"In Like a Lioness out like a Lioness"

KKH- The Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm

graduation postmaster course:

Collective Practices II

"When Things Are Alive"

06-09 June 2022

Hägerstensåsens Medborgarhus

Riksdalervägen 2, 129 32 Hägersten

"The Medici Lions"

*In Like a Lioness, Out like a lioness (2022)- The distributed text is a play on a play- issued in 100 copies of RISO prints I made to implement institutional critique toward the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm (KKH), the one hosted me as a researcher and student employer. 

 

The Medici Lions (2022)- (a collaboration with Nat Skoczylas) is focused on one of the school’s symbols, hidden in a machine copied-  2 sheets of text on paper that appears like a KKH administration document sent to faculty- is a correspondence.

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In Like a Lioness, Out like a lioness

"My desire is my virtue- subordinated to the common good. I want to go back to where it all began and, more than all, I want an eight-hour sleep so I can dream about you. I may spontaneously combust -my body will set the school on fire- burning the buildings to the ground until nothing is left but coal, experimental art objects mixed with party alcohol melting into lumps of creation and destruction. I wake up from inhaling smoke at the office upstairs and, I’m 63, I blink and I’m 36 again, Memos of what was flying away in the background remind me to walk out through what is left of the gate. I don't look back at the Lion and Swine staring at me walking away on the virgin snow as the main building explodes. I’m in deep as you are waking me up by carrying me to your car, driving me home in the dead of night, and putting me to bed because sleeping in class is forbidden."

This paratext from "In Like a Lioness out like a Lioness" is part of the research conducted in the frame of the course Collective Practices II, Symbiotic Organizations. In parallel to being a postmaster student, I worked in the student union Club Mejan as a student representative on different boards.
However, I was never a member of the club.
The 8-page long text is a play on a pl was a way to encompass a year-long academic research that was nourished by school politics and shaped by questions of desire, sleep, hospitality, accessibility, and sobriety.
The reader is met with a series of anecdotal chapters revealing a conflicted storyteller. Who is, on the one hand, attempting to investigate the wrongs and common concerns of the territory by addressing the administration, architecture, and locus, and on the other- indirectly slowly confessing an almost obsessive-like admiration and attraction to the school’s Vice-chancellor, Sara Arrhenius. 

 

The Medici Lions

"Dear Nat,
I am sending you on a commission mission as you are passing by Florence, the home of the original Medici
Lions. This Lion has become a well-established ornamental sculpture that is set to welcome the comers and goers of
institutions worldwide. The Lion with a ball is sourced from Buddhism symbolism and is usually accompanied
by a Lioness with a small cub, it is supposed to bring luck to the city it is supposed to mimic the same prestige
and honour and referencing a story of the caged lion that escaped -kidnap a child and returned him unharmed
to his mom -It all seemed like an analogy for something and I am not sure what-however I read the ball is, in
fact, a cannonball- and I walk to the Island the first thing I see are those cannons- of the Island and the school’s
In military history, there was great effort to reestablish the swine and the lion as symbols for the school to
replace the crown-the informal motto of getting smashed and party hard is a stronger tradition than some royal
legacy-since the institution was started by a king (and now ruled by a queen:)). I want to invite you to write a short text about this lion- the copy became the original and the original is the point of reference."

In August 2021, I posted on Facebook that I started studying at Kungl. Konsthögskolan and a coat of arms appeared on my profile page.

I was getting over a hundred likes and many comments. A few were teasing me about the appearance of the symbol. The drawings of creatures-the lion and the swine with the crown and writings with umlauts- probably looked exotic and strange to the ones outside of Europe. The comments were: 'Wow do they have t-shirts with that Logo?!' 'Are the lion and swine regal?' Does the lion signify something Royal?' And another suggested the school's former logo was Hakuna Matata from Lion King (not funny- I know)

I responded: I don't know but  remembered the KKH symbol was different a few years ago and guessed it had something to do with hunting and king Gustav Vasa ( as everything is somehow). A month later, I posted a photo of the bronze statues at the entrance of the school building in comments- as if I'd solved some mystery. So, this was the start of- my curious interest in the new (and old) school symbols. As I desperately tried to connect to the agenda of reintroducing them as the "true" symbols and the meaning behind them while offering situated knowledge through text reflecting the colonial heritage and Patriarchy /male-dominated society.

*Both works were available in the form of text (booklets) in three editions and sound recordings (QR codes) in three different voices.

Photos by: Florine Zegers

Acknowledgments:

Isabella Tjäder, Didem Yıldırım Boström,Stella D'Ailly, Steffie De Gaetano, Silvia Susanna, Alice Pontiggia, Mikaela Karlsson,

 Jenny Övergaard, Erik Thörnqvist, Hanna Wiker Utsig ,Lisa Vipola,Sophie Tottie, Emma Kihl, Carl Johan Erikson, Hilla Tuominen, Inbar Kemp,

Club Mejan, Editorial Bo(a)rd.

When Things Are Alive is conceived by Nada Ali, Denise Araouzou, Salomé Burstein, Nicola Chemotti, Alicja Czyczel, Tal Gilad, Alexey Layfurov,

Lara Molina, Evdokia Noula, Julie Robiolle, Daniela Fernández Rodríguez, Judit Sánchez Velasco, Antonine Scali Ringwald, Nat Skoczylas, Sara Szostak, and Florine Zegers.

Facilitation Gregory Castera and Hanna Husberg,

in collaboration with Sebastian Dahlqvist, Edi Muka, and Annika Enqvist.