From the exhibition at Röda Sten, Gothenburg, Sweden

From the installation "Because of People" at the Museum of Modern Art, Moscow

The Shelter Monar-Markot (C-print 2009) 

Because of People

2-channel video installation (2006)

Text by Knutte Wester

As a child I spent my days with my grandmother Hervor instead of going to kindergarten. She always told stories. However, there were no princes or princesses in them, instead she told me about her life. My grandmother was born as, in her own words, the ”child of a whore”, unwanted by society, growing up in poorhouses and orphanages. And so, my art came to revolve around stories and people affected by the shortcomings of society.

The video work Because of People consists of two video projections in which Swedish Hervor’s and South Afri- can Gamedze’s stories are interwoven. The work revolves around a Swazi saying, which translates as ”a person is a person because of people”.

”When I was born, I was a bastard child and my mother was a mother whore – that’s what they called those who weren’t married.” Thus begins the story of 95-year- old Hervor. In the other video projection, Gamedze in Swaziland is listening. Then Gamedze descibes how she had to leave her home, and later took care of Banele, the child of her unmarried daughter. His poor upbringing during the apartheid resembles that of ”the bastard child” Hervor in Sweden 70 years earlier. Banele says that he is grateful that his mother did not throw him in the garbage. Similarly, Hervor is glad that her mother, due to a snowstorm, did not find that hole in the ice in which she wanted to drown herself and her daughter. Much alike, the experiences of these people made them want to change the world they grew up in. And how it changed. 

This video project was produced in cooperation with the ANC Video Archive, Sveriges Television archives, the Labour Movement Archives and with the support of the Arts Grants Committee. It has been shown at the Moscow Biennale, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Wyspa Institute of Art in Gdansk, orbita Space in Latvia, Röda sten in Gothenburg, uppsala Art Museum, Studio44 in Stockholm and Liljevalchs in Stockholm.

© 2019

Knutte Wester is Represented by Gallery Andersson/Sandström