Anette från Ytterskärgården / Anette of Outer-Archipelago
24th March - 29th April 2017
Casting a net yields greater bounty than fishing with a pole. In the Baltic sea surrounding Stockholm’s archipelago, where the once plentiful fish population has decreased significantly over the years, it’s not uncommon to haul in just a handful of fish, if any at all. It is more likely to accumulate a collection bits and pieces of the islands’ past, remnants of a former society that struggled more than it managed to survive.
At the turn of the 20th century, Busk-Anette lived with her family in a hut among the remote islands of the outer archipelago. Life conditions were extreme and one by one she lost the members of her family to nature’s perils and suicide. Busk-Anette remained there in seclusion, making a living by selling flowers and berries on the more populated island of Sandhamn, close to the mainland. Everyday, she would row her boat there, regardless of the weather conditions.
Busk-Anette’s husband, Rydman, kept a detailed written record of their lives, which by the end of his life comprised a sizeable volume. One tragic day, stricken by grief upon hearing news of his son’s death by drowning, Rydman took his own life. Busk-Anette was herself illiterate and had grown suspicious of the content of her late husband’s text, which she was unable to read. She subsequently set flames to the pages of his memoir. Rydman’s account of Busk-Anette’s narrative was thus lost in fire and everything known about her comes from the oral history passed on through generations.
In Finnmark, at the northernmost tip of Norway, six-thousand year old rock carvings – intricate patterns comprised of overlapping horizontal and vertical lines – are some of the earliest depictions of net-fishing. In Scandinavian mythology, the sea goddess, Rán, would use a fishing net to trap lost sailors.
Hanna Törnudd’s use of suspended gauze refers not only to the patterns and structure of fishing nets used for millennia – it evokes the wispiness of morning haze, like that which hovers over the sea-surface during the early hours of the day. The hanging fabrics also function as (semi-transparent) surfaces, upon which impressions of the islands’ past have been applied in dye patterns, iterating motifs that recur in various capacities and densities throughout the exhibition. They embody a kind of transience akin to the impermanence of fog, while also functioning as a lense through which to view the inner and outer realms of the exhibition.
Ceramic cubes recall the ruins of former cottages, which can be found scattered throughout the landscapes of the archipelago. Here they take on multiple roles. Forming a kind of constellation upon the gallery’s ground, they act as anchors providing stability for the floating gauze net haze. The surface glaze colors of the ceramic works allude to common shades and hues found in the natural landscape of the archipelago.
The oral and written histories of the archipelago, and the stories passed on through generations pertaining to Busk-Anette and her epoch – not to mention history in general – are written almost exclusively by men, from a male perspective. Here, in a tribute to Anette, her own, imaginary voice speaks out from the open book hanging on the south-facing wall in an unfolding narrative held onto and captured by the objects in the gallery.
The ebb and flow of waves reverberate throughout the gallery. This recording comes from Swedish public radio; it is sounds one hears in the wee hours of the morning, after normal programming has ended, when nobody’s listening. Buried in the sound of waves, as from a distance, a single note played on a cello reminds us that there’s someone out there.
On one particularly windy day, Busk-Anette rowed to Sandhamn as usual, but when it was time to return home, the weather had amplified into a full storm. The large boats were forced to remain at shore, but Busk-Anette was determined to row home. Intent on stopping her, the community hid her boat and her oars, but she found them anyway and rowed directly into the strong windstorm coming from the North. She rowed well into the night, but finally arrived home.
24th March - 29th April 2017
01 – Lausanne
Lausanne my beloved. You are not as beautiful as the Etruscans town of my ancestors. Your food is barely decent. COOP cheese sandwiches are overrated as well as the dead butterflies of Nabokov that are rotting under the glass of the zoological museum. Beau Rivage Hotel is fabulous. Maybe the best brunch in town. Your connections with Italy are not so bad. When I want to come to the opening of the Venice Biennale without accreditation (although asked many times via the patronage of ECAL) I take an Eurolines bus because its easier, let’s say. Lausanne and your bridges… you could be the Constantine of Switzerland. You don’t have the peculiar charm of Baden Baden, the one beautifully understood by Pierre Boulez before he died. Neither the attraction of Aix-La-Chapelle, which Charlemagne conserved as a secret in his royal tomb. A. Cravan got your singularity, but he passed away too soon in Mexico to reveal it. Hmmm, my petite Lausanne, I still can’t leave you.
