View of “Frederick Kiesler,” 2015.

View of “Frederick Kiesler,” 2015.

Frederick Kiesler

Tensta Konsthall

View of “Frederick Kiesler,” 2015.

The Frederick Kiesler exhibition at Tensta Konsthall was a testing ground for Sweden’s dedication to progressive democracy, and in this spirit, the exhibition sang the anthem of social reform, of things going from foul to fair. The venue is nested in Tensta, a suburban complex of nearly six thousand apartments, which sprang up as a direct result of Sweden’s 1965–74 Miljonprogrammet, or Million Program, an initiative to create a level playing field by giving those living on the social margins a middle-class home, and therefore a meaningful place to live. The konsthall opened in 1998, when Stockholm reigned as Europe’s “Cultural Capital,” and seemed to exemplify the harmonious union of Sweden’s political and artistic ambitions.

Yet while Sweden’s social-democratic vision for both the neighborhood and its konsthall was awash in goodwill—political, social, and cultural—the

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