A Temporary Roof
A Temporary Roof Processes
A significant aspect of the MFA: Fine Art Programme at Valand Academy has been its commitment to examining the complexities and challenges that contextual praxis, through the development and realisation of live projects that interface with specific sites, bring to the contemporary practitioner and to art education. Recent initiatives have included: Field Office, engaging with artist-run initiatives and visual arts infrastructure during the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (2012); the politics of situating contemporary art relationally to cultural heritage sites with the exhibition, As if Silence(s) at the Tjolöholm castle in association with the EU initiative In-Site (2013); and now in 2014 with A Temporary Roof the first year students in the programme have developed an exhibition at an abandoned schoolhouse in the quasi-rural context of the village of Kalv. These projects bring significant challenges—ideological, aesthetic and logistical—some of which are predictable and others which only become identifiable through the specificities of the processes employed by the particular artists involved from their individual and collective perspectives, sensibilities and approaches to the uncertainties, reservations and opportunities that such projects stimulate. In accepting the offer, made by businessman and philanthropist Bob Kelly, to develop an exhibition at this schoolhouse that may inform how the future of the building may house art and artists, lead educator Sara Jordenö and the thirteen students involved have inevitably had to confront a series of challenges, which have been stimulated
by questioning: how may such a number of artists from multi-perspectival positions respond to, enter, revoke, affect or resist the histories or contemporary dynamics of the given situation and consequently reveal the multiplicities of methods that may be employed to conceive of an exhibition for a complex site for which an art-related future is simultaneously being sought? When the shift occurs, via a process of engaging artists from one site of education—the Academy—to a symbol of educational abandonment—the Kalv svchoolhouse—deeply complex questions arise. Whilst this project and its ensuing exhibition do not provide any determined solution to what the future for the schoolhouse may be it has through the processes of artists at work identified tensions that are also imperative to the potential for contemporary art to inform rurality. With its rural site, limited transport infrastructure, nonwhite cube or gallery status, shifting economic status and small populous with the particularities of its histories, the context of Kalv has required these artists to think through: what modes of spectatorship may be catalysed and what this means in qualitative, quantitative, experiential and temporal terms when the city becomes the periphery and the site of the exhibition is complex to reach? How is the effort involved to be calibrated when generic models of exhibition-making and their durations may be invalidated through the characteristics of the site and other logistical challenges? What exertions can—or perhaps more accurately should—an artist make to work beyond the existing precedents on which their practices
Fore are predicated (practice as a site)? How are methods to be identified that affect prioritisation between the historic, social, cultural, economic, physical, aesthetic and discursive possibilities when approaching these challenges as artists, in ways that consequently articulate what scenarios of accountability have been read as justifiable and which are to be resisted? Through working creatively, critically, indignantly and with the necessary flexibility to also self-challenge and co-challenge, this project has produced an extraordinarily compelling exhibition that reveals multiple methods and approaches by which this site can be approached, reconsidered and re-constituted by art from the diverse understandings of these thirteen artists’ relations to the interface of site and praxis. The process of developing A Temporary Roof has engaged educators, students, partners, community representatives, local politicians, residents and workers and bureaucrats. Faculty member Sara Jordenö has led this project on behalf of the MFA: Fine Art programme at Valand Academy and with the energy, curiosity and criticality of its studentship has worked towards an exhibition that may not seek to resolve all of the challenges I have alluded to, but which has been an inquiry-driven approach towards the cultivation of these questions. The thirteen students involved have originated processes, determined routes of responding to and affecting context whilst ensuring the demand to critically engage is met whilst producing a group exhibition and individual works that have been re-determined from its incentivising moment of relinquishment
to a new situation of artistic affect. On behalf of the MFA: Fine Art programme, the Fine Art Unit and Valand Academy, I wish to equally congratulate lecturer Sara Jordenö with students Britt Anderson, Maria Gordana Belić, Kanchan Burathoki, Matilda Enegren, Amanda Hart, Laura Hatfield, Martin Hultén, Peter Kädergård, Alanna Lynch, Bergthor Morthens, Emelie Sjunnesson, Mourl Ferryman and Azadeh Esmaili Zaghi for their determination, insight and artful contributions to thinking through the issues at play and then materialising works that aesthetically and intellectually respond to what exhibition-making may mean by providing A Temporary Roof, an exhibition with a publication which simply would not have occurred otherwise. These contextual initiatives instigate and require multiple forms of support—financial, knowledge-driven, temporal, experiential and skill-based. I am grateful to all who have supported this work and to Bob Kelly for his initial invitation and support of this initiative through providing financial support and access to the Kalv Schoolhouse and for introducing us to many of the other agents who have made this possible. I am indebted also to all of our colleagues in the Fine Art Unit at Valand Academy— educators, administrators and technicians alike—for the continued labour, effort and support that they provide, which allows the programme and its studentship to undertake projects of this nature. Jason E. Bowman
Master of Fine Art: Fine Art Programme Leader Head of Subject: Fine Art University of Gothenburg Valand Academy
Then There You Are, Left Alone With Your Thoughts
The first time we visit Kalv, we walk through 30 cm deep untouched snow up to the door to the old schoolhouse. The last pupils left in 2008, when the group had shrunk to 18 students and the school was closed down. The absence of footsteps in the snow in the yard, the empty rows of hooks in the hallways, the gym with equipment ready to be used, it all speaks of absence. Upstairs: the science room, with its glass cabinets filled with stuffed birds and obsolete audio-visual equipment. By the blackboards maps hang ready for instruction, but showing countries that no longer exist. Later Matilda will find bottles of ink, neatly labeled, half full. We discover that the floors in each room, even the staircases, are covered with dead flies. Alanna sweeps them up, neatly collecting them in plastic cups. There is something tender in they way she handles them. This is a building in suspense, I think, it’s waiting to be used by someone (other than the flies). We are all a bit puzzled how to work here as artists. It is a lot of responsibility to find a new purpose for the building. Is our role to look to the future or to the past? To interpret or to suggest? A few weeks earlier: lunch at a reput able restaurant in Gothenburg with Bob Kelly, the businessman and philanthropist who bought the school with the intention to develop a center for art and health in Kalv. Bob brings a book about Black Mountain College to our meeting. This famous school in rural North
Carolina, built by a community of artists, musicians and writers who put the arts in the center of the education, is Bob’s blueprint vision for the school in Kalv. I think about this legendary place, which became so important for the American avant-garde. At Black Mountain College the first attempts were made to construct Buckminister Fuller’s geodesic dome. John Cage staged his first happenings. Bob talks about Kalv, the potential, the engaged inhabitants, and the landscape. He says: It is winter now, but wait until the summer. It is beautiful. That first day in Kalv the landscape appears in different shades of grey and white. As we stumble out on the lake our footsteps reveal dark black glassy ice underneath the snow. We stand there clinging to each other, a group of 14 people waiting to have our picture taken. I feel anxious that the ice will break under our feet, that nature will fail us. Our guide from Svenljunga Municipality, Fredrik Dahl, says: Come on, Sara, you are from Norrland! You know the ice will not break! It is true; I am from a small rural area not so different from Kalv. But in reality, I am in state of cultural shock. I have recently returned to Sweden after living more than a third of my life in large American cities like Los Angeles and New York City. Through the negotiations involved with bringing my American partner here, I got a small sense what it entails to be, as the government calls it, newly arrived. Fredrik tells us about a failed attempt
