– Performance for the re-opening of Bonniers konsthall – May 22, 2016
The artists enters wearing a suit and carrying a white case. He opens the case and connects the computer, microphone, takes out two glass jars and puts a glass sheet horizontally across them. He removes socks and shoes. (The words “I would prefer to be nude” are written on his feet.) He then removes a badge and takes out three packets of cigarettes. He starts playing abstract sounds which gradually becomes a text where you can vaguely hear the artist’s voice. He places an ashtray vertically on top of the glass sheet. Then he reads the text over his own voice again. This time it is clearer.
When the text is finished, he places another ashtray vertically below the glass sheet. Finally he reads the text clearly from beginning to end. He lights the cigarette, sits smoking a short moment and exits.
The text is read in Swedish. Here is an English translation:
Cosmology. Taste the word. Let it fill your mouth like a kiss. Cosmology.
A child lies on its back looking up at the clear night sky pondering the immensity of what it sees. Is there an exact moment in each person’s life when we become aware of the infinity of the universe?
It is hard for us humans to trust, to trust ourselves, to trust each other, to trust the world. Instead we suffer from depressions and are prone to envy and jealousy. Only 5% of the universe’s mass is made up of matter as we know it. More than 95% of the universe is made up of stuff called “dark matter” and “dark energy.” We do not really know what it is. We can only induce its existence through age old light that that we can study through giant telescopes. Maybe that is why it is hard for us to trust the world and why our souls are eaten by mistrust and fear – because so much of the universe remains unknown?
But once another person, generously and without ulterior motives believes in you, more than you believe in yourself, you gradually become aware that you can trust the universe. Because, in spite of the fact that it is virtually infinite and virtually unknown, it has existed for 13,7 billion years. The cosmos, like a kiss, inspires trust.
An English physicist has said that the lithium in a normal battery was formed at the big bang. Maybe that is also why the substance works so well against depression. We ingest the very age of the universe in a pill and we feel connected to world around us – we are part of history and of the whole.
But I am one of the lucky ones. I got my lithium through human interaction. This is a thank you speech – and here he names the dear name – and I hope that one day I will be strong enough to give back that trust to other people. As a matter of fact, I trust the universe so much that I am sure that one day it will happen.
A special Thank You to Sara Arrhenius, Theodor Ringborg and Yuvinka Medina.