Isac Berglund on Monument

A Human Monument

On the eve of 24th of march the play Monument, directed by Gunilla Heilborn, was performed at Turteatern in Stockholm, the winds were blowing across the trees but like so many other monuments, the one I witnessed stood oblivious of nature and secure in its place.

The act plays with the idea of a monument in a seemingly playful way. In the foajé of the theater it stars, the feeling of a public place still remaining, the “guides” of the show presents themselves and starts discussing the meaning of the word monument. In a sensible way the background for the performance is presented, with a monotone delivery facts remain facts but with a humorous tinge which makes the non-suspicious lecture feel enticing. After discovering and performing the fragments of Aristofanes Owls the guides Kristiina and Lorenz are accompanied by a choir by the same name as the greek’s play which turns out to be the story of the Pantheon. 

By a beautiful transition in the latter part of the show from the entrance to the inner rooms of the building the play moves on to discuss monuments of the modern day, in Stockholm, Vienna and how monuments function and where their true agency lies. The question is asked, are monuments made for remembering or forgetting? What is certain is that they are made for the people, to feel or to feel nothing at all.

One could view this play as a living, breathing monument. But as a monument for monuments. By the transition the feeling of a public place is made visible and yet we are reminded by the cast that the building is locked, our viewing is intimate and personal. Thanks to the human agency one is made acutely aware of the workings of a monument, they are usually situated in the social but still each and every one of us sees it alone, in our head and by our eyes.

By the end I felt as if I had witnessed a monument for one hour. One who is amusing and interesting to say the least and at the same time, grey. The show had anchored itself solid from the wind for an hour, and then as the people went, it left with them.

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