at integration in Kalv. The municipality paid for buses of people from overpopulated Bergsjön, to encourage them to move to Kalv. Not a single person wanted to move. Our driver hums recognition upon hearing this story. The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) employs the bus company he works for. Several times he has driven groups of newly arrived asylum seekers that are to be placed in rural areas by Migrationsverket. In these instances there is no choice in the matter. I imagine these people’s journey from the cities to the rural, to areas that slowly but steadily have lost its population the past 100 years. It is a reverse motion. To be placed somewhere, perhaps against your will. No language classes, no cafés or restaurants. Limited transport infrastructure, maybe a bus or two a day. Our driver concludes: And then there you are, alone with your thoughts. Later Mourl will insert images of her body in photographic representations of the landscape found in a tourism publication for the areas surrounding Kalv. There are images of a moose, of fields, of lakes. Her scissors cutting into those images, peeling them open. Back in Gothenburg, the energy is low in the group. Laura sends me a picture of the burning geodesic dome of Montreal Expo ‘67 and writes: Kalv weighs heavily on my mind. After a particularly uninspired day, Azadeh says: We should make a d inner there. Food is important. An idea emerges: we will invite the inhabitants
of Kalv to the dinner, to establish a point of contact between them and us. But who lives in Kalv? We realize we do not really know. How do we reach the 380 inhabitants, how to reach through demographical data? We decide to stay the weekend in Kalv this time, to see what happens. It is March, the snow and ice are now gone, and the landscape has started to come to life. We have brought our kids and as we spill out from the buses with our groceries and bags, a little boy appears, attracted to the sound of other children. This is how we meet Mahmoud and Sepideh, a family from Tehran who is waiting for permission to stay in Sweden. Migrationsverket placed them in an apartment in Kalv. They become our only local guests at the dinner, but it is alright. It is a beautiful gathering. The next day Mahmoud and Sepideh surprise us with freshly baked pastries. The children activate the school, taking it into possession. Throughout the weekend a phone signal sounds in the building, but we never find the source. A new generation of flies has been born and died on the windowsills and floors. Alanna carefully collect them into plastic cups. Before we leave to go back to Gothenburg, we take another group picture, and something about the situation makes me think of the utopian idea of communal living and its dark counterpart, the cult. I think about artists moving out to the countryside. Drop City in Colorado, an artist community dominated
by internal conflicts. Before the community was dismantled, the participants of Drop City were able to construct a number of geodesic domes, the last of which remained until the late 1990s. In the university library I find a little book by Öyvind Fahlström, a series of essays reflecting life, art and politics. The last text is called “2070. Notes for a utopia conference”. It is written in 1969 and consists of a set of suggestions for how life will be in 2070. Some of these ideas are still being put forward on the political arena in Sweden today, such as citizen salary (medborgarlön). Others are far from realization: according to Fahlström, in 2070 politicians have become obsolete. Regular people (The People?) have taken over their tasks and everyone is equally involved with political decisions. Fahlström imagines that people in 2070 have escaped the city for rural areas and live in extended families. To prevent a sense of isolation, Fahlström argues, the commune should always have a number of guests visiting: artists, foreigners, and outsiders. I think about how this development has not happened yet. Suddenly, six weeks before the exhibition, there is a shift in our perception of the schoolhouse. We have become invested in the project. Amanda is dyeing fabric and uses it as a backdrop for video portraits of the participants. Kanchan is excavating a poetic text into the schoolyard grounds. Maria plans a cosmic change. I decide that we do not have to solve
the problem of what to do with the old schoolhouse in Kalv. As the educational leader of this project I wanted the participants to strategically embrace the notion of failure, and to explore possibilities in the spaces between intention and realization. In her text, Laura suggests that the schoolhouse can constitute a temporary roof for a number of various endeavors. A Temporary Roof. This becomes our title. Sara Jordenö
Junior Lecturer Fine Art University of Gothenburg Valand Academy
Image credits: The Black Mountain College Bulletin, 1945. UNC Asheville, Special Collections and Black Mountain College Museum and Art Center Kalv, 2014. Photograph by Bergthor Mortens Spread from Om Livskonst O.A, 1970. Öyvind Fahlström, Bonniers
On the first visit to Kalv in January, we is from the 1962 book by Edwin Way found dead flies all over the building on Teale, noted photographer and naturalist, the floors and windowsills in every room. The Strange Lives of Familiar Insects. I collected these and counted them: 312. On the next visit at the beginning … [This is] the spirit in which we used to of March, there were even more dead regard the house-fly. A few of them were nice flies, but also some live ones buzzing at things to have around to make things seem the window. When visiting once again at “homelike.” Of course they sometimes became the end of March there were still more too friendly during the early morning hours flies, but less than before. In the attic, when we were trying to take just one more we d iscovered the source, thousands of little nap or they were sometimes too insistent dead flies on the floor and hundreds of for their portion of the dinner after it had been live ones, buzzing at the window. What placed on the table, but a screen over the bed was the cause of this situation? What would help us out a little in the morning and are the flies feeding on? What is in the a long fly-brush cut from a tree in the yard attic? or made of strips of paper tacked to a stick The following week a report came back or, still more fancy, made of long peacock from Kalv: all the flies in the attic were plumes, would help to drive them from the dead. table. Those that were knocked into the coffee Throughout my visits to Kalv, I have or the cream could be fished out; those that collected all the dead flies that I could went into the soup or the hash were never from the main floors of the schoolhouse, missed! choosing not to touch those in the attic Not only were the flies regarded as for health concerns. This lead me to splendid things with which to amuse the baby, investigate the life cycle of the housefly but they were thought to be very useful as and to attempt to hypothesize the cause scavengers as they were often seen feeding of the scene at the Kalv schoolhouse. on all kinds of refuse in the yard. Then, too, I have selected two passages from they seemed to be cleanly little things, for the scientific literature of the past that almost any time some of them could be seen reflect both the way houseflies have brushing their heads and bodies with their been viewed and some interesting facts legs and evidently having a good clean-up. about their consequences for humans. More than that it never occurred to us that The first excerpts are from the 1910 it would be possible to get rid of them even book by Rennie W. Doane, professor of should it be thought advisable, for they came Biology at Stanford University and piofrom “out doors,” and who could kill all the neer in the area of economic entomolflies “out doors”? ogy, Insects and Diseases: A Popular AcFortunately, or otherwise, these halcyon count of the Way in Which Insects may days have gone by and the common, innoSpread or Cause some of our Common cent, friendly little house-fly is now an outcast Diseases. The second set of excerpts convicted of many crimes and accused of a
long list of others. Its former friends have become its sworn
produce shivers in any susceptible reader.
enemies. The foremost entomologist of the
… The fact that a housefly is a hairy insect
land has suggested that we even change its
and that it has sticky pads on the bottoms of
name and give it one that would be more
its feet, which aid it in walking up window-
suggestive of the abhorence [sic] with which
panes and on the ceilings of rooms; the fact
we now look upon it.
that it is active and far-ranging; the fact that it
And all these changes have come about because science has turned the microscope
is filled insatiable curiosity, all make it a greater menace to human health than it otherwise
on the house-fly and men have studied its
would be. Most of the germs it transports ride
habits. We know now that as the fly is “tickling
of the hairs of its body or the sticky pads of its
baby’s nose” it may be spreading there where
they may be inhaled or where they may
and bubonic plague. It is a list calculated to
… A housefly that is here today may be
be taken into the baby’s mouth thousands
as far as thirteen miles away on a later day.
of germs some of which may cause some
Marked flies have shown that these insects
serious disease. We know that as they are
are always on the move. And during its travels
buzzing about our faces while we are trying
it goes slumming whenever possible. Stables,
to sleep they may, unwittingly, be in the same
outhouses, the carcasses of decaying animals,
nefarious business, and we know that as
garbage pails, and sewage plants are all highly
they sip from our cups with us or bathe in our
to its liking. The germs accumulated along the
coffee or our soup or walk daintily over our
way are dropped off en route, oftentimes on
beefsteak or frosted cake they are leaving
and around food.
behind a trail of filth and bacteria, and we
… The generations of houseflies follow
know that some of these germs may be and
each other rapidly. It is the combination of
often are the cause of some of our common
a short life cycle and immense individual
families which makes the housefly increase so abundantly. In Massachusetts, a generation of houseflies will mature, under favorable conditions,
… The housefly is an insect villain with hardly
in about fourteen days. In Washington, D.C.,
a drop of redeeming virtue. It is a lover of
ten days is sufficient. Higher temperatures
pollution and filth and it provides a transport
and plentiful food shorten the maturing time
ation system for a whole army of germs.
for the flies. In the latitude of Washington, Dr.
