An investigation of the human instincts
Part of the Primates project
Kalmar Museum of Art, Sweden 1997
The exhibition was built up around sounds, and the visual appearance was weak.
From an open window at the entrance of the museum you could hear a man and a woman viciously quarreling. The realism created insecurity in the visitors. Was this real? The argument also awoke strong reactions with memories from childhood and own broken relationships.
An ordinary residential property basement was built up in the cellar of the museum; with stores, peoples belongings etc.
Three hidden loud speakers behind air-intakes showed the life in the ”apartments” above. People shouting, quarrelling, arguing. Scenes that often happens behind closed doors. The visitors became eavesdroppers to events they normally only experience in their own lives. One, a family with children. One, a man in his career, the hunter. One from a staircase with neighbors gossiping.
The man on the pictures, a former hooligan, is destroying one of the built up stores in the basement. The bat he uses had been used in a serious assault and was loaned by the Police in Borgholm. The hooligan had two minutes to destroy as much as possible in the store, a normal time at such occasions (police information). After the destruction he put his mark on the wall. The visitors continued to put their marks during the exhibition.
In the end of the corridor was a blinking light which created insecurity in the visitors. It brought up their instincts to the surface. Will it be dark soon…
The exhibition spoke more to our instincts and unconscious mind than to our so highly appreciated intellect.
About the Primates project.
The Primates project consist of an exhibition, 2 CD´s and a web project.
The inspiration for this project came from a discussion with a friend, about whether or not humans are innately evil. I said that this is not the case. That humans are driven by a need of self-preservation and self-realisation, and that this is a force which is related to instinct. When our identities are threatened, we fight. My friend maintained the opposite; ”Look at all the evil things humans are capable of doing”.
The discussion resulted in my exhibit Primates Society at the Kalmar Museum of Art in 1997, of which the Swedish version of Cd Primates was a part.
Basic Stamp: Petter Feltenstedt
© Gunilla Leander