Gävle’s Capital of Culture 2014 is built on seven programmes:
The City of Excellence, Freedom of Speech, Tradition & Transition, Art & Space, Future Tracks, Growing Culture Souls and Art & Independence. The year 2014 will follow a timeline reminding of a piece of composed music, with themes, variations, retakes and coda. We want to inject the whole year with the feel and flow of musicality. Let it swing, rest, explode, whisper, titillate, tease and vibrate in every tone and piece … As well as the fantastic inauguration in January 2014, every new theme will begin with a programme highlight specific to that theme. The highlight will be a symbol manifesting the lead-in to each respective programme.
The City of Excellence
One’s first meeting with a city always contains a special excitement. The view of the City Hall, the sea, the parks, the older parts of town, the sculptures. One’s heart beats a little bit faster. A place to conquer! In Gävle, most things are in their proper place, in a wide view. Gävle strand, the Gasometer area, Old Gefle, the Castle, the Great Square, the Esplanade, the City Gardens, Concert Hall, Art centre, College, the many grand houses from the 19th century. Cities can be difficult to get a grip on when they feel formless. With Gävle, the opposite is true. Almost immediately, the city is clear to the visitor; its structure, its atmosphere. The traffic sounds in its own special way. The tempo and breathing is Gävle’s own. With this heading, Gävle 2014 would like to show the city as an artwork in our daily lives.
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of speech encompasses the right to express oneself verbally and the right to speak one’s opinions on radio, tv, and like media, without censorship or punishment. In the UN’s universal declaration of human rights it is formulated thus: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” A similar text can also be found in the European convention on human rights. Freedom of speech is often regulated in the fundamental laws of a country. Freedom of speech can be seen as a part of a more extensive freedom of thought and opinion, and as a philosophical term belongs therefore together with the term freedom.
Freedom of speech is about the relationship between the state and the individual, not about the relationship between individuals. Freedom of speech is seen as one of the prerequisites for a democratic form of government. In spite of this, there are normally certain limitations on one’s freedom of speech, which vary from country to country. Gävle and the region is, thanks to fighters such as Joe Hill and Stig Dagerman, in several respects the actual cradle of freedom of speech as the natural right of the Cultural Right of Common Access. This will be noted in several ways. Here are the projects that renew tradition, that expand their social platforms and give tradition greater relevance for our own times. Tradition is thus connected to the culture in which one has one’s roots. Here we also have style, something that each artist must sooner or later take into account. The intention of this theme is to create a rich and many-faceted mosaic, with a breathing and rhythm thatleaves space for surprises. The central question is how knowledge is transmitted into our times. How do we play a string quartet from the 18th century by Anders Wesström so that it feels new? How does the Milles sculpture from 1910 fit into the new city plan? How do we get students interested in reading texts by Agnes von Krusenstjerna?
Art & Space
Here we find art in public spaces. And art that opens an inner window to the mental space. This is normally dangerous territory for a humanist who feels that things like the mixture in Stradivarius’ violin varnish, string theory, and other mysteries should eventually be answered. But the programs under Art & Space are not always meant to be answered. They can just as well be allowed to be as mysterious as the universe itself. Imagine that what we call the universe is in reality only a small part an enormous number of universe islands sprinkled across a huge cosmological archipelago. A “multiversum”.
A number of frothing bubbles on the surface of a huge, whirling ocean. Gävle has above all two artists who search for answers in these dimensions: the “space flower” Thomas Di Leva, whose comprehensive artwork “Gävle in the cosmos” will designate the city as the centre of the universe; and Hans Tjörneryd, with his lifelong project Limbusation Art. On October 12th, 1992, exactly 500 years to the day after Columbus discovered America, Tjörneryd began his Limbusation Expedition with the burial of canvases, cloths and recording tapes at Jungfruberget (Virgin Mountain) in Falun, Dalarna, Sweden. Jungfruberget was chosen as the first area of research for the expedition. Since then, Tjörneryd’s Limbus expedition has gone on. Acclaimed actions and translations – a symbolic moving of physical objects (such as stones) – have been carried out across all of Europe.
View this as an arena for the analysis of our times and a debate about the future, where history and art are the tools for thought. The goal is to provide experiences and knowledge that help to form opinions and create societal debate, along with greater understanding for and interest in the connections between past and present and our own district. It is also about creating an increased respect for our cultural milieu ad heritage. Under the heading Future Tracks, the screw is turned even more: the projects should be so innovative that they can sketch the heritage and memories from the future.
