#423 Swedish Conditions - Karlslund
64x84 cm | Filler, oak panel
This work is part of a series called Easter Riots. It is referencing six riots in different Swedish locations following a tour of anti-Muslim provocation during Easter (or Ramadan, really) in 2022, shielded by the police in the name of freedom of speech. Each work is titled Swedish Conditions - Skäggetorp, - Navestad, - Rinkeby,- Sveaparken, - Karlslund and - Rosengård after the incidents in Linköping, Norrköping, Stockholm, Örebro, Landskrona and Malmö this year. Swedish conditions is a Norwegian deterrent phrase used to promote more restrictive asylum policies.
I did the works by throwing 99 stones on each panel. The series explores the notion of symbolic violence.
Throwing stones can be understood as a symbolic act, even with limited physical consequences. As opposed to hate speech that, though symbolic, has obvious physical impacts such as making minorities feel unsafe and restricting their use of public space. Rioting may not be considered violence per se, as in forcing one´s will upon someone else, but rather a response to systemic violence and oppression. Violence always comes from a position of power.
I frequently use the number 99 when producing my works. 99 is referencing the famous slogan of the Occupy movement - "We are the 99%". I interpret it as a unity of interest more than wealth. The large majority are united through their relation to labour, or employment, as opposed to the minority owners of capital - the employers. We should use this common ground instead of being divided by our different occupations and tasks within the capitalist system.
It is vital to notice that 99% means most, but not all. We are united not by universality but through the struggle for a common goal or against a common opponent.
99% can also represent the fact that universality is an abstract concept. There is never a complete answer; there is always a rest that will remain unknown. In real life, any happiness always contains a stain of sorrow, any victory a shadow of defeat.
Res Ipsa is a compilation of works made by an act shaping the filler once it is prepared inside the frame. The works thus function as a recording device and give a statement of the event taking place while the filler was still wet.
Res Ipsa is Latin for "the thing itself" and is part of the juridical term "Res ipsa loquitur" (the thing speaks for itself), used when an injury or accident in itself clearly shows who is responsible, such as an instrument left inside a body after surgery.