Rejmyre Art LAB
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Reflections from past residents, participants and guests

"My response to spending time in this setting of a romantic small village ‘glass town’ now turned tourist attraction of the post-industrial era, continues to be complicated in nature; I am both repulsed and attracted. My working process began by combining my interests in sensing optical phenomena with a series of exercises around town capturing and layering images of the town landmark, the chimney of the glass factory. These attempts to re-familiarize myself with being here, led to the urge to both embrace, examine and question the aesthetics of Rejmyre and in particular the vast number of odd artifacts, ornaments and souvenirs present in our living accommodations at Rejmyre Vandrarhem. Out of leftover glass pieces from the local chandelier maker’s workshop, I hand-built a small-scale model of the chimney. In the laborious task of gluing bits and pieces together, I became gradually more attached to my creation, initially intended to mirror a colorful and ornamental visual language I would never employ and hence expected to remain detached from. My growing attachment complicated the gesture I carried out, which was to leave the finished glass model behind, permanently on display at the Rejmyre Vandrarhem, as an addition to the wealth of artifacts already there, not knowing if it would be accepted as one of them."
                                                                                                          -Stine Bidstrup 2010 Transparency and Mediation


"The themes of "transparency & mediation" have exposed themselves through the experience of this time and place. Upon arriving, I felt the themes to be disparate and far apart. My preconceived notions of them were defined mostly by associations with material, discipline, artistic strategy, and academic language. Through this experience (and on a more personal level) I have come to think about the themes to be inherently linked. Working in an collective environment with other artists, where your process and thinking are open and exposed, forces you to reexamine your practice. to witness the process of artists working in very different media has been an invaluable and liberating experience. the opportunity to be a foreigner in a place, in language, in your work, in collaboration, will continue to impact and influence my thinking to come."
                                                                                                          -Tracy Steepy 2010 Transparency and Mediation

"Rejmyre has been a town of trade and exchange since the opening of the glass factory.  This exchange not only happens with goods, but also with the daily exchange of language with trading partners and visitors. This was not transparent visually, but rather, aurally with the many voices and accents present in the village.  In response I started an archive of people saying the name of the town. As I made the archive I spoke to many different people in town, mediating these relationships and exchanges through my equipment. As I formed relationships, I learned from the antique store owner and town historian that there had been many different iterations of both pronunciations and spellings of the town’s name while the names of other towns around stayed the same.  I realized the same fast forward evolution of sound and signifier was happening with my name, “Shirin” a name originating from the word “sweet” in Farsi.  I found it spelled Sherin and Cheriean around town and pronounced many different ways.  Seeing a parallel and feeling the addition would be a point of reference for my time in the town, I started introducing my name to the archive.  The piece became an exchange of language—I asked people to give me the name of the town in their voice and accent and I would give them my name. The piece is a 2 channel sound piece entitled “Rejmyre. Shirin.”

Transience and service were reoccurring themes in the residency. After working closely documenting the projects of the artists involved, I decided to extend this serviceto others in our village community, the shops, cafes and tourist bureau, asking them to let me know what they wanted documented for personal or business reasons.

In collaboration with Rui Sasaki, we asked the members of the residency to weave our hair together. We then stayed connected until our hair naturally came apart. The act was intended as a heightening of the intense sharing, collaboration, understanding and negotiation which we all did in a small space in a short time of making and exploring together."
                                                                                                          -Shirin Adhami 2010 Transparency and Mediation

"Coming to Rejmyre as a stranger, I found myself immediately invested in questioning the role of the glass factory as Rejmyre's reason for existence and simultaneously as representative of the burden of being dependent on a shrinking industry. Inevitably what strikes anyone entering Rejmyre's main street is a romantic notion of a small village 'glass town' now turned tourist attraction of the post-industrial era. In "Reijmyre Glasbruk 1810 - 1926, 1932 - " I erected a gravestone for the factory at a memorial site in the local cemetery, among the family graves of its workers.  I left the end date open, implying that perhaps it had already passed.

