Thursday, 3 June 2021

More 'Deep Listening for Longing'

On 1 June, Sweden took a small step towards lifting some of the corona restrictions we've been living with for a while. So far, mostly to do with adjusting some rules about how many people may be allowed to participate at various kinds of events (depending on indoors vs outdoors, sitting vs standing, the size of the venue, etc etc). I haven't kept up with all the details, but for one thing I know that there have been no church services over the past year or so, as they count as public gatherings, and no public gatherings of more than 8 people have been allowed. But now up to 50 will be allowed in that context. 

Today, I decided to go and have a look at some of the indoors art involved in the ongoing Art Biennial (with the theme Deep Listening for Longing). 

Besides our Art Museum, I knew there were also supposed to be some art on display in the nearby church (the biggest church in BorĂ¥s, from the early 1900s). I decided to go there first, as I recalled also seeing somewhere that there would be short "lunch concerts" there on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But should it turn out that 50 other people had had the same idea, I could always just go across to the museum instead.

I arrived at the church around 11:45. There was exactly 1 other person inside when I entered - I think probably a church warden -  and she disappeared out of sight almost immediately. So I had the whole huge church all to myself.

The art on display for the biennial consisted of these mystic coloured "clouds" painted on glass (or perhaps plexiglass). How much you see of them varies with the light and from what angle you are looking at them - and I guess that is probably "the point" (?)


I sat down for a little while in "silent meditation", waiting to see if there was going to be any music. At 12:05 the church was still empty and silent, though, so I decided to leave - not really sure  I had got the concert dates right.

I went across to the Cultural Centre (besides the art museum, the building also houses library and theatre). On a wall outside there is a new mural. As the town is celebrating 400 years this year, I guess it's supposed to represent our history even if I wasn't able to make out all the details. (It started as a market town in the 1600s, later came industrialism etc.)

When I entered the art museum, another odd experience awaited me: it turned out that here too, I was the only visitor at the time. So was completely free to just wander around as I pleased. I know I've been "almost" alone in this museum a few times before; but with this exhibition it felt extra weird, as most of the various installations also involved sounds - which overlapped and followed you around from one hall to another. So while you were listening to one thing, you could also suddenly be hearing for example a creepy laugh coming from another room... A bit bit extra spooky when you're there all alone!

This (above) was one of the major sound installations. I tried to film a video of it with my camera, to include the sounds. But Blogger won't accept it and just now I can't remember how to adapt it to a format that will work. (I think I've done it before but I've so rarely worked with videos that I forget from one time to the next how to do it! If I figure it out -again- I'll post it some other time.) 

 Some other exhibitions one might also ponder about a long time without getting any wiser.

Looking out on the real world. (No idea what's in the bottles!)

One room had a theme focusing on women and housework.
This figurine is the size of classic ornaments of ballerinas and shepherdesses etc...

It may have been because I was all alone in the museum, but one thing that came to mind for me was that the experience of walking around this exhibition was not all that different from the internet - only "3D" and bigger!

And just as I often do when sitting at the computer, I also kept thinking that maybe I'll go back for a closer look at this or that "later". 

(As there is no entrance fee this summer, I very well might. But who knows...)


  1. Your art installations are always my favorite. So strange tha no one else was there! Maybe there is still a lot of Covid fear. My favorite has to be the clouds painted on glass. It looks like colored smoke, and that is what I would have thought it was. So eerily beautiful.

    1. Ginny, I don't think it was Covid fear as much as the fact that it was lunch time on a workday, sunny outside, and not yet tourist season... ;)

    2. Oh, and when you say "it looks like colored smoke", it hits me that of course the artist may also have had the word "smoke screens" in mind...!

  2. to get my videos the right size format, pull up video editor app, it i in windows 10. open the movie, and save as mp4 making the size smaller. i just did tht for todays post of Beau.
    i am with Ginny, favorite is that glass and the church. how wonderful to have these all to yourself. people are flocking to the bars but not churches and museums I guess.
    i like the photo of the mural that has the brick buildings behind it showing underneath. fascinating. you always have great art in your town.. hope to hear the sounds you heard

    1. Sandra, thanks for the reminder how to edit the video. I had forgotten what app I used last time to save it as mp4. I've managed it now and the video is up in a separate post and seems to be working.

  3. I can hardly remember when I last visited a museum or gallery! This one looks fascinating, and you described it so well, like we‘re there through your eyes and ears. Thank you!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Meike. As I have no other big plans for the summer I'm glad to at least have this local art biennial to explore :)


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