press release

Collaboratively, Hausswolff and Elggren have worked on various projects, including the 2001 Venice Biennale Nordic Pavilion, and the on-going Elgaland-Vargaland, a kingdom over which they are kings. Despite the fact that the kingdom exists only in the imagination of the kings and their 500 or so citizens, they have Elgaland-Vargaland passports, national banknotes, stamps, holidays, a flag and other symbols of nationhood.

In a time of increasing nationalism, Elgaland-Vargerland [sic] understands itself to be independent of time and space and propagates a notion of agonistic citizenship, which...defin[es] itself outside the horizon of territory... (Jens Hoffmann, Flash Art, May/June 2001) Jens Hoffmann cho[se] to write about Elgaland-Vargerland [sic] because of its encouragement to finally admit that the common beliefs and collective certainties of every day life are just as made up as this country and its two kings. As playful as this project might appear upon first glance, also proposes a serious look upon the organization of reality and moreover human mechanisms within society at large.

For the 2001 Nordic Pavilion, Hausswolff and Elggren collaborated with three other artists, Tommi Gršnlund, Petteri Nisunen and Anders Tomren. While each artist made individual contributions to it, the pavilion was conceived as a whole. No part of the exhibition was credited to any individual artist.

The pavilion was one of the most precise and manifesto-like reflections on the new position of artists today. ...Instead of combining individual concepts, the pavilion produced a multiplicity of singularities.... (Robert Fleck, Frame news, 2 / 2001)


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Leif Elggren / Carl Michael von Hausswolff