Institutet is a continuation of former group Teater Terrier, which was started by four actors in 2000. In 2008 the group changed its name and also aesthetic direction and Anders Carlsson became the artistic director. Institutet had a theatre venue in central Malmö and was funded by the Swedish state, the region of Skåne and the city of Malmö.
In 2007/2008 Institutet began an open minded and quite daring work that aimed to investigate the critical potential/limitations of the theatre event. Fuelled by a radical theoretical approach in a Freudian-Marxist tradition, Institutet began to challenge its immediate context and to formulate uncomfortable questions performatively in the work. Audience participated in social sculptures; media were activated as part of the ”symptom” and the cultural policies of Sweden were considered as a dictate and a limitation to what is possible in a theatre venues.
Instead of the commonplace identification with, or representation of the victim (i. e. any possible incarnation of ’the other’), Institutet decided to play a reversed game and the name of the group is also reflecting this important shift of perspective. As ”The Institute” the work could focus on the structural problems instead of inventing superficial or utopic remedies for the same problems.
In this spirit Institutet launched the project ”The rise and fall of the Roman Empire” 2008 in the format of a series of club-performances, which during an intense but short time vitalized and gathered Malmö’s underground in a theatre space. The 7-hour long performances caused attention nationally due to scandalizing media and due to an open conflict with the municipality of Malmö city. The city wanted to censor Institutet‘s performance and succeeded by means of withdrawing funds and breaking the contract for the venue.
Because of these events, Institutet had to establish itself internationally to secure its autonomy and to defend its freedom of artistic expression. Swedish arts council and Region of Skåne have supported this development.
The starting point for Institutet‘s internationalization was to arrange a demo-festival that invited ten European artists/collectives to react on the theme “real action”. The festival “MIT–DEMO 08” was a pilot for a possible future theatre festival in Malmö, but became the network in which Institutet started to stimulate coproduction and exchange internationally.
Today Institutet‘s activities are based on international exchange, with a certain focus along the axis Berlin-Malmö and works in cooperation with other artistic groups and venues in the Nordic countries, in Germany, France and Switzerland.