02 – The Sandwiches of the Artists
Fluffy, gorged of wheat and generously paved with nut butter. This is how Mark Rothko liked to have them. Barnett Newman was less tepid. With him, the bread was home to a violent battle between a dash of mustard and a not less proud pillar of bacon. Apparently in the mid 40’s Pollock used to stack the meat in his sandwich as a reference to the jambon quiches that Picasso cooked during his surrealist period. Sandwiches are paintings for the stomach.
03 – Pizza Gate and Spirit Cooking
I once met John Podesta in a modest pizzeria in DC called Comet Ping Pong. John is used to come here each month after his exhausting trips to the Fiji Island where he runs a luxury resort. It is a place of informal meetings for the establishment of Washington, the same group of people who also travel to Basel and share his taste for art. Although the place is famous for unpretentious southern cuisine and Hawaiian style pizzas, it has become in few years the hot spot to finalize business deal and protect political interests of the laid-back elite. On Formica tables, apparently inspired by Artschwager and minimal bench by Zobernig, are concluded lobbying agreements and others master plans adored by Soros and consorts. In 2016, an adventurous investigator discovered that the multiple roman style bodies that ornate the walls of Comet Ping Pong were in fact a crypto-pedophilia language. Quickly dozens of net warriors started to decipher the hermetic symbolism of this not so innocent pizzeria. Quickly, they discovered the creepy taste of John for macabre sceneries. Indeed, in the acajou staircase of his apartment, one of the most expensive of D.C (the apartment not the staircase), among different pictures of his family traveling in Messina, ironic Carrefour logo by Haim Steinbach and XIX century ‘s paintings of Egyptian ruins, a silver decapitated cadaver by Louise Bourgeois was held in the sight of all. The sculpture in question was the reproduction of a hideous picture of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victim, the boogeyman of Milwaukee. Was Hillary, who came many times to eat dorados at Podesta’s house, aware of this luciferian “artwork”?
04 – 0 to 4
“Such a lack of directness, of clear-headedness, almost, was typical. What was probably the most serious thing was that they were cruelly lacking in ease – not material, objective ease, but easiness, or a certain kind of relaxedness. They tended to be on edge, tense, avid, almost jealous. Their love of well-being, of higher living standards, came out most often as an idiotic kind of sermonizing, when they would hold forth, they and their friends, on the sheer genius of a pipe or a low table; they would turn them into objets d’art, into museum pieces.”
Georges Perec, Things, 1965
05 – Shaping the city
Tom Waits is in Sonoma. Breton continues to languish on the dry rocks of Saint-Cirq Lapopie. Valloton exults when testing the syrupy tastes of apples from the indolent canton of Vaud. Roberto Matta doesn’t like Meudon, it reminds him of the illustrative works of Cocteau, or Bérard aka Bébé who made frescos in the fish restaurant La Méditerannée in Paris. Filliou is in Eyzies-de-Tayac because it’s Filliou. Joan Mitchell is drunk, way too drunk. Ian Sinclair walks and walks again. Jenny Holzer is bored in Karlsruhe. Ligotti dreams about Chicago Style Pizza. Hanna Schygulla is back to Berlin. Guadalupi finish a book devoted to the diamonds of Trieste. Jakob Von Hoddis talks about the end of the world. Stephen Sprouse is still a designer. Karl Gestner, also, he doesn’t know if he still appreciates the Swiss Air logo. Roorda thinks about suicide. Stevenson is undecided, does he have to follow his donkey on the escarped passages of the Cevennes? Ezra Pound is in Gascogne drinking wine. Lily Rose Deep is only interested by the unknown. Marcuccio only works for her astonishment. Cimino is in Aspen and Huppert in Malina. Tom Waits is still in Sonoma.
06 – Ornament and crime
An acrylic ribbon ornaments the streamlined hood of a Mercedes suggesting the beginning of an adventure without risks: the honeymoon. Jaipur, Punta del Sol, Zanzibar, the world is already full of packaged destinations, where the food is spicy but not enough for gastric perturbations. Back to its parking, the car laments that its ergonomic ambitions have been again violated. Ornament is crime once again. Every object should be as pure as a flag: sharp, generic, individualistic. Banality and distance are true wealth. Less embellishment more speed. Design is tolerable only when cold and metallic. A permanent priapism that emasculate our horizon of its silk, lace and satin cadavers. Industrial design doesn’t exist anymore. It is punctuated with stickers and frivolous 1 dollar decorations. Once heralded, the age of the constructivist has burst. We leave among unmodern people.
Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou