YES! Association/Föreningen JA! (2005-ongoing) is an art collective, an institution, an art worker, a group of people working to overthrow the ruling system of heteronormative, patriarchal, racist, and capitalist power structures by putting into practice a structural redistribution of access to financial resources, space and time within the art scene.
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YES! Association/Föreningen JA! was founded in 2005 by Malin Arnell, Johanna Gustavsson, Line S Karlström, Anna Linder and Fia-Stina Sandlund in connection with the exhibition Art Feminism – Strategies and Consequences in Sweden from the 1970s to the Present. At the exhibition opening, YES! Association/Föreningen performed the work Press Conference/Performance in which they presented gender-separated statistics for the institutions responsible for the exhibition. Towards the end of the press conference, the institutions were invited to sign YES! Association/Föreningen JA!’s Equality Agreement. All institutions declined unanimously.
Today, YES! Association/Föreningen JA! is run primarily by Åsa Elzén and Malin Arnell, with provisional project committees. The agreement has been reformulated and renegotiated and now exists in several versions, all aimed at promoting social diversity in the field of art.
In their works YES! Association/Föreningen JA! explores fiction, enactments and performance. Recently they have taken Augusto Boal’s forum theatre as a starting point, using fiction as a preparation for the future. One of the fundamental concepts is to rehearse a certain situation, and thereby gaining experience and skills that can be applied in a future “real-life” situation. The activities of YES! Association/Föreningen JA! focus on issues relating to how we can name and use identity categories (sex/gender, ethnicity/”race”, sexuality and class) for the purpose of emancipation, without reproducing the prevailing discriminatory power structures yet again.