#480 End Of Equality
64x84 cm | Filler, oak panel
This work is the first part of the diptych Murder And Betrayal about the murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986 and the Norwegian Utøya massacre in 2011. Two violent attacks on the worker's movement in Scandinavia during my lifetime. The dating in this work connects it to the "4 October demonstration" against the Swedish Employee Funds implemented by the Social Democratic Party. The work is thus about resisting and dismantling ideology of equality from the early eighties until now.
The original idea behind the Employee Funds was very radical - to simply take control over major industries in Sweden by buying shares with money from taxing their own profits. A socialist revolution by economic means. Even if the final proposal was watered down to limit the state ownership to only 8%, the opposition was stern even within the Social Democratic party, and in 1991, they were discontinued by the new conservative government. Later, the Social Democrats promised never to implement them again. I view this as the workers ' movement's last departure from its ideological roots as an alternative to the capitalist system.
The shape of the stones can be reminiscent of a tombstone. But it can also lead to other associations, such as a tunnel (as the entrance to Tunnelgatan, where Palme's murderer escaped).
Speaking Stones is a compilation of paintings made with imprints of ordinary stones.
I see the stone as a metaphor for popular struggle and protest. It is the closest available weapon to the powerless. Throwing stones is a symbolic form of violence. The aim is not to overpower the opponent physically. It demonstrates defiance in the face of power by expressing concretely that the premises of the situation aren't acceptable. The stone speaks but not in a language open to negotiation or dialogue. A conversation means accepting the context in which it takes place and is thus always, to a certain degree, a form of submission. The language of stones is the language of mute matter. A form of silence that nevertheless speaks clearly and directly. The stone represents the resistance in itself from a place outside of language.
The stone is an entirely exchangeable and ordinary object that exists everywhere. At the same time, each stone is unique and has its own beauty and unfathomable mystery for anyone open to seeing it. This duality fascinates me. A stone is perhaps the closest we can get to a thing-in-itself, bound as we are to language. Sealed around itself, oblivious to the outside world. Simply existing. In a way, we can never truly understand. Infinite in its everydayness. Specific and concrete in its presence.
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.