A short story by Swedish novelist Stig Dagerman inspired a series of painted stage directions, featuring an ambiguous drama of God and Newton. The paintings draw upon ideas in the text, merged with the artist’s interest in a shack-like condition best described as “a sustained moment in time where collapse is imminent.”
Newton is in his London study on the night of his death. The air is raw with fog, the candles lit. When God pays the scientist a visit, a battle of desire and vanity ensues where neither God nor mortal are entirely redeemed. The stage folds into itself, the characters merge into one another, and miracles are reversed when Newton gambles for the deity’s human shape. In a shack on the street outside the gallery the most precious of substances, silence, is collected in amber jars.
thaw the I
sand us ray
You are all familiar with that first scene from the new country: A few shacks in a field, morning mist dissolving imperceptibly and rapidly at the same time. Any thought disrupting this hypnotic presence must be addressed to god, as an idea. What we see here is a workplace without mercy. The turpentine, the dust and the boards are all elements of an involuntary state of exile, brought about by internal forces, contaminating the body. Labor executed here is unimaginably heavy, with severe restrictions on both air and imagination. Pause is out of the question.
Each effort is painfully hard; feet slip in shoddy mud, sweat attracts insects and the blistery hands are full of splinters; sleep and nutrition sorely lacking. Spirits haunt within and without in this place that consumes its inhabitants.
The installation “Skjul för tystnads skull/” Shack for the purpose of silence” is part of the ongoing project “un