Excerpt from work in progress
THE COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT IN SWEDEN
On a walk in Stockholm I stumble upon stacks of books thrown away. It is working-class litterature and Cooperative litterature covered in snow. For me it was a clear picture of Sweden in change. New ideologies and intentional forgetfullness. From a society ruled by needs to a society of desires.
Central to my research is the "Without Borders" exhibition (1957), which sought to transform the home and the daily life of Swedish citizens. The remnants from the exhibition structure is now in a zoo. 2 films are from obsolete structures that reminds us of past visions of the future. What Robert Smithson called Ruins in reverse.
In 1931 the acceptera manifest was written. As a philosophical framework, it helped guide societal change on an expansive scale, and it did so by examining the everyday routines of families and individuals. It sought to "embrace a rational, social and technological approach towards architectural construction and urban planning" and create a national way forward that would result in the transformation of Swedish culture. Both the free markets and welfare states sought to bind the individual to systems of consumption, whether they be sponsored by the state or produced by the private sector.
What was in the beginning a Utopian project is now an organisation in crisis. In a hidden cellar resides the biggest collection of Utopian litterature in Sweden. Functionalistic icons like "Slussen" is being replaced by new ideals. KF which stands for the Cooperative Union established itself in the beggining of the 1900s and grew steadily up until 1970 ies. They broke many monopolies and influenced the debate on taste and many aspects of everyday life.
I´m interested in the role of the artist as a worker within the movement and how it was advertised. The influence on social and spacial change. In the potential in utopian narratives and how collective action could be organized today. What is inscribed in the collective history and memory that the Cooperative movement influenced so heavily and why.
Filmstills Slussen entropy after Robert Smithson