Arkiv

THE FOREST THAT UNITES

THE FOREST

THAT UNITES

Center For Art And Culture in Chicoutimi, Quebec

30/11-13/1

Dads Head.

My father had a brain tumour in the 1990’s and after his death seven years ago he left me with the X-rays of his brain. The trees are fotografi trove the x ray as if they groove inside my fathers brain. A nerve system that through the trees and fungus connects are countries and as to awakening the spirit of him.

In 2006 the Swedish museum of etnography gave back a totem pole to the Haisla people in north west of Canada. The totem pole was carved out of a tree that the chief of the tribe had

kept as a celebration of the spirit that saved his people. It was stolen ifrom them in 1870, cut down and put in a magasin in Stockholm.

In my work I often deal witt the parts of history that we don’t want to remember. It doesn’t fit the Swedish self image to be the colonising explorer, to steal artefacts from other countries and displayed them in museums.

The image of my father’s brain connects with the skulls stolen by European explorers and scientists, from around the world, also from Canada. In the field of racial biology Sweden had some of the most devoted scientists and ideologists. To take a piece of my father is a way of dealing with our common past as well as my way to bring peace to my very personal past and to my fathers memory.

The forest is a dominant part of Sweden just as in Canada, with large uninhabited areas of forest stretching over much of the country.

Chiqoutimi lies, like Stockholm, in the taiga boreal forest zone, which stretches along the entire northern polar circle from Japan and East Russia, across Scandinavia and Scotland to Canada’s west coast. Fir trees dominate the forest, which is relatively species-poor.

It is not hard to see that this has affected the development of both countries and the paths we have both taken during history. The industrialisation of both of our countries was reliant, for example, upon  exploitation of the forest  and the colonial oppression of indigenous peoples.

In the forest exists both the mythical and the political, the dangerous but beautiful, the ecological and the economic. Embedded in the forest is also the contrast to the city which becomes clearer, the more the gap between city and the rural widens, between what is perceived as the center and what is seen as periphery.

Even how the countries are perceived politically are, in any case, on the surface, similar. They are both seen as liberal, stable and hospitable with well-developed welfare and strong faith in equality and social justice. Beneath the surface, however, there are conflicts with indigenous peoples concerning land and historical oppression, and a long underground smouldering, but increasingly open, flaming racism.

EATING THE OTHER

 

EATING THE OTHER

Oksasenkatu 11 Gallery Helsinki 1-3 Sep

Liminality, video, Alexander Mood

Kebab dreams, video, Dan Lageryd

Tide, soundwork, Jenny Aschenbrenner

When the electrician Harry Beck designed the map for the London railway system, he used an electrical circuit plan as a basic inspiration. Given that our thoughts and impulses are transmitted electrically, the map and the undergrond network stands as a perfect metafor for the nerve system in the city.

The video work consists of two projections of people who are on their way out through the ticket barriers at metro stations Östermalmstorg and Skärholmen, leading up to two distinct parts of Stockholm: a Million-program suburb and the city’s financial center. Like waves of people, they are welling up from the underworld, in slow motion.

(Skärholmen and Östermalmstorg are located at the two ends of the Stockholm socioeconomic spectrum, strictly segregated by the city’s highly segregated housing situation. They are also on the same subway line.)

Cut out adhesive letters spelling Pizza, Kebab, Sushi, Take Away. A graphic semblance of a man in a mustasch serving a pizza. An exotic made up bird on an utopian island. This is what is presented to us in the windows of fast food restaurants across cities in the western world.

The fastfood restaurant is at the same time a place where prejudice is challenged, a place of exploitations and a place of dreams. Exotic dreams of faraway places and exotic food, less exotic dreams of work, of safety and money, of establishing a new life, of financing a move back home, of providing a future for your family.

Today’s surging people form a connection with what those at modernity’s birth tried to understand in their time of rapid change and what this did with the experience of a firm and lasting identity.

A series of fragments from Virigina Woolf’s novel The Waves are woven together now and then, the suburbs and the inner city, elite and exclusion. The same thoughts, the same fears and hopes of rest and security tucked into the quagmire of change.

You can not live outside of the machine for more than maybe half an hour.”

As a motorway noise of colliding sentences, a sea of competing statements, the voices form a sort of chorus, consistent in their search.