SLOPPY SECONDS – a part of LAUNCH OF RE:, Phase 1.
March 12 until April 10 2022
Installation and text performance by Karen Froede
Exhibition at Thomassen Galleri, Götabergsgatan 32 i Göteborg, S (bilder + text 2 A4)
Curators: Carolina Falkholt and Nora Söder
These worn sex dolls were given to me by a friend.
Hen had found them, barely covered with other plastic-material, in the basement waste room.
I was very grateful. What an extraordinary donation.
At a first glance you might feel alienated…disgusted. Forked feelings.
Yes- that happened to me as well.
They have obviously been used- all dreggy and done.
Their virginity popped- no one knows by what.
But-please take a closer look.
Breathe in the three holes.
The faint scent of PVC-plastic might bring you back to your childhood- as you were about to open a package with a new bathing ball.
The scent of cum and sperm will possibly evoke experiences of sex- good or bad.
You might react with arousal. Don’t worry it ́s okey.
You might react with shame or disgust- it ́s okey too.
Can we conclude that whatever it is, there is just something about these second-hand dolls that strikes our innermost core and keeps us in an ambiguous limbo.
This helpless inanimate reproduction of a human body produced for infinite pleasure and loyalty.
After some minutes you might admit that they get your fantasy going.
You wonder: Who the fuck has actually penetrated these creatures?
Your mind starts generating flickering perceptions you cannot escape.
At this stage you might want to walk away.
What if I would tell you that ,in a way, you are also fucking sex-dolls…
We all are…
In the beginning of the 20th century people, in general, bought only what they needed. Producers aimed to make objects that would last over time – over generations. During world war 1 Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theories started being used to manipulate the mind of the masses to buy things, not only of necessity, but of pure desire. Consumerism was born. One of the most influential characters behind this paradigm shift was Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays.
Psychoanalytical theories emphasize the strong empowerment of the subconscious filters and experiences. Our subconscious mind incorporates primal nessecities for suvival such as sex, food, shelter and belonging. Man’s seemingly rational choices are mainly driven by the subconscious.
By connecting the subconscious cravings for freedom and power, Bernays was able to make women start smoking. This by hiring influential women to smoke while marching in the media coveraged Easter Sunday Parade in March 1929. Bernays called the campaign, paid for by the tobacco industry: “Torches of freedom”.
Subconsciously or not it is hard, not to say impossible, to withdraw from the system and beliefs imprinted in contemporary society. Many of us feel instinctively that we are deluded into buying things we do not need but we cannot help ourselves.
When it comes to the used sex dolls the connection between desire and quick-fix indulgement becomes too obvoius.
So obvious that it sets you off.
But- please do not judge too harshly.
Your own consumption and your seemingly free decisions are based on far more primitive
instincts than you think.
What if I would tell you that, in a way, you are also screwing sex-dolls…
We all are…
“I THINK I WAS INSIDE IT ONCE”
In 1865 a young male blue whale swam astray in the Askim bay on the Swedish west-coast. Two fishermen killed him and sold him to Mr Malm, a taxidermist and curator at the Gothenburg museum of natural history; thereby the name The Malm whale. It is supposed to be the only taxidermied blue whale in the world. With its neck hinged the upper jaw can be bent backwards thus opening up for visitors to enter. The interior is rigged with benches along the sides and a table for the intake of a nice meal. The whale was closed as couples started having sex inside of it. Nowadays it is only open every fourth year- the “valår”/ “election year” which also can be understood as the “whale year” in Swedish.
The whole setting is both spectacular and bizarre. It brings about questions on what we, as humans, consider natural resources, about accountability and exploitment and how far we can go to gain attention and acknowledgement. The Malm whale states an example of a cruel slaughter of a mammal from the past- but are we any better today?
For three days in February 2022, Karen Froede stayed with it, interviewing spectators surrounding the whale, touching it, smelling it, reflecting on the context and trying to figure it out. Her reflections summarized below:
“I THINK I WAS INSIDE IT ONCE”
By: Karen Froede, February 2022
I asked why
she was carving
into the skin
it was to prolong
her own self in time
it was plastic anyway
it is real skin
She looked bewildered
it was a stinking pile
of nails and dried
She said it was
a remarkable piece
I think I was inside it one.
it is a pure resource
Then she added:
but that was long ago.
It used to be an attraction
-a object mere
for human satisfaction
Then he added:
but that was long ago.
Before it was open, but
inside of it
So they closed it
with a hinge
in the back of its neck.
whale in Swedish
election in Swedish
Every fourth year
as it is “val”-year
will be bent back
at that hinge
so people can walk
up a ladder
a fun pun
This year it is
It is year 2022
It is now
not long ago
February until March 2022.
“Reflections emerge only in quietude”, Andrea Othelius
This congenial performative art-work by Andrea Othelius, unfolds the ambivalence of being human. By interacting with a mirroring surface of water the dancers extrapolate physical movements into a spectra of congruent and contradictory emotions, into a struggle between the conscious and subconscious. With all life developed in water- this piece evolves into a multilayered shivering membrane of our mind.
Dancers: Andrea Othelius, Emelie jåogåoxx, hgogp jhhXx, iygifoif vofify, iugpigpg ihpifpf, gugpifg pigpifg, ohåogåog ggp
KRISTINEBERGS CENTER FOR MARINE RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
Kristineberg Center for Marine Research and Innovation is an open partnership founded to accelerate the transition to a sustainable blue economy and to act as an intermediary between academia, the industry and the public sector. Through the Daylight Studio at the School of Architecture, KTH, Karen Froede was invited to stay and meet researchers at Kristineberg. Of great interest to LAUNCH OF RE are sustainable reproducible materials which can substitute fossil based plastics, locally cultivated food and ongoing studies on microplastics, their accumulation and impact on existing ecosystems.
Many thanks to Per Fransson, Fredrik Gröndahl and Karin Mattson.
We are looking forward to seeing you soon again.
December 22 – February 17
A forerunner to “and free they are”, which will have Vernissage April 28. Photographs by Karen Froede
On February 21´st the Swedish government presented the first National course of Action for Plastic as a part of the strategy of Circular Economy.