Celebration of a Revolution
Leif Elggren (b. 1950) has worked as a conceptual artist since late 1970’s, focusing on performance-, text-, sound-, visual art and installations. He has also released a long series of publications and recordings, for example on Ash International, Touch, Radium 226.05, Firework Edition and Kning Disk.
Elggren is a member of the performance duo Guds söner. Together with Carl Michael von Hausswolff, he is also founder of the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland (KREV). Reappearing themes in his practice are power relations, power symbols, absurdities and existential questions regarding life and death. At KRETS Elggren will show installations encircling the sewing machine as a cultural and revolutionary symbol. The work also reflects on the sounds produced by the machines, alongside their appearances as actual objects.
The artist about the exhibition:
”The sewing machine, when it became cheap enough to buy for common people, created a revolution in the sense that people could work from home, receive commissions, sew and deliver, and in that way earn some money. Or just sew for their own families. Mostly women of course. A way to, in a small scale, take over the means of production and create opportunities for a better future. One often emphasizes the book-printing machine as a revolutionary tool, making it possible to spread the message about the fact that the injustices of the world were shared by many, but the sewing machine is at least as important. The printing presses were often strictly controlled by the ruling classes. The droning choir of the sewing machines was freer and more fundamental. Isidore Ducasse realized, as early as 1869, its symbolic, metaphoric and subconscious signification for the revolution of the thought. What eventually became the crucial point for the surrealist movement. I remember when I was a kid and my mom sat in the kitchen at night, sewing. There was a great comfort in this. The sound of the sewing machine following all her demands made me fall asleep comfortably. I knew then that there was a tomorrow.”