RomanoParken - Song about a place
now on exhibition at Göteborgs Stadsmuseum
Public project (work in progress)
Text by Sofie Alnäs and Frida Klingberg
In wester work RomanoParken - Song about a place a physical space is created from a mosaic of Roma experiences and memories. The work is primarily a place, which consists of several parts: a name, four sculptures, a plateau, a sign, a tree and a sound artwork.
The artist Knutte Wester's original assignment was to create a memorial to the history of the Roma people in Gothenburg, but after a year of conversations with people from the national minority Roma, he reformulated the hole assignment. It was impossible to create a memorial that summarizes or symbolizes a Roman history. Instead, in deep dialog Wester has created a work where different emotions, memories and stories can co-exist and listening being a part of the work..
Many of those interviewed by Wester spok in diffretn way about a lack of a place of permanence. RomanoParken is therefore intended to be a place - a physical place as well as a place in memory and imagination. Central in the installation is the sound work, where a vistor can take part in memory fragments from all the stories that have given rise to the artwork as a whole. Here are memories so difficult that you do not want to remember, but also memories of love and warmth in the middle of the cold.
In addition to the sound work, the work consists of a wooden plateau and four bronze sculptures, a silhouette of a house or a home, a pair of shoes made of wrapped strips of fabric, a wagon wheel and a bench with knotted hands to hold.
When the construction of Västlänken in Gothenburg is completed, RomanoParken - RomanoParken - Song about a place will be permanently installed in the park between Central Station and Regionens hus (formerly called BJ-parken). The work will be placed by the park's oldest tree, an elm. Inside the plateau, a small flowering tree will be planted. The place is not chosen at random - during the 1950s there was a Roma settlement there that was driven away and some of the memories in the soundwork comes from this place.
RomanoPark is not a finished work of art, not a pre-defined place. The little tree will grow over time, just as the stories grow from the past into the future.
A book about the project will be published by publisher Parun&Guermouche in the coming year