It’s an intimate discovery process of stories, thoughts and emotions. Deconstructing one object forming another. It’s letting go and creating. It is connecting Tranås and Cape Town but also different community members in Tranås. Together we are creating a tangible memory of this specific time.



June 18th - September 21st
, Performances
Lead by Mark Rautenbach
Venue: various homes and Zoom video

October 21st, Collective Performances (date and time to be announced)

Bindiing the individual balls of yarn into the monumental ball of yarn.
Venue: Public Library and Smatten Gallery, Tranås

October 21st, inaguration, artist talk.
Video from artist talk >>>

October 21st - Nov 15th , Exhibition
Venuel: Smatten, Next to the library Tranås
Installationviews + video >>>

The artist was planned to spend 5 weeks in Tranås april/may 2020 to do explotative performances toghether with the people of Tranås.

The adaption of the project, presented on this page, is due to the pandemic wave sweeping the world in the spring of 2020. More about the artists and original proposal. >>>


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 >>>

 DISTANCIO Concept Note 

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.

”Art is used to navigate ways through the dis-location and tensions arising from globalization and its chafing the local. Bring some discarded article of clothing that might hold significance for you or holds memory of a particular time. Although the meetings are called performances, they are more like craft-circles where people feel relaxed and chatty. A comfortable warm space.Tea and tasty carb-type edibles are highly recommended.”

- Mark Rautenbach

 Performance via Zoom/Craft-Circles 

The performances are open to anyone* in the municipallity of Tranås who  wants to explore and contribute to the artwork . The invitation travells word to mouth and at anytime between June and September you can get  your invitation from a friend. The more people participating the bigger the ball of yarn will be and the exhibition at Smatten will be richer!  

*Disclaimer: the process is designed to be  with-in  the current Covid-19  regulations.

As you have an invitation, date and place, please bring: 
1) A used article of clothing that you are willing to donate to the project.
This garment may hold some memories or story; can be anything from a sock to a t-shirt.  
2) A pair of scissors
3) Some tasty refreshments

 Framework u[ntelling] s[tories], (us) 

 The performances are scheduled meetings taking the form of relaxed ‘craft-circles’ in people's homes. Participants bring an article of used clothing that they are willing to cut up, and a pair of scissors. The venue will need some work surfaces and tasty refreshments.

  1. The performance is initiated by Mark Rautenbach, in Cape Town, South Africa. He starts the ball rolling; begins the initial yarn making and binding the yarn into a ball. The ball is posted to Tranås.

  2. The participants in the first meeting in Tranås, make yarn and bind their stories/yarn onto the ball, Mark facilitates via Zoom. The ball grows in size.

  3. These four participants each form their own groups by inviting people they know, for the next set of meetings.

  4. The next set of meetings are scheduled to take place sequentially. Mark Zooms in at each meeting. The ball of yarn GROWS!

  5. Members from these four meetings then form their own meetings. Sequentially scheduling times with Mark. The meetings therefore grow and expand exponentially, through word of mouth. The ball of yarn grows along with them.

  6. The first performance begins at the Summer Solstice 19 June. The craft-circles continue until the Autumn Equinox on 21 September.

  7. The Yarn monument, containing the stories of the people from Tranås, along with documentation of the circles, will be on show at the library until November.

  8. From October until the Winter Solstice, 21 December, the monument will tour and rest in various public spaces through-out Tranås.

If you want to reach the artist use the form below or e-mail:  us @ distancio.se

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