Millions of bacteria and protozoa ride about
Leland O. Howard reports, it is possible to
on the bodies of flies. Scientists who have
have as many as fourteen generations of flies
examined these insects microscopically have
in one summer. The maximum for Massachu-
found on them germs and pathogens of such
setts is given as eight.
dreaded diseases as Asiatic cholera, amoebic
But even by the eighth generation, a
dysentery, typhoid fever, diarrhea, tuberculo-
housefly which originally laid only 100 eggs
sis, leprosy, gonorrhea, erysipelas, gangrene,
and had only half of them hatch into females
could, under ideal conditions, be the progenitor of 1,875,000,000,000 adults. Even more spectacular are the figures compiled by Prof. C. F. Hodge, during the excitement of the anti-fly campaigns of some decades ago. He showed that a single pair of houseflies, which began to reproduce in April, could, if all the flies lived, be the progenitors by August of 191,010,000,000,000,000,000 adults. He dramatized these figures still further by allowing one-eighth cubic inch for each fly and calculating the space the insects would take up. The descendants of this one pair of houseflies, he reported, would be sufficient to cover the earth with a layer more than three stories high! Doane, Rennie W. Insects and Diseases: A Popular Account of the Way in Which Insects may Spread or Cause some of our Common Diseases. London: Constable & Company. 1910, 57–59. Accessed from http://www.gutenberg.org/ files/28177/28177-h/28177-h.htm#CHAPTER_V Historical Society of Standford University. Memorial Resolution: Rennie W. Doane. (n.d.) Accessed from http://historicalsociety. stanford.edu/pdfmem/DoaneR.pdf Teale, Edwin Way. “The Life of the Housefly”. In The Strange Lives of Familiar Insects. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1962, 152–153, 157–158. Accessed from http://babel.hathitrust.org/ cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015066112759;view=1up;seq=184
Excerpt from an interview between Alanna Lynch & Laura Hatfield from 20 March 2014 Alanna Lynch: Can you briefly outline and explain your proposed project?
people speak more of visual culture or the social histories of art thanks to post- modern scholars who have challenged Laura Hatfield: I will make an installagrand narratives through decolonized, tion of a slide lecture in a classroom in feminist and queer revisionist additions the schoolhouse by photo-documenting to art historical records. This uprooted my oil pastel paintings of abstract empty history of art reigns through the digiplaces on 35 mm slides. The set up for tal age we find ourselves in, as we no the installation will reposition the old longer rely on slide lectures, rather we fashioned art history slide lecture, as pull up digital videos and images online a mode of education relegated to the to crisscross and connect more of a past. I will also include a collaborative rhizomatic narrative of art. sound piece made using an analogue modular synthesizer composed from Alanna Lynch: How does your current the paintings, to fill the room with practice relate to your proposed site an ambient spatial noise, along with specific work at Kalv? amplifying the sound of the projectors. There will be other outmoded projection Laura Hatfield: Even though for the technologies used too, such as an over- past year I have been mainly focusing head projector for displaying a colour on painting and collage, when I have an transparency of an abstract painting by idea for an artwork the medium follows Barnett Newman, and an episcope to the idea, so I have never strictly adhered project an image of the slides as obto a medium-specific practice. Being jects themselves. My aim is to present part of this project has meant that I a retro-futuristic view of educational had to imagine how my recent series practices of the past, using the installa- of paintings could relate to the exhibition as a means to reflect on the biased tion and still make conceptual sense annals of art history, while at the same to me. I am thinking about systems of time representing my recent paintings knowledge that have been relegated to and related research. the past. By using an out-dated mode There is a saying from André Malraux of photo-documentation to present that the history of art is the history of my paintings as though they are part that which can be photographed. Some of an art history lecture, I am able to believe that the use of the slide lectie in a few of my current infatuations: ture in the study of art history shifted documentation as art, revised art histhe perspective on art to an objective torical readings through artistic practice, view focused on the compare and and exhibition making as a form of contrast model. Today we could trace educational praxis. The use of a slide that lineage to the scientification of the projector also relates to the images that arts through the plight of academicized will be projected, in that my paintings artistic research. I think that in relation have often been read as sketches for to contemporary art, “art history” as a light installations much like those of the term has become a bad word. Today light and space movement. Projecting
light through the slide film as an object will transform the paintings into light. I’m also very interested to find out how the paintings will be affected by the projector’s ability to enlarge them—since scale is of interest to me. We often view artworks through reproductions that are completely skewed in size and colour and these works might function in new ways when projected. My overall response to the site in Kalv has been to draw from it what I find meaningful, that is, the potentiality of the empty place that the abandoned schoolhouse represents in my mind. I see it as a temporary roof for a number of various endeavours. I relate this mainly to the notion of radical democracies— the image of the empty place as an unfixed and flexible site of potentiality. I really hope that the schoolhouse stays this way, in its current form of being open to projects but not with a fixed agenda. A number of people are looking to this site in Kalv for its potential. It could house new inhabitants, new life, music festivals, an independent school for the arts! But I’d like to make a plea that we leave the building as it is, don’t rename it, don’t re-institute it, just leave it there, empty. It is perfect in its current state. Each group of temporary inhabitants will come here to find a site that is just waiting for a moment of regeneration. The danger will be if someone solidifies this into a permanent institution, so let’s respect the empty place as a model for democratic potential to reshape, contest, and shift the current moment and evade imposed limitations. Long live this empty place, may it see many shapes and forms.
A lone ly: Reflections on Rurality
does not bring about loneliness if the company you keep is that which is good.
Upon reaching Kalv, the general consensus seemed to be that this place was one which had run out of energy, like a broken-down car deserted along a country road; an empty place of no great interest to the larger world. To me, however, the area seemed bustling with life. There were buildings, fences, sidewalks, paved roads, shops, boats, cabins, a church, and even a hostel. There existed more infrastructure in this place than what I have known from home. Home, a place where the average worker commutes 120 miles per day, where cell phone reception is wishful thinking, where horseback is a viable mode of transportation, where cattle outnumber people 4 to 1, and where the horizon lies uninterrupted for hundreds of miles. I see beauty in the wilderness of the place. Most people tell me that my home is flyover country.
The myth of a rural life is that it is a life which is remote and reclusive. de tached secluded sheltered segregated solitary isolated empty lonesome A life devoid of culture. So say the cultivated urbanites. The only cultivation that the country knows lies buried in the ground.
One notion that looms large is that the rural is geographically isolated from metropolitan areas, and that in turn this geographical isolation leads to other forms of exclusion from mainstream life. In this view, rural communities are intellectually deprived, outside the circulation of current thought, and distanced from culture, economics, and opportunity. Rurality is by definition geographically separate from the urban. But isolation is in the eye of the beholder.
Walking down the road to the schoolhouse, my feet drag along the cracked pavement below. A dusty road emerges from a memory. A school that I knew in youth, now standing on its last legs. Dilapidated by time, fallen into disrepair the walls are chipped away by echoes of laughter resonating through lost hallways. Flies once in swarms lie stilled on the ground, the skeletons of mice preserved in gray lifeless carpet. Desks stand empty of all but dust. Through the door no laughing child will walk. Like so many of its kind eroding with the land. My feet continue ahead, My mind drifts behind.
The urban life demands so much that I am reluctant to give. Distractions, exhaustions, and ceaseless noise are enemies to my thoughts, to sleep, to study, to leisure. The extremes of the city squalor and splendor do not stimulate, but trouble me. Although I value deeply certain elements of society, I would quickly cast them away to have under my feet the grass of the countryside if I had to choose. Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. (Aristotle)
In rural communities, the school still serves as the cultural and social center of town. To do away with the school is to do away with the core.
K eep trying to find a key to the puzzle I find myself inside.
