Emelie Markgren on BOATS & On Air

In the performance Boats by Mica Sigourney, we saw him alone on the stage, both still standing and hysterical dancing to the music in his headset. The whole scene mediated a lonely birthday party with confetti and white balloons. He gave a text to someone from the audience, the volunteer read it out in a microphone. The content of the text brought a different turn to the performance when it spoke about Zeus. He created a platform for himself, a small world where he could live his identity, sexuality, his youth. I found it cute and also a little bit tragic.

The next performance was called On Air by Nadja Hjorton, Halla Ólafsdóttir, Zoë Poluch and Jessyka Watson-Galbraith. They were sitting inside of a big transparent plastic dome on the stage, sending a radio broadcast out to the audience. It was an entertaining concept which created a youthful discussion. The idea of the show started up when the girls were sitting in a sauna outside of Stockholm. They were discussing everyday life topics like, memories, anecdotes, menstruation and political social debates in our time. The bigger part of the performance took place inside of the dome, but after a while they came out on the floor. Closely together they created movements which became bodily comments of borders, identity and feminism.

I really wonder about their connection to the visual trends which turned out in both of the performances. In On Air there were houseplants in the scenography and also houseplants printed on their sweaters. I mean, houseplants were a big instagram trend in 2015, which also happens to be the same year that On Air was created. It was obviously no coincidence that they chose specifically houseplants. The same with the hipster beanie and the white adidas shoes in Boats. They are undoubtedly using the epochal trends from media of today. But what is unclear for me is their connection to it. What do they want to say by using hipster feed trends? Is it needed for the artwork or is it needed for themselves as young human beings in society of today?

They were both extremely connected to the zeitgeist. For me they were trying to open up their own thoughts about their modern generation. The fact that they are all young adults clarifies their reason and their personal desire to express their own kind of visual sexuality in relation to this ongoing epoch. That is what they should do as well, to really use what they are up for, to make use for what they know and what they are really interested in. At the same time it is much less common to see young artists today making art that is not clearly linked to their personal identity and their own subculture. When such a combination appears, for me future is able to be created. In these two pieces I thought about this very moment in this part of the world, and is not that contemporaneity? I think it probably is.

I am curious of what makes future become simultaneity. Maybe they are rather interested in that wanting to capture this very moment. They seemed busy by throwing and catching the political issues, that the artistic imaginary progressive research stopped up for a while. They were struggling with themselves in society of today through contemporary art, which is really interesting. They were playing with society of today and that is always very needed I think. I

really enjoy this kind of entertaining statements, but I would also like to see more of the artistic progressive research and the friction away from their very own society and identity.


Emelie Markgren