Jan Svenungsson

Dellbrügge & de Moll. "Interview",

in: Artist Migration Berlin, Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg, 2006

What's your name?
My name is Jan Svenungsson.

Where do you come from?
From Sweden, most recently from Stockholm.

What is your held of work?
I like the English expression "visual artist".

When did you come to Berlin?
I got a grant for Künstlerhaus Bethanien in 1995, a one year studio grant.

Why did you come?
Because of my studio grant.

What expectations did you have?
I was excited about the idea of working in a big city and also that the city was to be on the continent, not in Scandinavia.

 Have your expectations been realized?
Yes, I'm still here.

How do you make a living?
With art. I make projects, I teach sometimes, I sell things.

How do you evaluate the standard of living in Berlin?
It is in some ways easier to live in Berlin, because certain things are less expensive than in Stockholm, and I guess that's one reason why I'm still here.

What does it mean for your career to live in Berlin?
I hope it's good.

Have you become an insider of the Berlin art scene?
I know some key persons, but I would not consider myself an extreme insider. I like to be an outsider.

How did you connect?
As an artist you need friends. Some friends are more interesting than others. They may lead you to more interesting friends. And after a while you have some network.

Are you an insider of the art scene at home?
I guess I still am an insider in Sweden. E-mail was something that just started at about the time I came to Berlin.

Have you started a public initiative?
A long time ago I had a band. We made music and concerts and some records. But apart from that, I guess the fact that I have a career as a free visual artist is a public initiative.

What status do artists have in your home country?
It depends on the artists.

What status do artists have in Berlin?
I don't see a difference.

Where will you go from here?
I don't know.