En dimmig höstdag på Gamla kyrkogården i Kalmar. Gula löv ligger spridda över gravstenarna. Pia Sandström, Minnet Orden Marken…

The Memory, the Words, the Ground…

The full title of Pia Sandström’s sound work is Minnet Orden Marken – ur ljudets våg och lod (The Memory, the Words, the Ground – from the sound’s wave and plummet).

In the work the listener is transported between the past and the present, facts and fiction, body and idea, in historically charged locations in Kalmar and on the island of Öland.

Environments, events, memories and myths are reformulated and interlaced to form suggestive sound experiences. The listener participates in the sound piece through headphones and receives instructions on how to move at each location and experience it with multiple senses.

Pia Sandström wants to awaken the listener’s inner monologue – ideas of the self, now and in the future against the background of the environment’s various time layers.  

Pia Sandström got the idea for the sound work when she heard about the discovery of two skeletons on either side of the Kalmar Strait in the summer of 2013. The remains were so well preserved that it was first thought that they were the result of a recent crime. However, the skeletons turned out to be several hundred years old.

Lisa Rosendahl on the artwork 

“I was attracted by this doubleness, two skeletons on both sides of the Strait, and the rebus of present, future and past at the places of discovery,” Pia Sandström explains. 

In her research for the sound work, she explored how far back in time one can go by talking to a living person. Among other things, she traced the locations’ mythic and factual histories in conversations with historians, archaeologists, local inhabitants and others with memories of the environment, whether their own or those of others.  

“In the sound work Minnet Orden Marken – ur ljudets våg och lod (The Memory, the Words, the Ground – from the sound’s wave and plummet), Pia Sandström makes us feel as if we are entering the demolished Storkyrkan church. Via the sound in the headphones, we travel over three hundred years back in time and into an acoustic space in the same location where the old Storkyrkan once stood. The sound of a magnificent brick space opens within us and extends to the sky above. At the same time, the gravel walk under our feet testifies to our contemporary reality. The acoustic movement creates a double exposure of the present and the past, of sound and visual impressions, of interior and exterior.” 

The project is a co-production by Public Art Agency Sweden and Kalmar konstmuseum in collaboration with Kalmar Municipality and Mörbylånga Municipality and is partly funded by Regionförbundet in the County of Kalmar. 

Parts of Pia Sandström’s sound work are located in the agricultural landscape in southern Öland which since 2000 has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The idea of producing an artwork at the Old Cemetery/the Valnötsträdet district developed from an earlier collaboration between Public Art Agency Sweden and Kalmar Municipality on guidelines for the design of the outdoor environment in the Valnötsträdet district. The project was part of the government commission “Collaboration on the Design of Public Spaces” (2010–2013) which was a collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden, the Swedish National Heritage Board, the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning, and the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design. 

Find the artwork

#ljudminnet Kalmar
Slottsvägen 6, Kalmar, Sverige