RomanoParken - Song about a place
Public project (2020)
Created in dialog with Singoalla Millon, Diana Nyman, Kurt Magnusson, Ingrid Schiöler, Maria Dimitri, Marita Busk, Fred Taikon, Sonja Taikon, Rozalia Milanson, Rosita Grönfors, Sabina Kwiek, Monalisa Pruteanu, Domino Kai, Bagir Kwiek, Maria Bogeblad, Milaja Nyman, Marius Pruteanu, and many more.
In the 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 piece.
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 whole assignment. He found that it was impossible to create a memorial that could summarize or symbolize a Roma history.
Using listening as a central cornerstone of his method, Wester has created a work where different emotions, memories and stories can co-exist.
Many of those interviewed by Wester spoke of the lack of a place of permanence. RomanoParken is therefore intended to be a physical place, as well as a place existing in memory and imagination. Tying the place together is the sound work, where a visitor can take part of memory fragments from all the stories that gave rise to the artwork. It contains both memories so difficult that you do not wish to remember them, as well as memories of love and warmth during 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 from wrapped strips of cloth, a wagon wheel and a bench with joining hands as buds.
When the construction of Västlänken in Gothenburg is completed, RomanoParken - Song about a place will be permanently installed in the park between the 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 was not chosen at random - during the 1950s there was a Roma settlement there that was driven off, and some of the memories in the soundwork come from this place.
RomanoParken is not a finished work of art, not a pre-defined place. The small tree will grow over time, just as the stories grow from the past into the future.
A book about the project was published by Praun & Guermouche
Listen: Podcast on the project by Sofia Curman (in Swedish)