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PfA is a collaboration with Peppe Borge, dealing with ideas of power and play. Three objects were exhibited at The Royal Institute of Art’s 2012 spring exhibition. Pictures below are taken by Theo Elias Lundgren.
A conversation from the beginning of the process:
P: So how are we going to start?
C: Maybe from the beginning? How the idea was born?
P: Are you writing for the note on the [early draft exhibition space] wall now?
C: Yes. So, it basically started with me wanting to build a giant tombola.
P: Yeah. And that we wanted to continue working with PPU somehow.
C: How did we make a connection between PPU and Playground initially?
P: Maybe it just came to be as we started working. We wanted to build with
our hands rather than think about stuff. Or maybe not with our hands exactly
but, make big stuff.
C: I thought of it like this; PPU was so much about how we relate to ourselves
and each other from a very psychological, mental place, but that Playground
would be taking those same questions, but work from a physical, bodily starting
P: I don’t want to see it as a dichotomy. Not like ”first we did the brain, now we
do the body”, but just like a bodily/mental thing. A continuation. But it’s the
same critical idea. If you’d even want to think of it as critique.
C: For me, PPU was so much about perception, and to question the given
ideas of relationships. This has become much more about the idea of leading
and following. Of power, I guess.
P: Yes, I think so – analyzing power structures. But it’s tricky, these project are
about such a large scope of things but just in a very specific and narrow way.
C: I think it’s amusing how it developes over time and becomes… more. Like
with PPU, we build this whole concept. It’s not just these toys we are building,
there’s also this completely organic process of designing a logo, being very
specific of where we get our inspiration. Like authorities, state departments,
these power institutions in municipalities and the nation. We researched
authority logos for half a day. These things, they are super-important. It’s
very clear to us, the context of this and how we should proceed mentally all
P: Yeah, but I think when we talk about this project, we should be clear with
how non-verbal this vision has been. It’s not like we have sat down and
analyzed power and authorities. We have, however, talked on and on trying to
decide how thick the foam on the carousel should be. I think it’s been very clear
to both of us from the start, that this project needs to be worked on more
intuitively. One of the words I have connected to Playground has been ”mute”.
It’s supposed to be mute. Aestetically mute as well as mute in opinion. It
shouldn’t really ”comment” on anything. And all our ideas about power should
be just subtly present in the finished work.
C: Underneath the foundation.
P: You should write this : ”Toys that are monumental in size, but still mobile
and interactive, stern but kind, that look as if they were built by a well-meaning
C: Exactly. Educational.
P: Yeah, experts from the government has said ”This is how you should try and
use your body.” And it might be intimidating but you’re supposed to hug it.
C: I like it. What I thought about, is the visual part of all of this. How the toys
will work together, how the idea of them will differ from the finished pieces.
Since we are still so much in the beginning of this – we haven’t even finished
the first toy – I almost feel lazy when we talk about the concept and the logo
and shit. What we said in the very beginning was ”Let’s just build shit!” And
then we still fall into the habit of conceptualizing. … You want to read what
I’ve written so far?
(Stockholm, July 2011)