The last pears in the world

Last part of my memories of “Memories from a parallel future”: PAYING THE PRICE OF SURVIVAL

I collect cans, shoot them and gather the shells in jars. I enclose. To protect and hide. To keep, portion and ration. I put the beetroot’s broken bones in a cast and shoot it to pieces that wither and dry. I plant seeds in cans of glass and water them with saturated salt water.

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Beetroot in cast, just shot.
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The same beetroot, a week later.

The thing is: we are the descendants of the survivors. In every catastrophe, every time in history when humans have done horrible things to stay alive, our ancestors have survived. Every last one of them. Somehow that doesn’t cheer me up.

Memories from a parallel future, rusty pears
Reliquary for the last pears in the world, memories from a better time.

Ritual survival packages

Part 4 of my memories of “Memories from a parallel future”: SURVIVING

Depletion of resources always leads to violence. We know this, but still we keep nibbling at the earth a little chunk at a time. What do we plan to do when there is nothing left?

During crises rituals become more important to people, we cling to the known and safe. The thought that something has been done the same way, over time, by many people, fill objects, movements and words with meaning and function. We become actors and participants in a wider context, we don’t have to choose – the ritual is already set in its form.

Memories from a parallel future, bundle of rations
Survival for two weeks (plus an onion for some taste).
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Each package contains a daily ration for someone of my size to survive (not thrive). Rice, beans, grains, etc, in waxed cloth.

How do we survive today in a way that is worth its price tomorrow?

The life and death matter of salt

Part 2 of my memories of Memories from a parallel future: PRESERVING.

What has been collected needs to be preserved. Salt is an edible stone that is soluble in water. You sprinkle it on your food and in disappears into it and completely alters the taste. Once a culture has discovered salt, there is no going back. Salt has long been used for preserving food, next to drying and smoking. It preserves life (our’s) because it kills life (what would otherwise live in our food). Kind of like hand sanitiser.

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Preservation 1, 2, and 3.
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Preservation 1: keeping it airy and dry.
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Preservation 2: salt crystals covering glass, keeping it clean.
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Preservation 3: salt crystals growing on thyme, preserving and killing it.

Memories of my grandmother, part 2

When we emptied grandmother’s house 3 years ago, I saved some of her everyday-things. Keys, shoes, her cane, the hat that was hanging by the door. This summer I’ve made casts of some of them for the exhibition “In the periphery”, in Koster’s Sculpture Park at Sydkoster, an island on the west coast of Sweden.

Here is part of the process of the keys.

IMG_6285Some of her keys, nobody knows what they once opened.

Dementia can be like opening doors with the wrong keys. Everything gets mixed up, all the places you’ve been and all the people you’ve met behind every door, or behind no door anymore.

IMG_6292First test: concrete.

IMG_6299Result: a fossilised feeling, time has stopped.

IMG_6320Second test: molds for wax casting.

IMG_6335Result: ghost key, fragile and blank like her fading memories.

IMG_6344Ghost keys stuck in concrete.

IMG_6384Saved in jars the keys loose their function even more.

 

Back to the Island

In theory the island has a clearly defined border. But where is it? The shoreline? In that case: low or high tide? Stormy weather or calm waves? Do the rivers belong to the island or to the ocean? And what about islands that are connected during low tide but separated during high tide?

IMG_2607Line: shellac and steel

IMG_5056Tunnel: shellac and fabric

IMG_3139Ocean: shellac and concrete

IMG_3060Tunnel with hand: shellac, fabric and hand

IMG_5178Melting: shellac and fabric

IMG_5016The amazing beauty of shellac in sunlight