mona petersson

Utsatt-Skydd (Exposed-Protection) was an installation about protection and vulnerability, but also about a protection that is exposed or vulnerable. The space can be viewed from an iron bridge that runs around a short and a long side of a room. An iron staircase leads down into the space.

When Mona Petersson exhibited Utsatt-Skydd (Exposed-Protection) in the Boiler Room at Konstepidemin in Gothenburg, she had found the basement space that she had been looking for. One entered her exhibition as if entering an underground shelter. Unknown instrument-like metal pieces and mysterious fabric-covered objects lay there, with inconceivable vests or girdles hanging in glass cabinets. They created an unsettling atmosphere. There was no blood or wounds, but one thought of compresses and clinics and even of the expression “clinically sterile” – as if a field hospital had solidified into a museum. The original meaning of the word “museum” is “the home of the muses,” a place where the goddesses of art and science reside. When the world itself becomes convalescent, care is given in a museum, in the true sense of the word.

In a corner of the Boiler Room, a large number of concrete moulds were stacked, which looked like World War I helmets. This association was quite accurate, I was later informed. In reality, these objects were moulds for making a type of shock absorber to be used in the same way as sandbags mitigate the impact of grenade attacks on buildings. A deep concrete tub gave weight to this moving representation in a basement.

In summary, a feeling of aftermath, memory and grief came over me. The dead had been buried. Suffering had once again been integrated into the ongoing drama of our civilization. Perhaps what we do best is console and care for the wounded, that is, one another – both guilty and innocent. Now that culture has driven us to a point where we have all become victims.

In addition to this, there is around Mona Petersson’s work so far, a paradoxical undertone of playful delight in the midst of gravity, which brings to mind guerrilla warfare, life in landfills, the interwar years and the worship of things in catacombs – whether these objects portray gods or something else we cannot know…

Björn Berglund, Writer.

Click on the images for materials and techniques.

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