Becoming Scandinavian: Migrating Places

Hélène Frichot and Katja Grillner with PhD Students

Project Period: 2012-2014
Type: Affiliated Research Project
Program Area(s): Critical Projections


In their first collaborative work, Anti-Oedipus, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari note in passing the action of becoming-Scandinavian, attributed as a form of prodigious migration and raw intensity. Since their radical and conceptually disorientating book Anti-Oedipus arrived on the French scene in the late sixties, the now well-recognised and perhaps partially exhausted concept of becoming has been transformed by feminist thinkers such as Elizabeth Grosz and Rosi Braidotti. In addition, other associated formulations of becoming, such as becoming-woman, have been critiqued in an attempt to rescue a feminist position from what risks devolving into a masculinist conceptual game.

With an emphasis on the relationship between becoming, conceived as the inherently transformative and political capacity of subjectivities, and place, conceived as that locale which is reinvented with each new occupation, I propose to undertake a series of affective exercises toward becoming-Scandinavian. To do this I will commence from my own, ever-biased position as a writer and architectural critic and theorist, in order to examine my current situation as a newly arrived migrant encountering the Swedish context. I propose to undertake a series of exercises using the essayistic form, installations, as well as documented dialogues with similarly displaced subjectivities in order to track the affective becomings that emerge in the relations between subjectivities and places (including institutional forms). I will follow a ficto-critical approach, a method that the Australian feminist Anna Gibbs has argued emerges out of a peculiarly Australian feminist juncture, influenced by French language philosophers such as Hélène Cixous and Luce Irigaray.

Ficto-criticism conjoins the constructive and creative capacities of criticism with the powers of fiction to inaugurate new affective encounters between peoples, places and things; it employs hybrid genres, mimicry, misappropriations, and engages in a minoratorian politics. The general aim of this project is to further develop the critical studies of architecture through the practice of a ‘writing-architecture’ informed by ficto-critical tactics as a creative mode of resistance, and to extend the repertoire of approaches available to the expanding field of critical spatial practices.

Researcher(s) Bio and Publications

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