Monument without a home
Collaborative work / sculpture project
Video, 9 min (2007)
Sculpture (bronze) 2016
In the spring of 2007, my family and I are on a scholarship in Latvia. The country is full of monuments, each new occupying power having built their own monuments to be remembered. The current power - The Free Market – is also erecting its monuments. It is our first trip as a family. Children are very present in my mind. Despite explosive economic growth, there are thousands of Latvian children that no one wants. The children are growing up in orphanages, not entirely different from the homes and placements that my grandmother told me about from her childhood in Stockholm. Both symbolically and literally, the children always have a suitcase packed. It is as if they are waiting to get asylum in their own country. Waiting to become a part of society. Waiting to be wanted, in Latvia or somewhere else. Anywhere.
Together we begin to create a sculpture based on the children in the group. With plaster casts, everyone is contributing with parts to make one sculptural body. During the work one of the girls, Aleshja, is getting new parents in Italy, but she still wants to be in the monument. So, the children and I make a cast of her arm the day before she leaves. When I meet the children again, Aleshja’s best friend says “Aleshja may be in Italy now, but her arm is still here with us.” She then points at me with the plaster arm and says “Now I get what we are doing!” At that moment, I do too.