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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in Sweden
Helena Blomqvist: The Last Golden Frog

Helena Blomqvist:<EM> Morning procession</EM>&copy; Helena BlomqvistPhoto courtesy of Angelika Kn&auml;pper Gallery
Helena Blomqvist: Morning procession
© Helena Blomqvist
Photo courtesy of Angelika Knäpper Gallery
Helena Blomqvist: The Last Golden Frog
STOCKHOLM  •  Angelika Knäpper Gallery  •  Ongoing

The procession clothed in black progressed during silence amongst the naked trees. All wearing black, like mourners. An anonymous cortege, a black river of despondence outlining itself against the white snow. The long skirts, the capes and the big hats spoke of different and distant times. But it was first after a while I discovered that the procession did not consist of human beings but of - monkeys.

Helena Blomqvist's art bares the double hallmark of philosophical reflection and a cunningly twisted sense of humor. Photography's mission is for many to describe the world, make visible what we do not notice or prefer to ignore. But Helena Blomqvist's artistic practice is not about portraying the world. Instead she builds the world, over and over again by using models and props. When she installs the camera to immortalize the scenes it is all about capturing an accomplished fact that already exists.

But the monkeys, what are they doing there? Monkeys dressed as humans looks as if they belong to a circus. But even they have a cultural history. When the controversy about Darwin's evolutionary theory was at its worst in the 19-th century, his opponents often pointed out what they found to be absurd in his teachings by portraying him and his proselytes as monkeys wearing costumes. The fact is that the same visual argumentation is used by today's opponents to the evolutionary theory. The classic science fiction movie The Planet of the Apes from 1968 has another take on history, and makes the monkeys lords over the humans. At the end of the movie the main character suddenly realizes that he is not on a strange planet ruled by monkeys but in fact, its earth in a distant future.

But Helena Blomqvist's monkeys are not domineering masters striving to conquer the world. They are interacting in the human tragedy, watching together with other living creatures how the sun is setting and the world getting colder.

Anders Olofsson

Angelika Knäpper Gallery Website

Contact: Angelika Knäpper Gallery
Tegnérgatan 4
113 58 Stockholm
Tel: (46) 8 54 59 31 19

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