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Mirror of the Invisible

Parallel Parks

Parallel Parks is an audiovisual narrative which connect two locations – the Wallenstein Gardens in Prague and the gardens of the Drottningholm Castle in Stockholm.

It consists of two parts, each of which are presented in the corresponding garden. The two parts were first presented at the urban/site-specific sound festival Transient Zones 3 and the IFTR Theatre Conference in Drottningholm in 2016 and are continually in development.

It consists of letters, sounds and images which connect the parallel lives of the two gardens, which are connected through the history of bronze sculptures by Adriaen de Vries, which were taken from Prague to Stockholm as war booty at the end of the 30 years war.

 

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Letter Archive

Here you can find the archive of letters written to the protagonists of the story.

***Spoiler alert!***

If you have not seen the performance and intend to it’s not advisable to read them beforehand! I have made them available for those who haven’t been able to take part in the performance in person or are interested to go back to them.

 

Adriaen de Vries

Albrecht von Wallenstein

Carl XVI Gustav

Queen Christina

Rudolf II

 

 

 

 

 

Narrative

Once upon a time…

Protagonists

The story behind the horses is of course to a significant degree inspired by horses, but is in fact primarily about political and cultural power struggles played out between people.

The following protagonists play a key role in the formation and dramaturgy of the story. I have described the relationship of the horses two each of the protagonists in a series of letters, from which the text of the performance was made up.

Below is are the published letters, read in the Schwarzenberg Palace during the performance and exhibited at the diploma exhibition Vanity Fair at the Trade Fair Palace.

The Performance in the Schwarzenberg Palace

A performance in a museum. The present and the past cross paths, the objects have travelled through time and space and so have I, suitcase in hand tried to follow a series of events and a network of relationships. The horses, the work or inspired by the work of Dutch sculptor Adriaen de Vries act as a doorway to a host of criss-crossing narratives.

The horse, its practical and symbolic role in the image of power still resonates today even though the horse-power and energy offered by horses has been replaced by mechanical and technological means. Bronze flesh resists time better than organic flesh, but the form, the movement is frozen and hasn’t aged a bit, the horse feels just as alive now as it did then.

 

Mirror of the Invisible

Mirror of the Invisible was my diploma work for AVU, and began as a research project about artworks which were taken to Sweden as war booty in 1648. I was interested in what happened to two bronze horses by the Dutch sculptor Adriaen de Vries, where they are now, what they mean today in the Swedish and Czech contexts. I have tried to find ways to combine contemporary approaches with the histories and meanings that could provide new views and layers for the meanings of these objects for a contemporary public.

The final work was a reading performance in the Schwarzenberg Palace amongst the mannerist collections. Writing letters to the protagonists of the story, General Albrecht von Wallenstein, Rudolf II, the artist Adrien de Vries, Queen Christina and the current Swedish king Carl XVI Gustaf, I detailed the role of the horse in art, the fate of the artworks and their many copies through the centuries.

On this site you can find documentation, images, media and texts related to the project.

Locations

The horses in the family tree of the original bronzes by Adriaen de Vries can be found in various locations in the Czech Republic and Sweden along with their smaller ‘cousins’ in the National Gallery in Prague and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Below is a breakdown of the locations they can be found.

Please note that many of the horses are not currently on display or readily accessible!

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