The Stockholm workshop took place in January 2009. Loulou Cherinet, Juan Pedro Fabra and Michele Masucci were the hosts of the Stockholm Syndrome 2009 workshop, the venue was the extremely beautifully located House Number 28 at Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm. Participants from Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, London and Zürich had the wonderful pleasure at spending three days with the most majestically impressive view of the city and the ocean. But there was a snag. The project was after all called “The Stockholm Syndrome 2009” and all participants were thus taken hostage and were not allowed to leave the space during the event.

Day 1: Juan Pedro Fabra; one of the hosts of the Stockholm Syndrome workshop looking at one of Christoph Lang’s contributions to the weekend’s video shoots. The organisers had arranged an event where each participant was asked to formulate an imaginary artwork and retell it while being video filmed. Each person in workshop then reformulated the work once a day during the 3 day workshop. In the end the organisers had collected a whole exhibition of imaginary works that can be reformulated into various formations.

The idea for this workshop came from intellectual political prisoners in South America in the 1970’s. To relax and pass the time, they would on a weekly basis organise film evenings where a person would retell a film that he or she had seen and loved. According to hearsay inmates found that the version of any given film retold in gaol far outshined the experience of seeing the original film afterwards. So, seeing the real “Seven Samurais” actually proved to be inferior to hearing retold in the prison cell.

Day 2: Adrienne Drake, Christoph Lang and Siri Peyer reading up and getting ready for another film screening. An important aspect of the event was looking at films that connected to the idea of being taken hostage and particularly how this is portrayed/received/regurgitated in the media. Loulou Cherinet and Jean Pedro Fabra had made a video list for the participants to watch; Grizzly Man by Werner Herzog; Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army by Robert Stone; Robinson Crusoe on Mars by Byron Haskin and dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y by Johan Grimonprez.

Antonio Venti performing his fantastic imaginary artwork. He started by contextualising the fact that answering the phone with “pronto” was an invention of Benito Mussolini that has remained popular among Italians, he created a marvellous performance that was both funny and politically sharp. He described the situation where he lives in Rome in a neighbourhood that is entirely Chinese and how he envisioned an artwork that took full use of the cultural meeting. His story was continuously interrupted by phone calls on his mobile phone and he answered “pronto mama.”

Everybody is chipping in and helping out. The hostage proved that an excellent dinner can be prepared even when you have been stripped of your liberty and the facilities are minimal. The group ate wonderfully throughout the workshop.

Under the Geneva Convention any hostage in any situation has the right to drink sparkling wine. The Stockholm Syndrome organisers dutifully followed this tradition. Here they can be seen playing loud opera music while opening a bottle of spoumante.

Maki Suzuki of Åbäke and Christoph Lang of Value are working out an escape route from the vault and figuring out what to say in case the Prime Minister will call.

Kajsa Ståhl, a quarter of Åbäke. Please note the specially design IKEA mattresses that had been delivered to the vault for the participants to sleep on.

The Stockholm Syndrome disco ball a central player in the events of Saturday evening as members of the local art community joined in.

A recurring event during Vision Forum 2008, were the L&L drinks by Lisa Boström and Louise Nilsson. In Stockholm they outsourced the drink to the local artist Erik Wijkström who realised "A Shelter".

The hostages are let out for a quick breather to experience the L&L drink. By the corner of the house they find the artist. For the project, Erik Wijkström reversed the roles and let the bum be the person who gave the drinks to the people passing by. This is the artists’ point of view and note that true to Swedish traditions the snow started to fall to welcome the guests from afar.

The host Loulou Cherinet and the occupant Erik Wijkström pose, one inside in the shelter, the other outside, both enjoying the increasing snowfall and sub-zero temperature. But hey, it seems that the other hostages preferred being locked up to suffer the vile climatic reality of the Swedish winter.

In minutes the hostages decide to rescue both the shelter and its inhabitant from the cold. They kidnap the whole thing and set up the bar in close proximity to the disco ball.

The building where the Stockholm Syndrome 2009 took place. (Minutes before the whole hostage got snowed in.)