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- A Trip to Gotland 1964/2014
In 1964 Asger Jorn (1914-1973), along with two photographers (the Frenchman Gérard Franceschi and the Dane Ulrik Ross) and his Dutch partner Jacqueline de Jong, travels around the island of Gotland in order to capture its archaeological riches: stone figures and carvings, churches, frescos, mazes. The island comes to figure centrally in the Danish artist’s conception of a specifically Nordic tradition going back to pre-Christian times and significantly influencing European culture tout court. Reflecting Jorn’s enduring interest in popular art forms, the project was not only retrospective in character, but also connected to contemporary political and artistic concerns, such as the artist’s opposition against what would later become the European Union and his recurring need to redefine his own position vis-à-vis the international art scene. The Scandinavian Institute of Comparative Vandalism was founded by Asger Jorn shortly after leaving the Situationist International in 1961. Operative for a brief period (1961-1965), the institute’s output was photographic and paginated: for Jorn the printed book was a site for the analysis, sequencing and presentation of large quantities of heterogeneous visual materials. Through his “continuous collages” (the phrase belongs to Jorn’s friend and collaborator, the archaeologist P.V. Glob) of photographs, Jorn wanted to trace image migrations across space and time. Most ambitiously, he planned the production of 32 voluminous books devoted to 10,000 years of Nordic folk art. One of the books was planned to be titled “Sten och ben” (Stone and Bone), focused exclusively on Gotland, but only a pilot volume on 12th century Scanian stone sculpture was ever published. Fifty years later, in the summer of 2014, director at the Baltic Art Center (Gotland) Lívia Páldi and Swedish artist Henrik Andersson invited writer, researcher, and curator Ellef Prestsæter, artist Jakob Jakobsen, publisher Mathias Kokholm (both Danish) and, most notably, Jacqueline de Jong to participate in what was called The Scandinavian Mutant Summer Camp. During a few glorious summer days the campers drove around the island, using the 1964 contact sheets as a navigational tool and an interface to the past, retracing the movements of the vandals fifty years earlier while looking out for new revelations. Stone and Bone – A Trip to Gotland 1964/2014 includes visual and textual materials from the SISV archive and the books and magazines where Asger Jorn presents the material and performs the most complex and pataphysical version of his comparative vandalist method. Jacqueline de Jong is probably the most insistent user of the SISV archive with her heretic Situationist Times, one of the most remarkable artists’ magazines of the 1960s, with a range from wild archaeology to contemporary cultural topology. Situationist Times has a strong resonance today as precursors to the idea of “artistic research”, which gives her a central role in this book. Besides de Jong and Jorn a new generation of vandals present their different approaches to an artistic research or a contemporary vandalist method in the archive: Henrik Andersson, Ellef Prestsæter & Scandinavian Institute for Computational Vandalism, Jakob Jakobsen and Mathias Kokholm.Vis mere
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