In this year’s Revisit at Wanås Konst, we get to know the work of Swedish artist Marianne Lindberg De Geer. In her work she uses different media, and moves with equal doses of humor and seriousness in great leaps from Pippi Longstocking and cuddly rabbits, to tombstones and tumors. Her I am Thinking About Myself – 2003, 2003, a sound work with an archive of voices that calls out for Mummy, is one of the most memorable works in the collection of the sculpture park.
The year is 1963. I’m standing in the kitchen with my hands in warm, soapy water, washing the breakfast dishes in the downstairs apartment of Klamparegatan 17. My first-born son is crawling around at my feet. He’s six months old. He takes hold of my leg at the same time as he looks up at me. Our eyes meet and I grow dizzy, there’s a buzzing sound in my ears, and I fall helplessly down be-side him. I break out into a cold sweat. My heart is pounding, my head bowed to the floor. His hands in my hair.
Mommy, he says. Mommy.
For the first time, I understand what it means. Mommy.
I try to breathe, stretching my body out long. Anders climbs on me. Laughing, gurgling. It rushes throughout my body. He climbs up with his legs along the broom closet, calming me, crying.
Mommy, Anders says.
My hand in his in his hair.
Anders, I say. Anders, I’m here.
This is how Marianne Lindberg De Geer describes her artwork I am Thinking About Myself – Wanås 2003. In the quote, the artist shares one of the meanings behind the audio work that is one of the sculpture park’s most well-known artworks; no one remains unmoved by it. It consists of an archive of voices calling for mommy, some calling for daddy. Impatient, beseeching or whispering voices, young and old, intermingle and spread throughout the park. Once heard, it cannot be forgotten.
Since 2011, the program series Revisit has looked back on permanent works in the collection and previous years’ exhibitions. Revisit encourages a more comprehensive view of an oeuvre that, on site at Wanås, is associated with a single artwork, and allows viewers to gain perspective on what the artist is working with today. In this fall’s Revisit, we encounter several artworks by Marianne Lindberg De Geer and one of her latest sculptures. She describes:
“The Wind Cries Mary is a paraphrase of images we have seen of overthrown dictators, but is also, if you like, about a traumatized childhood, or maybe expresses the feeling of letting go of something or someone. The idea for the expression grew out of the fact that all of my outdoor sculptures in public spaces have been vandalized in one way or another. And I have never seen a sculpture in a public space that was vandalized from the very beginning. It (this sculpture) is created in one perfect piece that was subsequently split into five parts.”
This fall, the sculpture is shown in the retrospective exhibition alongside both older and newer artworks from Lindberg De Geer’s often-controversial oeuvre. She works with a variety of different modes and techniques—sculpture, painting, film, text, photography, and sound—but often the works are given the same title: I am Thinking About Myself.
Wanås Konst Hässleholmsvägen, Vanås, 289 90 Knislinge | Sweden