Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Sculpture Biennale 2016 (Part I)

Back to cooler and cloudy weather today, so I find it a good opportunity to post some photos from a walk from when we last had that kind of weather… (two and a half weeks ago)

Our 5th international sculpture biennale opened that weekend, and on the Saturday I went for a walk to look at some of those involved in this year’s exhibition – including both some “old” ones and some new ones. They have concentrated the event to three areas in town. Some of the sculptures are found around the main square, and some around the Textile Fashion Center; but there are also some in a residential area of Borås not usually much frequented by others than those who live and work there.


Giant silver spoon in front of the Court House in the main square. Artist: Åsa Maria Bengtsson. It brings to mind (for me at least, but it’s also mentioned in the brochure) an old saying about some people being “born with a silver spoon in their mouth” (while others, obviously, were not). I think you have the same saying in English, with the same connotations.


Popular with the kids! (and I like it, too)


Seen from this angle, it also reminds me a bit of cobra, though…


In the neighbourhood of the Textile Fashion Center, there are some “dropped clothes” lying around on a wooden deck by the river. As if someone had gone swimming… They’re not real clothes, though – they’re made of bronze. Artist: Jude Tallichet (USA). According to the brochure “we ourselves will have to give the clothes a body and identity and create our own story of what has happened”. (Personally I can’t help wondering how long it will take before someone sees it as a challenge to add to the story by throwing the clothes into the water, too. It has happened to bigger things than that in the past…)


There are also some bronze wallets (by the same artist) to be found around town. With those, they have taken care to place them inside shop windows rather than just leaving them on the street, though!


A pedestrian underpass I’ve never even noticed before, but which will no doubt be discovered by a lot of people this summer – as it is now part of the suggested walk to see more sculptures.

On the other side of the tunnel, there is a big empty field which used to be an industrial site. One of those places where you would not feel safe walking alone in the dark. But this summer, it has been turned into a new territory to explore.



Sarcophagus L by Matthias van Arkel

Made of industrial silicon rubber; and in the context of Borås being a textile city, (the brochure says:) “its bale-like shape readily suggests bundles of used clothing ready to be sent off for recycling”.


Nearby, there is also this piece, entitled Guardian Angel, by Ernst Billgren.



It’s the figure in the middle that is supposed to be the angel. Wings on the back and a raised sword in its hand. I have to admit I failed to quite see it while walking around it, though! (But maybe that’s the way it is with guardian angels…)



There is also something here which really is invisible, but which can still be “experienced” – which is what the three people in this photo are doing. Quoting from the brochure:

Very little remains of the factory buildings that once stood here, and through the ground we feel vibrations supplant themselves through our bodies. The place has direct links to the atomic clocks that govern Swedish national time and are controlled from Borås. Every second, a low-frequency pulse is transmitted through the ground. The work provokes questions of whether our need for exact time […] is reducing our own sense of time. No longer feeling the diurnal rhythm of the earth and our bodies.

I think this will be enough for one blog post.
We’ll walk on to the residential area another time. Smile

Sharing with Through My Lens and Outdoor Wednesday


  1. I enjoy sculpture and would go out of my way to see it. Nothing here appealed but it was still worth a look.

  2. NO, not enough! Yippee when I saw your post. Your new sculptures are always my favorite!! I really look forward to them! And your insightful comments. The silver spoon is great! And yes, we do have that saying. I also see the cobra! And so glad you captured it with the children playing on it. It really does look like silver, but surely it is not. The clothes fooled me! How fun! I cannot believe people will throw sculptures in the water! Bored teenagers likely! Perhaps the next sculpture should be of a rascal teenager throwing something in the water! The wallet looks so real. And the rubber one is sure colorful, and really does look compacted. The angel one I must admit I could not make head or tails out of it. Till you showed me the wings. But that is the only part I can figure out.

    1. There will be more coming up in another post, Ginny. I certainly do hope people will leave the sculptures alone, but there was a much bigger one thrown into the water some years ago. And there have been other kinds of damage to sculptures before as well - or thefts. (If the silver spoon had been real silver I don't believe it would have lasted a day...)

  3. i love this. that silver spoon is amazing and i thought cobra in the first photo before i read it. i love love love it.. all the sculptures are wonderful and amazing. that said, the guardian angel is a little spooky looking to me, and would scare me off instead of drawing me in. i do love all the things you saw and can't wait for the rest

  4. Really like the silver spoon, some of the others are just strange, but interesting.

  5. Fascinating!!!
    The silver spoon is wonderful - my first thought was "cobra!" when I started looking at your post :-)
    It's great that less frequented areas are being used, too. Art and people will change the "unsafe" atmosphere of the former industrial site, I suppose. I can't quite see the "wild" park; to me, the birch trees and the grass underneath look rather tame :-)
    The bronze clothes and wallets look very realistic, and I am sure you are right, someone will feel challenged to "complete" their story.

  6. I rather liked the spoon (but found it strangely disturbing for some unfathomable reason) but the Guardian Angel really disturbed me (again for no definable reason). I'm hoping for something rather more uplifting in the next instalment.


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