A strange game where I only run from field to field and reflect on the me inside me forever over seeing the me outside me and she ‘aint pretty. These dead whitemen, have me boy by the short and curlies? A nd the joke is I came willingly hell, I even asked for it. I did my upmost to be part of this rhizomatic path in/out to the visual, out/in to the cerebral, spiralling in all directions. How deep is this journey pressed against what my own nature? 24
L onging for a moment of clarity, of unity in the disparate thought and theories that crowd a constant stream behind my closed eyes. I cover them with my hands and scream, “this end always leads to a beginning, a becoming.” I know this and still yearn for summation, but it never works like that does it? V irtuality is a bitch who won’t shift for me he forces me to remain present, to deal, to excavate platitudes. “We are all here to do what we are all here to do.” “The only way to it is through it.” Why Gran! Am I to define a ‘it’ a ‘thing’ I am to do here in KALV?
Field notes My dearest friend,
As I write you, I am thinking back to our hometown. Not far from where you live today. Our little big city that we both call home now has been rapidly expanding beyond its capacity for survival, and has left it a shell of itself. A hundred people move there every day. I wonder at what cost and where they come from. I am writing you from a place that has witnessed its own change of the opposite variety. A Temporary Roof has been offered for us here, to take and make what we will â€Ś a house to explore and borrow and give ourselves over and into. You know, it has been an interesting road arriving at this point. I have enjoyed the drive. I feel good about forgoing the car, but on these special occasions driving reminds me of home, and country drives have always reminded me of my dad. This particular day, I was on my way to my temporary home in Gothenburg after a weekend out here in Kalv. I had a surreal experience along a country road among the tall pinewoods. The ever-present rain a light mist today. It was March and not very cold, as we rounded a bend I was struck by the view of a pristine lake. A view not so unusual
in these parts, they are commonplace in the region. But for me, with eyes accustomed to a drought five years long that has left the land scorched by fire and where was once flowing lakes now lie crusty mud flats with stagnant pools, these Swedish sjĂś are otherworldly. I pulled over the car and take a minute here. I try to snap a photo to somehow capture my feelings. A light fog sat low across the lake. The frequent rain feeds a soft moss that clings to all things filling, your vision with growth. What I was feeling on this drive between here and there, between the rural and the urban was longing. A desire to be there in it, an ache in my chest akin to heartbreak. Rooted within the disconnection from nature that has been forced upon us all in the name of civilization. A tremendous sense of loss for home, the home that is gone, that of my childhood with family members who have long left this earth, of the earth itself. Progressed so far that it can no longer sustain. The heavy cost of people and consumption on this earth and era of ecocide that we all reside within and placidly refuse to acknowledge. This little house, a temporary roof, a remnant, waiting â€Ś
Birds of a Feather Flock Together
What follows are excerpts from a conversation between Martin Hultén and Bergthor Morthens. Bergthor Morthens: This notion of “us and sustaining the community through versus them” seems to have a strong money from outside of the community connection with you, in terms of issues making it dependent on this revenue. of the other, the sense of privilege in The idea of civilizing the country side Sweden and the perception of self and making it serve the urban comes to autonomy in rural areas. How do you mind. You mention artists colonizing an feel this manifests itself in Kalv? This area, do you feel that this is a good thing sense of a divide between the rural and and that giving a place cultural capital the urban is something that is ongoing can bring further development of an in most of the world, do you feel this area? Are you suspicious of this when is a bad thing and can you as an artist this kind of thing is not self-organized do something to shed a light on this among artists? situation? M: I think Sweden has adopted a fairly Martin Hultén: I suppose that having strict doctrine towards the rural in the grown up in a pretty small community past 50 years. Norway, which is close I have a lot of pre-conceptions and in culture and equal in a geopolitical images in my mind. I myself left the sense, has had a long tradition of the rural behind and I think it will be another state subsidizing rural communities, interesting aspect, to investigate my with the clear intent of keeping it alive, own preconceptions in relation to Kalv. despite an otherwise motion towards a The notion of “us vs. them” is a thing more neo-liberal economy. However, in that resonates strong with me, partly Sweden this hasn´t been the case and because I often imagine what life would as a result people have been flocking have been like if I had stayed there. That towards the big cities, leaving the small paradox is something to work with I communities with their increasingly think. What that other is I think is very aging citizens. I think this has increased unclear—Is it the bigger cities, the capi- the feeling of us vs. them. When it tal, the EU, the neighbouring community, comes to the idea of injecting new revethe state? Or is it the perceived cultural nue to these places via cultural projects, elite that the Swedendemocrats (their festivals and so on, I can see how that whole elector base is largely made up of mechanism functions as an artificial rural areas) so frequently use to create life support, an informal mirror of the an other to rally against? politics in Norway but usually initiated by the business community instead, B: The occupation of a terrority through who still have some interest in keeping tourism makes a small community, as a certain community alive. But, as I’m for example Kalv, vulnerable to exploita- fairly skeptical to the idea of constant tion of the tourists who are coming in progress (the essence of capitalism),
I have a hard time seeing how our stride to inject some culture could create any real economic growth or even build bridges between people. B: What happens after this colonization, what happens when the artists leave? I really like this idea of yours of the encroachment of a space, through the rupture of the foundation and the structural failure it can bring to a building. M: Yes, I think it could mediate some of the issues at hand. I think it is problematic to make art in Kalv that we then take with us back. In a way, it would probably have been less problematic if we had the time and resources to make public works in the community instead. F 足 ormally, I definitely think this piece could encompass other symbols of exclusion. When I first came there, I found the school to be in a depressing condition, like someone had violated it. That there had been a rush to transform the space, to give it some new purpose. One aspect that came to mind were the housing for foreign citizens who have just arrived to Sweden, that often 足become placed in old schools, many times run by local entrepreneurs.
Space for the Imaginary: Exploring the gap between fact and fiction
Somewhere between the imaginary and actual realities, oscillating between Utopia and Dystopia, I find a political, social, and cultural space and within which a learning process takes place through encountering new situations. The areas I’ve explored have taken on an imaginary life of their own, superficial knowledge and hearsay constructs an image where reality is blurred and the possibilities for the imaginary are opened up. In this space for the imaginary, layers of different meaning are made to portray a feeling of unease, abandonment, desire and some kind of crisis that has spun out of control. The tension of creating something different raises questions of what could be, might have been, and of what can still be? In the experience of a place, how do you perceive it and where does that perception take you? Harvesting the imaginary from found material, from searching the internet, and from an archive of my own photographs and ideas, I weld it together to create a hyper-real space and condition in which reality and fiction are merged together showing no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins. The result is a portrait of a place wich at the same time can layer several different places that in of themselves seem incompatible, one that tries to reflect on ecological, social and political reality in a globalized capitalist society. Taking into this context the conflict between rural and urban areas, I want to examine how the
city seems to pull everything towards itself, and in this process undermining once-thriving communities. Taking this notion of the pull of the urban subverting it and turning the cityscape into an imaginary dystopia, making the rural utopian. At the extreme end of it I’m pushing the limits of the imaginary to create a scene where the people are being lured to this “utopia”. I went, explored, photographed and experienced first-hand the place as far as you can experience a place in this superficial way. I found myself thinking more and more about a certain atmosphere, and how differently you experience it from the outside—a very stereotypical view. Distance and detachment is something I feel towards these places. Initially I was feeling a bit like an explorer and thought of building an image of these places from information of others, impersonal and detached from my experiences. I started thinking about migration and the places you decide to live in or the places that perhaps are chosen for you to live in. Street names associated with the cosmos took me to the stars; an ominous building looking like a gateway to a different place launched a new set of questions. What makes a place desirable to live in? How do you create the desire and can it be forced on you? When one place is abandoned for another, what are the traces left? What do you take with you, and what do you leave behind?
