July 20, 2010

July 17, 2010

Family Plot

Östra Kyrkogården, Malmö.
On Wednesday night I attended a lecture on Malmö architecture in 1969, as part of the 'Murder at the Savoy' exhibition. While my extremely limited Swedish hindered complete comprehension, some stunning slides provided adequate interest throughout the talk, and prompted a cycle excursion to the Eastern Cemetary (Östra Kyrkogården) the following day, seeking out the "only building architecture students bothered to look at in Malmö" - blomsterkiosken, 'the flower shop', designed by prominent Swedish cemetary architect, Sigurd Lewerentz.
Aside from the moderist architecture, the landscaping, hedge rows and chapels potrayed afterlife as serene perfection. Sign me up for a family plot.

July 15, 2010


Google translate translates a pdf of a flea market layout into text.

July 14, 2010


Pildammsparken, Malmö, with Tallriken (the plate), the circular area of grass, surrounded by woods and hedges of trees drawing one in.

July 13, 2010

Murder at the Savoy

In 1969 Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö wrote the crime novel Murder at the Savoy, the sixth novel in the series The Story of a Crime. Because it went beyond the previous ideals and format of crime fiction, the series is today regarded as the starting point of an iconic genre. Sjöwall & Wahlöö’s stylistic authorship brought insight into real police work and made visible society’s social and political structures in a new way. Crime fiction moved from being a genre in which an upper-class character had been solving murder mysteries at castles and estates, towards creating an understanding of the real work of a police detective. The couple’s collaboration and their perspective have been inspiring crime writers ever since, and have now inspired us to create an art project.

The novel’s plot begins with a murder at the Hotel Savoy in Malmö. It is the summer of 1969 and the CEO of an international company has been shot. The clues lead back to shady weapon deals linked to top leaders in society. The government orders parallel investigations by the secret service. Chief Inspector Martin Beck is called down from Stockholm to solve the case together with Per Månsson from Malmö.

Malmö Konsthall has invited 15 artists to participate in the exhibition project Murder at the Savoy. The novel functions as a platform allowing artists to blend fiction and reality at different places in Malmö. The novel’s plot, characters and
settings, or social and political dimensions have influenced the creation of these art works. Murder at the Savoy is designed to be an exhibition about a crime and the project therefore involves a number of different art forms and genres. For example, visitors will encounter works that reflect upon the role of the police and the media in society. The project will present photographs, paintings, sculptures, performance art, installations and videos at various locations in the city.

The excellent Malmö Konsthall has me all in a tither, with what looks to be a brilliant concept for a show opening on the eve of my two week sojourn to the UK.
MURDER AT THE SAVOY - EXHIBITION OF A CRIME runs only for a week, and I will be rueing the missed opportunity to engage in the exhibition which incorporates performances around Malmö, plus other public programmes relating to the crime genre.

The thing that excites me most is that the concept for the show explores many ideas I investigate within my own artistic practice, noticably the underlying themes and plot devices from the crime genre and murder mysteries, the blending of fiction and reality, primarily through popular culture references, and the interdisciplinary approach I take to these ideas. Hypothetical works whirl around my head and I think about stealthily installing a work of my own accord. Indeed, I even did a cycle-by (as opposed to a drive-by) of the Hotel Savoy this afternoon, in all its art deco glory, to scope out the scene of the fictional crime.

The scene of the crime in 1964.
During the exhibition the Malmö City Archive will present a photographic journey through the footsteps of the murderer using photographs from the time (1969). Here's hoping I can see this at the opening.

text and images from the Malmö Konsthall press release.

And whilst Murder at the Savoy has a rather nice ring to it, the original Swedish title is naturally, far superior - POLIS, POLIS, POTATIMOS! - which translates to "Police! Police! Mashed Potato!"
A variation of a well-known children's rhyme
, "Polis, Polis, Potatisgris!" (Police, Police, Potato Pig!).

I look forward to the Sunday vernissage at the Hotel Savoy with much anticipation.

July 12, 2010

Touché Toupée

I just found out Sean Connery, already balding, wore a toupee throughout his Bond tenure. I hope this doesn't mean I will spend tonight, as I rewatch Thunderball, staring at it.

July 10, 2010

Belle de Jour

Belle de Jour (Luis Buñuel, 1967)
As part of Le Banana Hold-Up (French Special), two french films were projected onto a wall surrounded by a gold frame.
Ideal Bar, Copenhagen 08.07.2010

The dream sequences were the best.

July 8, 2010

Behind the Silver Screen

aerial views of a quintessential fictitious american town, and a plywood and papier mache Tara in disrepair.

"40 Acres", the back lot of RKO Studios from 1927-1976. It was Atlanta and 'Tara' in Gone with the Wind, the town of Mayberry in The Andy Griffiths Show, a jungle for Tarzan, the backdrop for episodes of The Adventures of Superman and Star Trek.

"Nothing in Hollywood is permanent. Once photographed, life here is ended. It is almost symbolic of Hollywood. Tara had no rooms inside. It was just a façade. So much of Hollywood is a façade." - David O. Selznick

Thinking about an embroidered and fabricated 40 Acres facade, to accompany Sherlock Holmes' abode, The Village, and the Overlook Hotel Maze. Also, about an overhead projector in the second hand shop around the corner.

July 4, 2010

Herringbone & Draughts


Codex Seraphinianus

"Location of the city of Mazeolium unknown, except for existing somewhere within the vast Cherry Tomato Archipelago. Note the fully operational Rovers, after a successful transition from sister city, The Village."

A maze from the
Codex Seraphinianus, Luigi Serafini's encyclopedia of an unknown world, written in an undecipherable language.

"...the book lies in the uneasy boundary between surrealism and fantasy, given an odd literary status by its masquerade as a book of fact."

"Some people with whom I have shared this book find it frightening or disturbing in some way. It seems to them to glorify entropy, chaos, and incomprehensibility. There is very little to fasten onto; everything shifts, shimmers, slips."

Available at Elam's Fine Arts Library, and I may just have to request the copy held at Konstfack in Stockholm.


James Bond "disguised" as a Japanese peasant in 'You Only Live Twice', and Spock's goatee-sporting, evil twin 'Mirror-Spock'.

July 3, 2010

Cider Royalty

Sold in benefit of the Crown Princess Couple's Wedding Foundation whose purpose is to counteract alienation and promote good health amongst children and youths in Sweden.
- cider mission statement on label.

The official apple cider of the Swedish Royal Wedding, (there is a pear version as well), we luckily stumbled upon the last bottle at the supermarket and celebrated with an unoffical toast to the newlyweds. Skål!

If (according to Frank), Heineken is the "King of Beers", this surely, is the Crown Princess of non-alcoholic ciders.

July 1, 2010


ELVIS LIVES (in a silent way)
cassette tape, fishing line, nails

Shortland Street
Elam Art UpFront 2009

photos Sam Hartnett