Jour Fixe: art, food, drinks around “spännare” by Sanna Marander

Cover for Agnes von Krusenstjerna’s “Den blå rullgardinen” by Sanna Marander (2011)

Cover for Agnes von Krusenstjerna’s “Den blå rullgardinen” by Sanna Marander (2011)

 

Welcome to the first of a series of events titled Jour Fixe. Jour Fixe happens once a month on a Friday night: a regular meeting of experiencing art, food, drinks, and conversations at home.

 

The first Jour Fixe happens around the work “spännare” (2011) by Sanna Marander. The work explores the division between private and public space. It questions what type of information is considered appropriate to be communicated and made available in which of the two spheres at different times, and by whom. The work is based on the text “Den blå rullgardinen”, written by Agnes von Krusenstjerna in 1930, which caused a legendary scandal at its time.

 

Curated by Stefanie Hessler

 

Join us on Friday, 19 October 2012, from 18.30 for food and drinks that (maybe) were served during von Krusenstjerna’s time.

 

For location details send an email to: visit@smallworldsproject.com

 

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“spännare” (Engl. coil spring) is the technical term for the part of a roller shade that allows the fabric to move up and down. The shade itself functions as an object that divides public from private space. It also demarcates a division of content, between things that can be said and done in which of the two spheres. Behaviour that may be accepted in one of the two may be considered inappropriate in the other. The point in time of when things are said or done further influences how they are being perceived.

 

Sanna Marander’s work is based on the text “Den blå rullgardinen”, written by Agnes von Krusenstjerna in 1930. The text is the first of a series on the fictive characters Petra and Angela von Pahlen. The references to sexuality and intimate descriptions of women caused a scandal at the time of the release of the book, and von Krusenstjerna’s own publishers refused to publish it. A two-year long debate on freedom of speech and the role of women in literature and society known as the Krusenstjerna feud followed.

 

In the book, sexual experiences take place in a home environment, in the shadow of a blue curtain, lending its title to the text. The blue curtain creates a specific zone of privacy and due to the change of light and atmosphere within the room, different rules and norms seem to apply. The curtain gives freedom and works as a shield, protecting the ones behind it from the eyes and looks from others on the outside.

 

The work “spännare” further entails the possible re-publishing of the book “Den blå rullgardinen”, which 72 years after von Krusenstjerna’s death in 1940 has been free of copyright for two years. Sanna Marander designed a new cover for the book, lending it an updated air and appearance. The work, which is now in the public realm, is reconsidered from today’s perspective. The scandal it caused at its time may be hard to understand 72 years later. It reflects upon the cultural, social, and timely dimensions of norms, and proves that they are constructs rather than given facts.

 

In a time where most of our lives are public on the Internet, the norms and standards as to what is accepted to be placed in the public realm have changed. Much behaviour, which was considered to belong to the private sphere and home, is now carried into publicity. With it comes a certain demand to perform, pose and represent. Apparent transparency of private persons and institutions can be manipulated and utilised to create a specific image. “spännare” is an attempt to reconsider the cultural object, the text by von Krusenstjerna, and the scandal it caused in the light of today. How have not only the notions of private and public changed, but also the behaviour expected of men and women? The presentation of the work in a private home, which is opened up for the public to experience, adds another layer to the project.

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