Azadeh Esmaili Zaghi
Jane Elliott is an American former schoolteacher, recognized most as an anti-racism activist and educator. She is also known for the “blue eyed brown eyed” exercise done with third grade school children in the 1960s. The following conversation is taken from the video Brown eyes and blue eyes Racism experiment (Children Session), available on www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeK759FF84s Jane Elliot: This is a special week. Does anybody know what it is? Children: Brotherhood.
the United States, how are black people treated? How are Indians treated? How are people who are of a different color than we are treated?
Jane Elliot: National Brotherhood Week. Child #2: Like they’re not part of this What’s brotherhood? world. They don’t get anything in this Girl: Be kind to your brothers? world. Jane Elliot: Okay, be kind to your Jane Elliot: Why is that? brothers Child #2: Because they’re a different Boy: like you would like to be treated. color. Jane Elliot: Treat everyone the way you Jane Elliot: Do you think you know how would like to be treated. Treat everyone it would feel to be judged by the color of as though he was your … your skin? Children: Brother
Jane Elliot: Brother. And is there anyone in this United States that we do not treat as our brothers? Children: Yeah Jane Elliot: Who? Children: Black people. Jane Elliot: The black people. Who else? Child #1: Indians?
Children: Yeah Jane Elliot: Do you think you do? No, I don’t think you’d know how that felt unless you had been through it, would you? It might be interesting to judge people today by the color of their eyes, would you like to try this? Children: Yeah! Jane Elliot: Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Since I’m the teacher and I have blue eyes, I think maybe the blue-eyed people should be on top the first day.
Jane Elliot: Absolutely, the Indians. And Jane Elliot: I mean the blue-eyed peowhen you see, when many people see a ple are the better people in this room. black person or a yellow person or a red Boy: Oooh. person, what do they think? Jane Elliot: Oh yes they are … Child #1: Look at that dumb people. blue-eyed people are smarter than Jane Elliot: Look at the dumb people. brown-eyed people. What else do they think sometimes? Children: Oooh. What kind of things do they say about Brian: My dad isn’t that stupid. black people? Jane Elliot: Is your dad brown-eyed? Child #2: They call them Negros, Jane Elliot: In the city, many places in
Jane Elliot: One day you came to school Child #2: Hey, Mrs. Elliott, you better and you told us that he kicked you. keep that on your desk so if the brown people, the brown-eyed people get out Brian: He did. of hand! Jane Elliot: Do you think a blue-eyed Jane Elliot: Oh, you think if the brownfather would kick his son? My dad’s eyed people get out of hand, that would blue-eyed; he’s never kicked me. Ray’s be the thing to use. Who goes first to dad is blue-eyed; he’s never kicked lunch? him. Rex’s dad is blue-eyed; he’s never kicked him. This is a fact. Blue-eyed Children: The blue eyes. people are better than brown-eyed peo- Jane Elliot: The blue-eyed people. No ple. Are you brown-eyed or blue-eyed? brown-eyed people go back for seconds. Brian: Blue.
Blue-eyed people may go back for seconds. Brown-eyed people do not.
Jane Elliot: Why are you shaking your head?
Child: Why not the brown-eyes?
Brian: I don’t know.
Jane Elliot: Don’t you know?
Jane Elliot: Are you sure that you’re right? Why? What makes you sure that you’re right?
Child: They’re not smart.
Brian: I don’t know. Jane Elliot: The blue-eyed people get five extra minutes of recess, while the brown-eyed people have to stay in. Boy: Oooooh. Jane Elliot: The brown-eyed people do not get to use the drinking fountain. You’ll have to use the paper cups. You brown-eyed people are not to play with the blue-eyed people on the playground, because you are not as good as blueeyed people. The brown-eyed people in this room today are going to wear collars. So we can tell from a distance what color your eyes are. On page 127, one hundred twenty seven. Is everyone ready? Everyone … Laurie. Ready? Laurie?
Jane Elliot: Is that the only reason? Child: Afraid they’ll take too much. Jane Elliot: They might take too much. Okay, quietly now … not a sound. Child #1: It seemed like when we were down on the bottom, everything bad was happening to us. Child #2: The way they treated you, you felt like you didn’t even want to try to do anything. Child #3: It seemed like Mrs. Elliott was taking our best friends away from us. Jane Elliot: What happened at recess? Were two of you boys fighting? Children: Russell and John were. Jane Elliot: What happened, John? John: Russell called me names and I hit him. Hit him in the gut.
Child: She’s a brown-eye.
Jane Elliot: What did he call you?
Jane Elliot: She’s a brown-eye. You’ll begin to notice today that we spend a great deal of time waiting for browneyed people. The yardstick’s gone, well okay. I don’t see the yardstick, do you?
John: Brown eyes.
Child #1: It’s probably over there.
Jane Elliot: Did you call him brown eyes? Child #1: They always call us that Child #2: Come here, brown eyes
Child #3: They were calling us blue eyes.
blue-eyed people. That wasn’t true. I lied to you yesterday.
Child #4: I wasn’t.
Child: Ooh boy, here we go again.
Child #5: Sandy and Donna were.
Jane Elliot: The truth is that browneyed people are better than blue-eyed people.
Child #6: Yeah. Jane Elliot: What’s wrong with being called brown eyes?
Child #1: It means that we are stupider and well, not that!
Jane Elliot: Russell, where are your glasses?
Child #2: Oh, that’s just the same way as other people call black people niggers.
Jane Elliot: You forgot them? And what color are your eyes?
Jane Elliot: Is that the reason you hit him, John? Did it help? Did it stop him? Did it make you feel better inside? Make you feel better inside? Did it make you feel better to call him brown eyes? Why do you suppose you called him brown eyes?
Russell: I forgot them.
Russell: Blue. Children: (Laughter) Jane Elliot: Susan Ginder has brown eyes. She didn’t forget her glasses. Russell Ring has blue eyes and what about his glasses?
Child #3: Because he has brown eyes?
Children: He forgot them.
Child: They tease him.
Jane Elliot: The brown-eyed people may take off their collars. And each of you may put your collar on a blue-eyed person. The brown-eyed people get five extra minutes of recess. You blue-eyed people are not allowed to be on the playground equipment at any time. You blue-eyed people are not to play with the brown-eyed people. Brown-eyed people are better than blue-eyed p eople. They are smarter than blue-eyed people and if you don’t believe it, look at Brian. Do blue-eyed people know how to sit in a chair? Very sad! Very very sad! Who can tell me what contraction should be in the first sentence? Go to the board and write this, John. Come on, let’s do
Jane Elliot: He forgot them. Yesterday Jane Elliot: Is that the only reason? He didn’t call him brown eyes yesterday and we were visiting and Greg said, “Boy, I he had brown eyes yesterday. Didn’t he? like to hit my little sister as hard as I can, that’s fun.” What does that tell you about Child: We just started this blue-eyed people? Child #3: yeah, ever since you put those Children: They’re naughty, in fact, they blue things on. fight a lot … Jane Elliot: Oh, is this teasing? Child #3: Nooo! when he did it, it was. Jane Elliot: Were you doing it for fun? To be funny? Or were you doing it to be mean? Child: Mean? Jane Elliot: I don’t know, don’t ask me. Jane Elliot: “I watched what had been marvelous, cooperative, wonderful, thoughtful children turn into nasty, vicious, discriminating, little third- graders in a space of fifteen minutes.” Jane Elliot: Yesterday, I told you that brown-eyed people aren’t as good as
it again, loosen up. Up up up! Come on. That’s better! Now, do you know how to make a W? Okay, write the contraction for we are. Now that’s beautiful writing! Is that better? Children: Yes. Jane Elliot: Brown-eyed people learn fast, don’t they? Children: Yeah. Jane Elliot: Boy, do brown-eyed people learn fast, very good. Greg, what did you do with that cup? Will you please go and get that cup and put your name on it and keep it at your desk. Blue-eyed people are wasteful. Okay. Want to be timed this morning? Children: Yeah 46
Jane Elliot: “We use the card pack, and the children, the brown-eyed children were in the low class the first day and it took them five and a half minutes to get through the card pack. The second day it took them two and a half minutes. The only thing that had changed was the fact that now they were superior people.” Jane Elliot: You went faster than I ever had anyone go through the card pack. Why couldn’t you get them yesterday?