One example is an international sound milieu symposium/ festival with the latest within sound research (psychoacoustics, audiology, acoustic ecology, sound design, audio branding) with invited guests from universities and the audio branch. A festival with sound sculptures and installations at Årummet and other places in the area. The symposium will also announce a unique competition: find Gävleborg’s official county sound! Under this heading we also can see Ferdinand Boberg’s Gasometer area, which will be filled with innovative content.
Tradition & Transition
The relationship of our own time to tradition is complicated by the inexorable pluralism that now reigns in an ever more excessive society. And what says that tradition is anything other than bad habits that must continually be re-evaluated? From this perspective, Gävle wishes to test the idea by allowing tradition and renewal to wash against one another in contrasts and stylistic opposites. It might for example take the form of a project on Gävle as a circus city, and what happens when old circus traditions occupy streets and squares with new expressions.
Here are the projects that renew tradition, that expand their social platforms and give tradition greater relevance for our own times. Tradition is thus connected to the culture in which one has one’s roots. Here we also have style, something that each artist must sooner or later take into account. The intention of this theme is to create a rich and many-faceted mosaic, with a breathing and rhythm that leaves space for surprises. The central question is how knowledge is transmitted into our times. How do we play a string quartet from the 18th century by Anders Wesström so that it feels new? How does the Milles sculpture from 1910 fit into the new city plan? How do we get students interested in reading texts by Agnes von Krusenstjerna?
Growing Culture Souls
Man and nature. What a team! But nature does not begin suddenly just because a public road ends. It creeps in under the concrete; moss chooses to grow along the pedestrian street in the middle of the city and between the steps to the ica market. The forests and the fields were larger before. Nature felt like a big cupboard, but at the same time mystical in all its magnificence and “scentificness”. Nature was wild; there lay a frightening silence and shyness around the experience of nature itself. There was not a question of any intimate relations with aesthetic qualities. On the contrary. Today, we are indoors more hours than we are outdoors. Who owns common knowledge? In the near future, it will probably be necessary to find texts in law books that uphold the rights of the people against the use of “copyright protection” by giant corporations.
For example, who has the rights to the recipe for cabbage rolls from Kolforsen? Somewhere deep inside, an ancient gene is rattling around in us. Knowledge may be lost, but it is not too difficult to regain. But the balance between romance and desire, big city and countryside mentality, exploitation and management, preying instinct and endurance is not so easy to keep. We have cleared, burnt, pruned, sowed, dug, planted, ploughed, and in different ways arranged nature. We have drowned in natural pathos. To experience nature, and in this context grow as human beings, is thus a highly composite feeling coupled with opinions about how one should see and express it all. Most probably, diametrically opposed feelings are awakened in a city and country dweller. In the same way, this love for variety expresses itself differently depending on the perspective from which one views it. The heading Growing Culture Souls tries to capture that which is unforced, such as sitting on a glacial stone in the forest and silently listening, looking, tasting, smelling, feeling, and throwing one’s ragged old ego into the recycling bin. It is absolutely necessary to regulate one’s tempo, for city dwellers today walk a few kilometres per hour faster than they did twenty years ago.
Even the beep in the telephone signal has been shortened so that we can finish our conversations more quickly. Our entire social rhythm depends on quickness. If one moves slowly enough and long enough on the same spot, nature ceases to be a museum, a destination for an outing. It melds together. It reminds me a bit of tuning a musical instrument. The ground then becomes my song. The sun my lamp. The sea my bathroom sink. Light and darkness my clock. In Growing Culture Souls, Gävle 2014 wishes to extend an invitation to contemplation and growth. Especially to Wij Gardens and their philosophy, but also to concerts like “Andrum”, where the sacred things in the county churches are mixed with sparse, transparent music.
Art & Independence
In an interview, the musician Beck Hansen describes his latest cd as a multiple with several alternative mixes, animations, videos, texts, games, ready-mades, cover photos, and so on. In reality, this means that each listener that is online can edit his own Beck edition and write it out. “It’s time for the album to reclaim technology”, Beck says. “Put a song in your throat.” Beck is the surrealist who creates his own laws. His audience is large. His songwriting is more like a spring cleaning, a sort of flea market finding that forms itself. As early as the release of his previous album, “Guero”, it was in the form of a “Guero Cycle”.
Music files were put onto the Internet so that anyone could go into the material and make their own versions; add a stringed instrument, take away some vocals, and then put them in new folders that were shared with others (legally). In it language this s called open code, and can easily be applied to any art area at all. Several times during 2014, those of the region’s practitioners who feel that they belong to Art & Independence will manifest themselves on the Internet and in new places both outdoors and indoors. Anytime, anywhere, and in any way. The idea is that it be 100% unforeseen.
Musician and journalist