Vänjaurträsk, August 4th, 2013

Dear Leif,

The CDs and the books that you gave me are truly coming to their right here in southern Lapland (especially the recordings from Swedenborg's summerhouse). We're staying in Linda's father's house, on the upper floor, where his mother-in-law Greta used to live before moving to a home for old people. Greta is very religious and the rooms are still stuffed with Christian images and symbols: crucifixes, pictures of Jesus, small angels, and biblical quotes. On the door to the toilet there is a heart shaped sign saying "Here is the door you are searching for", as if paradise were to be found behind it.

I don't usually laugh when reading and humour generally makes me suspicious, but when I read your book "Genealogy" I ended up laughing out loud at several occasions. The book filled me with a sense of ease – in spite (or maybe because) of the fact that it is very serious.

In one of the texts you mention the fatness of Göran Persson. I guess you wrote it when he was still the prime minister. In those days, which is not long ago, fatness could still be carried as some sort of crown and it was only the men of power (never the women of course) who had the right to be fat. Fat people without power were only being lazy or generally failed, unable even to rule themselves.

Something decisive has happened since then: the potentates have lost their weight! They are no longer fat! Actually, it seems as if they have gotten rid of most of their symbols. As a consequence they appear less like superiors and more like administrators of reality (the politicians) or engineers of growth (the capitalists). They only seem to be doing their jobs, just like everyone else.

I think this situation is very dangerous, because when they are hiding their privileges they are also hiding inequality, as if the world they rule is the best of possible worlds. But the fatness of the sovereigns doesn't disappear just because we don't see it! That is why I am happy to see that you continue to use the symbols of power – the tin-can crowns are more important now than ever.

I look forward to meet you and the sleeping celebrities at the opening!

All the best!


P.S. I'm sure you would like it here in Vänjaurträsk. The sun never sets in summer, so the night itself is like a long daybreak.

Jens Soneryd, exhibition text, Leif Elggren "A Dormitory for Celebrities", Gallery Niklas Belenius, 22.08–29.09, 2013.