Children: Four minutes and eighteen seconds. Jane Elliot: What happened? Child: Went down. Jane Elliot: Why? What were you thinking of? Child: … Jane Elliot: I hate today. Child #1: You do? I hate it too. Jane Elliot: Because I’m blue-eyed. Child #1: See, I am too. Jane Elliot: It’s not funny, it’s not fun, it’s not pleasant. This is a filthy, nasty word called discrimination. We’re treating people a certain way because they are different from the rest of us. Is that fair? Children: No. Jane Elliot: Nothing fair about it. We didn’t say this was going to be a fair day, did we? Children: No. Jane Elliot: And it isn’t. It’s a horrid day! Okay, you ready? What did you blue people who are wearing blue collars now find out today?
Child #1: I know what they felt like yesterday.
Child #2: I do too.
Jane Elliot: … Oh, and you couldn’t think as well with the collars on. Four minutes and eighteen seconds.
Jane Elliot: How did they feel yesterday?
Child #1: I knew we weren’t going to make it.
Child #2: Yeah like you’re chained up in a prison and they throw the key away.
Child #2: Neither did I.
Child #1: Like a dog on a leash.
Jane Elliot: How long did it take you yesterday?
Jane Elliot: Should the color of some other person’s eyes have anything to do with how you treat them?
Children: Three minutes.
Jane Elliot: Three minutes. How long did it take you today?
Jane Elliot: All right, then should the color of their skin? Children: No.
Jane Elliot: Should you judge people? Children: No. Jane Elliot: By the color of their skin? Children: No. Jane Elliot: You’re going to say that today. And this week and probably all the time you’re in this room. You’ll say, Nooo, Mrs. Elliott …
Jane Elliot: This isn’t an easy way to learn this, is it? Children: No, Mrs. Elliott. Jane Elliot: Oh, will you stop that! Children: (Laughter)
Children: No …
Jane Elliot: Okay, now let’s all sit down here together, blue eyes and brown veyes. Does it make any difference what color your eyes are?
Jane Elliot: Every time I ask that question.
Jane Elliot: Down, girl …
Children: No, Mrs. Elliott.
Jane Elliot: Then when you see a black Jane Elliot: Okay, ready to listen now? man or an Indian or someone walking Okay, now are you back? down in street, are you going to say, “Ha Children: Yes … ! ha ha … look at that silly-looking thing”? Jane Elliot: Does that feel better? Children: No, Mrs. Elliott. Children: Yes … ! Jane Elliot: Does it make any difference Jane Elliot: Does the color of eyes that whether their skin is black or white? you have make any difference in the Children: No. kind of person you are? Jane Elliot: Or yellow? Or red? Children: No, Mrs. Elliott! Children: No.
Jane Elliot: Is that how you decide whether people are good or bad? Children: No. Jane Elliot: Is that what makes people good or bad? Children: No. Jane Elliot: Let’s take these collars off. What would you like to do with them? Children: Throw them away. Jane Elliot: Go ahead! Now you know a little bit more than you knew at the beginning of this week. Children: Yes … a lot … Jane Elliot: Do you know a little bit more than you wanted to? Children: Yes, Mrs. Elliott.
Jane Elliot: Does that feel like being home again, girls? Children: Yes, Mrs. Elliott.
Lördag 29 mars 2014 Våren medför skräck och obehag för människomassa, människomyller. På en toalett i ett köpcenter i Borås är avföring uttrampad på golvet. Mönstret av någons skosula tecknar sig i det ljusbruna bajset. Jag undviker noga att stiga på det. När vi närmar oss Kalv känner vi gödsellukt i bilen. (Pissbrunn, svämmbassäng – vad är det riktiga ordet?) Någon gödslar en åker och jag får hemlängtan när jag ser traktorn. Vi kommer till Kalv för tredje gången. Äter lunch i solen. Jag går på promenad, mår bra. Det är tyst. Verkligen tyst. Trädkrypare ilar kvickt och prasslande upp för trädstammar. 48
Rådjur. Motorsåg. Hackspett. Kanadagås. Svan. Två bilar stannar och tankar vid Handlar’n,spelar hög musik med kraftig bas. Landskapet är nytt för mig. Växlande sumpmark, sjö, kullar, åkermark och betesmark.Varför ser många träd döda ut, och som att de fått grenarna av huggna? Varför är marken på somliga ställen fyllda med runda grästuvor? Är det små stenar där under? Knappt märkbart flyter åarna. Brunt vatten, humusrikt Jag ser en maskin jag inte vet vad den är till för, en slags harva eller ogräsmaskin. Kanske en Kvick Finn,
som drar upp tistel och kvickrot? (Minns hur ordet hektar klingade i mitt huvud när jag var barn.) Jag går först på asfalterad väg, sedan tar jag av upp på en kulle, vidare in i aspskog. Luften är frisk. Jag tittar på de gröna trädstammarna och på det frasande, knastrande ljusbruna lövtäcket. Lila och blått i kvistverken längre bort i horisonten. Tänker på Helene Schjerfbecks målning ‘Skuggan på muren’. Var är högsta punkten i Kalv? Var är vattnet, var är centrum? Jag behöver en karta i mitt huvud. Jag tänker på insjölandskapet i Finland, Akseli Gallen-Kallelas målning ‘Keitele’. Men i Kalvsjön växer träden glesare. Helgmålsringning klockan 18.00. Klämtandet förstärker tystnaden och ödsligheten. Jag samlar asplöv med maskätna hål i och släta pinnar formade av vattnet. Lägger en lite större pinne med fin lav i jackfickan men slänger den i marken efter en stund och tänker att jag borde fokusera på något mera relevant när jag har så ont om tid. Ångrar mig. Plötsligt insektbett. Nariga händer, så torra att de börjar bränna och klia.
Söndag 30 mars 2014 Frukost i solen. Promenad. Jag möter en gammal traktor, föraren hämtar ensilage från en gård och kör bort mot Kalvsjögården. Rödhake. Blåmes. Kajor i flock. Talgoxe. Änder, kan inte urskilja av vilket slag. Tillbaka i skolan hittar jag fyra stora flaskor med bläck. Etiketterna är fina. Jag prövar det ena bläcket på gulnat makulaturpapper. Det skiftar i grönt och är exakt samma färg som vaxtyget jag råkade dra ner ovanifrån katedern. Täcks jag använda det? Från vinden plockar jag ner tunna lådor och prövar arrangera dem två och två, lutar dem mot varandra så att de kan stå upprätt av sig själva. Jag placerar dem i rader framför katedern. – Hur ska man se ut då? Vad säger samhället? – Ja-a, smal, stor rumpa kanske. – Stora bröst, runt ansikte, typ inte för lång inte för kort. – Som en Victoria’s secret modell. – Mellanrum mellan låren, låren får inte gå ihop. The gap. – Vi pratar om det jätte ofta, typ om hur vi ska fixa oss till sommaren. Fixa vårt hår, färga det, fixa ögonfransarna, gå på gym, träna jätte mycket. Så att vi blir perfekta till sommaren. – Man vill ju alltid ha bekräftelse … – Killar ska vilja ha en och tjejer ska vilja vá en.
