Moderna Museet projektAbsolut Stockholm
At the end of 2000, we developed ABSOLUT STOCKHOLM, Label or life - city on a platform, for Moderna Museet projekt, Stockholm.
This project explored the city as a platform and is a search for the life 'behind the labels, engagement with ideals, the drive for
In the project space of the museum, a 1:1 reconstruction of a 'ready-made', a billboard advertisement from New York by Absolut with
furnishings by Ikea, was installed. A remarkable advertisement billboard: two large Swedish companies both working on a global
scale strategically combine forces in a big city outside Sweden. This billboard consists of a 'real' three-dimensional everyday living situation; the furniture however is attached to the well-known bottle shape. Compact living.
In a museum space, its initial function as a billboard (originally meant to function in a public space) is replaced by another function: as a hypothetical model to test advertising against reality. But how habitable is reality actually, and for whom? Using the billboard as a 'springboard' we explored relations between ideas, ideals,
propaganda and personal investment in the past and what this all means today. We made a selection of several public spaces and areas in Stockholm that played a role in Sweden's past and the development of the so-called Swedish model. In search of their utopian, esthetic, functional and historic qualities, we set up public meetings, small events and interventions in or around these places, to make connections between people who live here and those who visit, to question the grade of 'publicness' of these spaces functioning today, to challenge a sense of creating interest on what public and public space means in a city where public places disappear under constant pressure of pragmatic capitalist developments, as well as communicating excitement and curiosity by creating access to places.
These events were informal and casual, and focused on exchanging ideas and on creating new or unexpected connections.
It was very important that this project would reach out to a wider public than the usual art public: in our opinion, the issues raised by implication of this project, were all very much a 'public case'. Therefore we developed a
simple but effective and precise communication strategy with the museum. A map and sticker sheet directed the public to the locations where the events took place; they were both distributed widely among cultural areas in the city. Information about the project could also
be obtained via the website of the museum, and each event was advertised in the national newspaper, the local newspapers as well as in weekly cultural papers, distributed in shops and entertainment areas.