Stockholm – November 1996
Let me place you in the picture. Sweden. Like all around the world, in Sweden, the dissatisfaction, insecurity and fear of the people goes over to the perfect escape-goat: the foreigners, the immigrants. They are the grounds of all evil. If you thought something else about Sweden it is because you miss the last 35 years of new-liberal turn-around and you still have the “for export” picture of the sweet 70’s.
Let me zoom you into the picture. Stockholm. Probably one of Europe’s snobbiest cities, capital of a province where New York is the obsession, little sister likes Big Apples. In Europe? Germany (just because they have more money) and London (just because the poverty of that third world city make some interesting things happens). The rest of the world it is an exotic vacation.
The culture, as anywhere else, is in the hand of a Elite few. Since private mecenate are absent the financial of culture it is politics. One Big Happy Family. You fuck around with them, and you are deleted.
This work is about fucking around with Stockholm’s Cultural Elite
Entrance 1 :: Entrance 2
Only Stockholm’s Cultural Elite :: Ordinary People and Immigrants
Zooming closer: Art and Literature Magazine “90tal” (90’s) (one of the best around here) gives out a book called “The World in Sweden” with texts of 70 “immigrant” writers, all of them refused by ALL the Swedish publishers (no economic potential, I guess). For the release they make a party. They rent a disco, with a stage for readings, performance, music, dance and invite a very well known and controversial art group to make an installation, “tha arty touch”: Yes, FA+.
Now, a very close picture: Invited are, in one hand, all those immigrant writers, the invisible ones. In the other hand the Elite, Stockholm’s Intelligentsia: the publishers, politicians, critics and journalist that refuse to accept their existence. HOWEVER, they are very engaged, very political correct, participate in the debate about “We-Them”, no good with discrimination: One Big Happy Family.
Now: FA+ just wanted to “sort out” things, to make a little order in a ratter complicate situation. It was a quite simple installation, imagine building a big laying _T_ in front of the entrance door, on the street: in stead of one, you have two access to the same door. Make this T look like very convincing, use riot-fences, 3 meters high. Now sort out things, to help the people to find the right way in, put two signs: One, green (nothing to declare?), whit the text: Entrance NR 1 – ONLY Stockholm’s Culture Elite. In the other the sign (red): Entrance NR 2 – Ordinary people – Immigrants. Some may try to cheat, as usual, therefore you contract two professional doorkeepers, XXL size, and place them in “Entrance NR 1”. These guys are pro, ok? They know how to handle a crowd in a Saturday-night disco, but Culture Elite, how do we recognice them? Don’t worry, just make this three questions to find out:
Where are you born? If you are born in the any Swedish city but Stockholm, or outside Sweden, you are an immigrant in Stockholm: Next entrance.
What do you work with? It must be Culture, the Fine one. Ministry of Transport is no culture elite; wife of a journalist is no culture elite and so on. It must be Real Fine Culture Work.
How much money you earn per month from that? Because if said you are a writer, and make 100 $/month from your writings, baby you are a wannabe, but not elite. Not necessary to be rich, to make a living out of it is good enough.
ONLY THOSE who gives the right answer to the three questions are aloud to go trough Entrance NR 1, nothing to discuss. Entrance NR 2 is free to walk trough. Welcome.