* Intervju med två 16-åriga tjejer, Studio Ett, P1 Sveriges Radio, 3.3.2014, http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid =1637&artikel=5798784&playaudio=4874145
Many rural communities experience economic difficulties and they have a hard time trying to survive. There are not many farmers left, and the younger population does not want to stay in these areas as they grow up. An important question for these municipalities is how to make people move to these areas and how to make the younger generations stay. A popular approach to this rural death is to brand the area as an attractive nature, tourist, shopping or industrial area. Kalv, as many other communities in similar positions, has developed a vision for the future, a plan for what is important and attractive about their area. I will use this plan as a base for what kind of structures I will assemble in my collage. My idea is not to make a realistic proposal for an attractive Kalv, but rather an unrealistic vision of the future for rural societies in general. I want to raise the viewer’s attention to what it means to brand their area and the dangers of letting it go too far. Perhaps rescuing a small community is not the best thing. One could argue that if no one wants to live there, why should we try to convince people to do so? Some may think we should let these areas die, and remember the good times from the past instead of the artificial breathing of a “struggling to survive community.” Also, if we want the community to be dependent on a larger industry/company for its survival, what will happen in the future when this industry/company
Close to Home
no longer exists in the area. Will the community die again? I can see the same problems arise if we instead want it to be dependent on tourism, which is dependent on trends. Will this trend exist forever or will we face the same problems again? In this collage, I will not only use the ideas for how to make Kalv more attractive, but also use more general ideas of how to make areas like Kalv survive. “Close to home—easy to reach” is the slogan that was used at the Emigration Fair in Utrecht, Netherlands. As a starting point I have analyzed the “Local Plan for Kalv”, a report about future visions and developments for Kalv for the coming 10 years, and made some notes of the most necessary improvements. The vision Population up with 5–10 %, housing, service facilities, businesses, industries, tourism, forest, environment/climate, restricting flooding, public transport. A strong, vital countryside, with villages, small communities that are active and attractive. Stop the out-migration of the younger population. Housing in the south region Houses, apartments, lake view, character of a countryside Industry More businesses, forest and farming, industrial areas, infrastructure for tourism
Nature/Energy Wind power, agricultural land, actions against flooding, foresting in areas with high profit Nature/Recreation Fegen, hunting, berries, mushrooms, tourism, summer cabin area (big area) Culture/Tourism Best location in the municipality, infrastructure for tourism, develop the wildlife preservation, a new entrance to Fegen, coffee shops, nature trails, resting place for canoeists, hotels, housings, food, fishing, canoeing, hiking, mushrooms and berries, nature with high quality. Restore the bathing area by the church. Communication/Infrastructure Public transport, reduce the speed limits to 70km/h or less. Pave the roads with asphalt. Broaden the streets. Too narrow and too sharp turn by the bridge, more street lights, increase broadband capacity, emergency telephone, build playgrounds, reduce the distance to Gothenburg. Participation/Democracy Association activities, congregations, byalag. Needs more middle-age and younger generations. More support to nonprofit associations.
Easy to Reach
According to a study by The North Sea Region Programme about branding rural areas: Rural branding tends to follow place branding processes, as it is generally recommended that they involve the local residents, followed by strategies and actions plans. The specific measures vary: there is emphasis on more or less traditional promotional campaigns with logos, slogans, brochures, and other uniform representations. Some areas promote themselves at emigration fairs. The use of the local businesses and residents as ambassadors in conjunction with public relations and the media seem to be a way to ensure the combined effects of internal and external promotion. The study reveals the many difficulties connected to rural branding. It becomes clear
that rural branding is not always a long-term, sustainable development strategy, in the sense that not all stakeholders are willing to use the brand in a similar and correct way. A professional branding manager and a Âcentralization of communication processes may prevent insufficient usage. As seen in the case of Westâ€“Flanders in Belgium, existing brands and branding approaches have to be re-engineered once in a while to remain vital and to account for new political agendas.
After reading about these concerns and comparing them to the Kalv Vision report I ask my self again, is this a sustainable development for rural areas?
The Letter K Sitting in the middle seat of the car is not necessarily bad. In fact, it’s the best seat if you want to listen to what everybody has to say. Payam’s eyes are set on the road ahead. Azadeh has her head turned around from the front passenger seat. Matilda and Alanna, to my left and right, are talking about the flies (dead and alive) back at the school house we have just left. It is to do with the winter and the cow dung from farms around, Matilda argues, while Alanna has her own scientific theory of a dead decaying body of something in the attic.
bajai, grandmother ama, mother
54 baje, grandfather
As we pass through farms on the road back to Borås, the familiar smell of dung fills the car, even through it’s closed windows. I think of bajai and the cow shed back in Taji. The last time I talked to ama, she said that bajai would go ahead and plant crops this year too … maize, rice and probably, millet too. She’s 83. We’ve been trying to convince her to move to Kathmandu and live an easier life. But she won’t listen. I wonder how it would feel to visit her in the village now, without baje around. Without him taking his afternoon nap on the tiny mud porch—his blue Nokia mobile and Panasonic radio by his side. His muffler wrapped around his head and the fluorescent pink towel around his waist. Coughing sporadically in his sleep. Baje went away peacefully in January. The car is moving through rows of endless fir trees. If we had been leaving Kathmandu Valley, instead of Kalv, we would have been winding down the hills to Naubise. We would have been taking in the dust of the highway and hoping that we wouldn’t fall off the edge as the car swerved around the corners. I glance at my nails. They still carry traces of mud from the digging I did at the school. Azadeh filmed me as I
shoved the tiny spade into the moss and tore it up to spell out M–A–Y–B–E. “It feels so violent,” I said to her. She smiled back and shook her head. Two guys walked past the school, eyeing us suspiciously. One digging, the other filming. We exchanged one word. “Hej”. “Hej”. I thought of bajai then too. As I dug. Of bajai’s hands. The leathery wrinkles collected at her joints. The coarseness of her palms. The funny crookedness of her fingers tips … The huge blue and white signs along the road distract me and I lose my train of thought. I start a new one. I go back to trace the events of the weekend. Azadeh and I talking about our reasons of being here at Valand. Agreeing and disagreeing, but listening to each other. We missed Maria. Payam doing most of the dishes after our meals. Alanna hurrying up and down the house to film the flies. She was discovering new things by the hour. Matilda going on long walks in the area. She brought back an old leaf for me from one of her walks. “Sunlight is the only magic we have,” I remember her saying, as we ate outside in the sun. I agree. It was the sunlight in Panter Rummet that had drawn me in, in our previous and second group visit to Kalv. Sometime in mid-March. A Saturday morning. I had settled on a chair in the middle of the room to
untie the knots of the strings I had found in our brief walk from Kalvsjögården to the school that morning. But the cooking from the night before had left me exhausted and in the little time I had to myself, I felt more disconnected to the place. Places, cities, towns, squares, roads, alleys, puddles, bricks. Kathmandu. I always go back to Kathmandu. K for Kathmandu. K for Kalv. And I am the oscillating K.
I connected to patterns instead. To the metal grids hanging on the ceiling of the room. To the squares of the cork board. To the shifting shadows of the window blinds. To the green nets hanging off of the goal posts. The color took me back to scaffolding nets in Kathmandu, where tall ugly buildings are crawling up to the surface. Creating eclipses. Swallowing everything slowly. That night when we got back from Kalv, Azadeh wrote to us, “Sometimes, life is too heavy.” I had replied: i feel that way too. that sometimes, life is too heavy. like i am carrying boulders on my shoulders and i am trying hard not to trip or fall or sprain my ankle again. but what is this weight i feel, in front of those who work at brick kilns, those who fill their dokos with sand, rocks and stones, those who toil in the heat, cold and wind. what is this weight in front of those who live on a daily wage, who beg on the streets, who sleep in the corners of dark alleys. what is this weight that i cannot even put on a scale and yet, i claim that it is too heavy?
I replay my own words in my head as we near Borås.
I realize I am eternally confused. Early this morning, I sat swinging in the garden, staring at the goal post. In a spontaneous move, I jumped off the swing, removed the net and dragged it into Panter Rummet and hung it from the grids above. I loved it but as the day waned, I didnâ€™t. For some reason, my action felt violent again. Now in my middle seat, I think of taking the net back to the goal post the next time I am in Kalv. It belongs there. I will go to the field instead. I will serve tea in the middle of the field, I tell myself and feel pleased. There were even cups in the closet that looked similar to those in Kathmandu. I must make tea.
