PROPOSED SITE RELATED WORK FOR GNOSJÖ
Title: The Spirit of Gnosjö
Media: interventions, conversations and multi channel video installation
My idea is to make a symbolic approach to how an immaterial thing as the called "spirit of Gnosjö" embodies and it is embodied in material creations and in a local sociocultural identity. I am also interested in how the "spirit of Gnosjö" can be canalized as a distinctive tool of competitiveness (in economy) or as a way of solidarity (I was even invited to work as volunteer with the Gnosjö Hjälper team for a short time in 2020).
During my research time I will need to make interviews and to establish dialogue with people from the town about their dreams when they sleep at night. I am interested in linking images of labour and of industrial past and present with oneiric perspectives that could reverberate unconscious collective archetypes. Thus, I want to reflect on the relation of people with the creation of images (their dreams and my artistic video images) and the action of the body (the human body or its technological extensions)
Crossing conceptual video art, visual anthropology, and performative aesthetics (of human beings and machines), I want to portray some connections and/or tensions between what it is individual and collective, private and public, exceptional and systematic, ephemeral and continuous, particular and universal. I intend that new meanings could appear by the framing, by the edition and by a formal strategy of split-screen (where image A + image B are not equal to meaning AB, but rather produces something new, AB + C).
In terms of presentation, I want to create different videos to be seen in several monitors or projections in the public space. That could be shown in places like a shop window, the library or a factory facade. Maybe, it could be exhibited as well on a website connected with Gnosjö people (for instance in the city council website, in the library one or in an online local newspaper). /RM
ARTIST INITIAL APPROACH
”My artistic practice is being developed around the transformative power of art and questions about the construction of identity and meaning in a certain social, economical, political or cultural context. For Gnosjö, I'm interested in working around real daily situations which I could frame in a way that new meanings could appear. I want to portray and to reflect on the relation of people with work and creation, through its tensions between the individual and the collective, the private and public, the exception and the system, the ephemeral and the continuous, the linear and the non-linear.”
- Rui Mourão
NOTES ON RESEARCH WEEK IN GNOSJÖ
When I was in Gnosjö for one week, I put my artistic research focus on the relation of the community with labour.
On one hand, from the perspective of the "artist as ethnographer", I just met, talked, and observed different people in town (for example at the library, in factories, in a few homes or in local shops), trying to understand their work mindset and the spread belief in an innovative, entrepreneur, and creative identity (something that I observed even in charity action). On the other hand, I researched Gnosjö particular workshop archaeology. For that, I visited several places with traces of Gnosjö's industrial past: Hylténs and Gåröström Museum, Marieholm Ironworks, and Töllstorp (where I filmed and even had a stimulating guided visit to its workshops with water wheels still spinning).
I was even interested in how the community performs past labour in the Present. In that sense, I had the opportunity to be in an important local event at night with free open access and a significant number of visits by the local community, that annually remembers and nostalgically reenacts how industrial workshops used to work in 18th/19th centuries and onwards. In search of contrasts in the same labour axis, I visited and filmed as well a modern factory — Automatsvarvning (trans. automatic precision turning) — working with avant-guard technologies. I found very interesting how machines embodied the Gnosjö labour spirit with their intense hi-tech performativity. /RM