‘Mina drömmars stad’ or ‘City of My Dreams’ is a borrowed title from Per Anders Fogelström’s 1960 novel that gives a voice to Stockholm’s working class at the turn of the last century. As a work by someone who carefully researched yet unwritten histories, it reflects our own intention to acknowledge the multitude of narratives that define the city and to present a view, or a way of seeing, that projects these narratives into a field where the physical, the imagined, the historical and the remembered exist simultaneously.
A collection of personal narratives originate a series of public programs that are situated within the field as new civic architectures in such a way as to engage, enhance and orient specific relationships within it.
For example - A casual description of a memory evoked by a pastry bag recalls a shopkeeper as he takes off his watch, listens as he winds it, cleans its face and puts the watch back on his wrist again. This voyeuristic memory originates a voyeuristic architecture that is both a watch tower for watching the city, and a clock tower for the city to watch. It reflects the existing facade of Kvarteret Python (Skeppsbron 16) and frames a proposed square within the building fabric of the site.
The physical, the imagined, the historical and the remembered are collected in three books that present three archives; memory things (the personal narratives), site and “thing-architectures”.
“To be oriented is also to be oriented toward certain objects, those that help us find our way. These are the objects we recognize, such that when we face them, we know which way we are facing. They gather on the ground and also create a ground on which we can gather”
Sara Ahmed, “Orientations - Towards a Queer Phenomenology”
“City of My Dreams”
In the beginning, the city got its seal and mark: walls and towers by water. I’ve gotten lost among endless sidewalks, but the air is fresh in the spring sun and tourists are searching for fossils; involuntary companions of colonists and refugees - residents of museums - hack with small axes, chisels and spades. The fishermen pitch their tents in a long line and I don't know if I really like Whiskey or if I just enjoy it because it reminds me of when I was living in Scotland.
Customs buildings at Skeppsbron, Central building, Basement floor: I sat in the corner, watching the man opening the cash-register. He took off his watch and wound it up very carefully... checking the sound of the mechanism with every rotation, cleaning the glass face before putting the watch back on his wrist. The perfume bottle was in my pocket all the way from the hotel with the lace curtains, to the cemetery, during the walk back and when we sat at the cafe until late that night.
In early May, we took the car to an outdoor flea market. It was at least as big as 5 football pitches, hundreds of people were there and the sun was scorching. After a few hours we found 2 cranes with their feet on a turtle. Turtles spread across the city, according to a poem; I think I’ve changed a flat on every street of this town. I was downtown last week. I remember it was the first day of class 2001; the kiosk is clad with iron plate which is painted with oil paint, the color is determined on site… now it holds the key to the front door of my childhood home. Seeing things (ie the cheese) as a new matter that is sliced and not cut into pieces; the Swedish cheese knife describes a fear but also something new that Sweden would invite me to. A perspective of the vestibule, I remember visiting grandma and grandpa; a winged hare who, through telling and re-telling, has constructed a divided memory - Hyperboreorum insula.