Eat Work Rest is a project about an artist’s private and public spheres. The artist Prince Eugen of Sweden, Duke of Närke (1865-1947) is set in focus. The prince’s life, as all other artists’, was separated in a private and a public sphere, and perhaps even more evidently so in his case due to his birth. The difference between the private and the public cut through the prince’s work as an artist, his social life, his official tasks and even in what was served in his home the palatial villa Waldemarsudde on the sea just outside the city centre of Stockholm.
The project Eat Work Rest, consisting of a book and an exhibition, originates from a few sentences 1st curator Göran Söderlund at Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde uttered early on the New Year of 2009. We were in his office in the villa. He told that they – the management of the palace – had harboured plans to re-make the Prince’s study on the ground floor for some time. He said it almost as if en passant. The book includes texts by Charlotte Birnbaum, Power Ekroth and Christina Wistman.
To give some understanding of the context, it should be mentioned that the interiors of three private chambers in the palace are missing since 1947, and of several guest rooms. These were removed, all according to the provisions of the Prince’s will.
The exhibition consists of an installation piece, an associative reconstruction of the vanished study on the first floor and the Prince’s bedchamber, emptied from their original contents soon after the Prince’s death 1947. The chambers are re-constructed as moving digital images based on C.G. Rosenberg’s pictures of 1947, and excerpts from the documentary ‘A Summer Day at Waldemarsudde’, shot by Lennart Bernadotte in 1943, in form of back-projections on silver screen walls, which makes it possible for a viewer to experience the imagery from the inside too. The projections are 3 x 4 m and the installation covers an area of some 500 m2. I recognise both these colleagues as contributors to the final result, in a inter-textual sense.
Objects and furniture essential for the original rooms, are on lone from Stopalo AB Stockholm. These furniture are set in new unorthodox positions not unlike large assemblages. In the room Eat we meet a kitchen table, some dining room chairs from the 18th century, a couple of pheasants, an egg-box and an IKEA lamp from the 1970. In the room Work we find a desk from the 18th century, and early 19th century lamp and rake for a tennis court. In the room Rest we find a pair of riding boots, a gentleman’s hat-box, a chair, an electrified chandelier, and an finally a 18th century cast iron dolphin. The objects were presented on 18th century rugs.
Exercishallen Norr, 2011.