In an effort to shift focus towards working with Rejmyre as site, I inhabited the inside of the old glass mill, in an empty space that was once used for storage.  Here I carried out four 'urges' to try to become familiar with the space. "The four urges (extractions and imaginations of a place)", with four subtitles: "Sound recorded with no-one in the room", "Segment with surface removed (194 grams of dust)", "The death of a glassworker" and "Imprints of a wall", I investigated the materiality of layers of dirt, the residue of wall paint turning slowly to dust and the soundscape of an empty room where sound was echoing from the floors underneath and the roof above. In the smallest room, farthest away from the exit, a mass of blood-red and bone-white glass shards from the factory was piled on the floor to satisfy my imagination of a past, fatal event taking place in these deserted spaces."
                                                                                                          -Stine Bidstrup 2009 Place as Matter


"The notion of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ place became a mode for working with the town of Rejmyre.
Being trained as an architect I am concerned with place not only in the physical, but also on social, political, and cultural terms. My goal since arrival has been to exercise these terms as way to question fixed identities, are perhaps heighten tensions.
All my projects here were thought of as collaborative works, some informed and made by the community and others as offerings to be interacted with by the community."
                                                                                                          -Alex Auriema 2009 Place as Matter


"When I first arrived to Rejmyre I was overwhealmed of those many odd and old items that seemed to be everywhere I looked. My first projekt became a translation of those impressions into a monument. My final piece "I´m working" incluedes traces from that in a visual way - the desk and the chair.
I wanted to investigate or to comment how we may or not may look upon work and labour, specially how I dealing with it my self and my artisyic work. To sit down and really be working but without any actually outcome except the restover product of my action. I realized that the action of doing is important to me even though it seems to be a really unimportant matter to someone looking at it from a outside perspective. One questian was also where the viewer fit in in this dialog.
II will defenetly bring this matter, this questian into my continuing work. and it makes me wonder what that will be in terms of material, of living, of working?"
                                                                                                          -Elisabeth Billander 2009 Place as Matter

"What is place? What is space? What is time? How do we explore and and see our self in these contexts. During this workshop I have explored what place, space and time mean.
How we relate to a both a physical place and a place of collaboration, the place that is activated between people. That place can relate to space and time. How there can be a transformation going back and forward, up and down, and how I intervene and move quite freely between these different places.  How a space can move through time, as a memory, how time can be more like a feeling, or a specific smell that takes you somewhere known or unknown. How time and transformation evolves through process.
Through a lot of playful experiments with place and transformation, we explored the idea of physically representing  ”time” and ”transformation,” this became one of the  main subjects of our investigation. For example, we timed and measured different actions, like blowing a glass bubble or  blowing up a balloon.  We tried in a sort of scientific way, to create a catalog of these actions and the feelings that accompany them. For example, we recorded how long it felt like it took to move a part of the wooden factory floor and switch it with a piece of grass.  We were interested in what the specific time of that action felt like, and what kind of space it created when the viewer explored this transformation. The sensation of experiencing something known and familiar exposed in an unexpected way, takes you to a new place, a place as matter."
                                                                                                          -Stine Diness Mikkelser 2009 Place as Matter
"Place matters. Understanding the place, Rejmyre, was at the core of my work here. Rejmyre has a multi-faceted characteristic; a once vibrant glass factory, a cafe run by the daughter of a glass worker, an antique shop, a bakery and so on.

My work is a documentation of observing Rejmyre from a third persons point of a view but simultaneously, stages of perceiving Rejmyre as an alive organic object. It introduces the audience to Rejmyre, which triggers creating their own Rejmyre in their mind without my voice.

I started with my first impression of the town, creating my own acquaintanceship with the site. The glass factory has become a fossil. The people in the town seemed to rely on the remnants of good days.

Increasing the whole sense of being a part of Rejmyre, the local people began to play an important role in my work. Not only the people are operating Reymyre, but also Reymyre itself is activating people who live in it. I could find it from the glass worker’s laugh, breeze from the wood and cinnamon smell from the bakery.

In my final project, I gathered broken glass pieces at the factory’s trash site and puzzled them together in a small secret room in the attic of the studio building. At the same time, I left a pile of gum for the glassworkers to chew, along with a receptacle for the chewed pieces and a written request for their asssistance in chewing the gum for me. I waited for them to be chewed and retrieved the results. Through these practices and actions,
I was attempting to make a comment on the current situation of Rejmyre. As time passed, however, I realized how littleI knew about this town and to question all my thoughts. Do I really know Rejmyre? The essence of Rejmyre is not easy to ascertain nor is it something I can determine. I realized I didn’t have any right to define Rejmyre, being there doesn’t mean belonging there."
                                                                                                          -Jimin Park 2009 Place as Matter

"The works I made during this workshop have been reflections on physical and metaphysical understandings of place.  Discovering place as matter and place as a source. This has come to me through making with my hands and processing my thoughts, focusing primarily on the process of making instead of the result.  These process-based explorations took the form of a series of yarn and plastic thread structures.  I used the open attic space as a sort of serious playground, letting the work emerge organically from a process of play.  Sometimes beginning from a preconceived form and other times just from a single point allowing the structure to reveal itself in the course of my making."
                                                                                                          -Mette Colberg Jensen 2009 Place as Matter