The school house looked abandoned, a yellow building with the paint coming off standing in an untouched field of snow. All the items left inside only made the feeling stronger. It was almost as if someone had left with the intention of coming back and continue at the very moment they took off, as if time was paused and the building was sleeping. Time transforms during sleep, the linearity disappears and you enter another reality. In one of the rooms I found an old chocolate box. The box was full of birds with cotton eyes. All the other birds in the room were installed to look like they were alive but the birds in the box were sleeping, wrapped in thin paper and placed on top of each other. They all laid on their backs with their bodies fixed in a straight position. Death is feared because we do not know if it is a beginning or an end.
“History and the passing of time is available to photo graphy only in the form of its traces, the more-or-less legible marks and remnants it has left behind at any one moment in the world. And it is precisely photography’s own nature as a chemical trace (until digitization, at least) that enables it accurately to reproduce these marks and signs of history.”1
What is sustainability? Sustainability is about the future, about keeping something alive and well. But the desire to sustain does not necessarily mean the desire to develop or change things, it can be a desire to keep things as they are. It can even be a desire to go back in time, to wish for something that is already gone to come back to life. Nostalgia is a wall separating the past from the future. It makes you cut out a piece of time and then you stare at it without accepting that the piece is a moment that you lost the second it had passed. Even though you know it is true. You want to live in that precious moment forever.
Nostalgia is a wall that stands before you making you terrified of what lies on the other side. 2014–03–02
They will talk to me and I should really listen. I should just stop, breath and listen. I know that they have things to say and if I can ignore the urge to just go on, if I can focus on them for a while, I will be able to hear. I should be able to speak their language by now, they have been a part of me for so long. But sometimes they make me so insecure because I can not seem to hear them. They are still mysteries, each and everyone, revealing information about the world and about m yself when they emerge out of nothing in their chemical baths.
The soil is the repository. It is the foundation that would exist even if everything else that constitutes this place would go away. In it lies things that do not decompose, forgotten metal objects and memories of energies and vibrations. The soil is the keeper of the past while everything happens in the present on its surface. If I intend to dig a hole in the ground, if I envision that I will remove the soil or change its location, it is no longer just a thing of the past, it is also the future. But is the digging itself about the past or about the lost future?
I saw an interview with a photographer on YouTube. He said that the reason he was working with analogue black and white photography was that the result lies further away from reality than if he would have used colour photography. I thought that black and white photographs belong to their own reality, a state that is slightly different than ours. Maybe it is a reality that is closer to death than life. Hauser, K. Shadow Sites – Photography, Archaeology & the British Landscape 1927–1955. New York: Oxford University Press Inc. 2007, 58. 1
Maria Gordana Belić
When the courtship doesn’t work, the crisis, the healing. Neuromancer, My alien mother and me took a walk this morning, was a bit rainy and cold. Went up to the store to get some smokes but it was closed. Took a break at the gas station, I sat down, then she took my hand and we continued. There was nobody at the bus stop neither, but we found some smokes and had one by the stonewall. I didn’t think we would both fit in the boat, my alien mother and me, but we did. No rough sea but we swayed a bit from left to right. The tip of her horn was tickling me. Pattoo! Pattoo! (Yes, I almost called your name.) Expectations. Loosing hope. Dissolution. An over-interest in individual differences. Normative frames to envisage. Often appearing as signs. The lover sees something in the beloved, wants something from him, whereas
the beloved does not know what it is that the lover sees in him; he does not know what it is that makes him attractive in the eyes of the other.1
Personal and political borders, crossings. Either you constantly have to cross, or your contours are being crossed. The feeling you can’t define it. The silence around it. Silence decided by others. An imaginary pressure, a pressure to envisage. Binding victims to healing. I asked women who use their access to the spirit world to take leadership roles. Achieve reverse possibility and trust uncertified impossible futures. Techniques for altering consciousness, what does this do to change. There is a lot of belief in the kindness we envisage, but as Isabelle Stengers says, No decision is innocent.2 Signs of having tried to remain strong for too long. Make it into a desert, and it happens. Luck seems connected to solidarity. Once the thread is placed, the cosmical change will happen as soon as the thread is broken in any manner and at any point.
Miran, Bozovic, An Utterly Dark Spot: gaze and body in the early modern philosophy, The Metaphor of Love, p .25, The University Of Michigan Press, 2000 1
Isabelle Stengers, Lecture on Cosmopolitics, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ASGwo02rh8
But the guide man was nice. From my view I can only tell four people that looks really scared. Funnyto be in a room with people who get red spots in their face like me. Then there are a lot of nervous moments. Nervous laughter, people saying too much, revealing too many things. She tells us that in a recent poll, fear of death comes on 5th place and fear of public speaking comes on 1st. She says that in a group of more than 8 people we stop taking responsibility to each other when we speak. We stop caring to mimic or acknowledge the other. The chairs are quite big, and again I am asked to sit stable on the chair with my feet heavily resting on the floor. They never do.
56-57 Emelie Sjunnesson
18–21 Britt Anderson
Källs Nöbbelöv Viebäck Munka-Ljungby Ängelholm Helsingborg Göteborg
Hemingford Cedar Rapids New York City Belgrade Sundsvall Frankenberg Göteborg
56–61 Maria Gordana Belić Linköping Kožljak Firenze Stockholm Oslo Granda Kassel Göteborg
32–35 Martin Hultén
4–9 Sara Jordenö
Stockholm Högsby Hemse Kristianstad Glasgow Paris Göteborg
2–3 Jason E. Bowman
10–13 Alanna Lynch Kingston Montreal Berlin Gothenburg
Robertsfors Umeå Uppsala Stockholm Biskops-Arnö Malmö Los Angeles New York City Brännö
Kilmarnock Galston Hurlford Alsager Manchester Glasgow Cairo Nottingham Amsterdam Antwerp Banff New York City Newcastle-upon-Tyne London 36–39 Bergthor Gothenburg Sandgerdi Reykjavik Akureyri Siglufjordur Gothenburg
46–47 Matilda Enegren
14–17 Laura Hatfield
Tölby Nykarleby Berlin Luzern Jakobstad Gothenburg
Yarmouth Wolfville Halifax Fredericton Vancouver Gothenburg Malmö
48–51 Peter Kädergård Bjuv Fleninge Helsingborg Göteborg
22–27 Mourl Ferryman
52–55 Kanchan Burathoki
St Catherine Manchester London Greece Yorkshire Göteborg
Kathmandu South Hadley Boston Gothenburg
28–31 Amanda Hart Round Rock Austin Malmö Göteborg
40–45 Azadeh Esmaili Zaghi Tehran Borås Gothenburg
A Temporary Roof Valand Academy, 2014 Artists and Writers Britt Anderson Jason E. Bowman Maria Gordana Belić Kanchan Burathoki Matilda Enegren Mourl Ferryman Amanda Hart Laura Hatfield Martin Hultén Sara Jordenö Peter Kädergård Alanna Lynch Bergthor Morthens Emelie Sjunnesson Azadeh Esmaili Zaghi Editors Britt Anderson, Maria Gordana Belić, Matilda Enegren, Laura Hatfield, Amanda Hart, Sara Jordenö and Emelie Sjunnesson. Design Niklas Persson Cover Emelie Sjunnesson Print Valand Academy Thanks to Bob Kelly, Fredrik Dahl, Annika and Martin Lindman, Esther Shalev-Gerz, Fredrik Svensk, Mattias Persson, Mateusz Posar and the staff at Valand Academy for their support of this project. Legally responsible publisher Mick Wilson ISBN 978–91–87125–23–2 Printed in an edition of 200 © 2014 Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg. All material courtesy of the artists.
Thirteen emerging artists conduct field trips to the scenic community of Kalv, 80 km southeast of Gothenburg, with the aim to develop an exhibition in the old schoolhouse. This publication captures some of these processes.
Published on Nov 18, 2014
Published on Nov 18, 2014
The publication "A Temporary Roof: Processes and Dialogues" sheds light on the processes, art works and dialogues emerging from an exhibitio...