Mariah and I took a day trip to the little town of Lund, about 15 minutes away from our little cabin, to check out what all the Viking fuss was about. It was such a manageable city, easy to walk from one side to the other within 10 minutes, which was great considering the shocking cold.
- A small street in the quaint town of Lund.
Our first stop was Lund Cathedral, a Romanesque church that boasts an astrological clock similar to Munich. Though comparatively maybe not the most impressive of churches, it was all the same interesting to see how the Romanesque style developed in Sweden, which is not something you learn about in an average survey course of the era (I’d know, considering I had just finished with my course on L’Art du Moyen Age at the Sorbonne), and a practicing choir added to a feel of real community worship in the ancient building.
- View of Lund Cathedral, photographed of course by the lovely Mariah
More wandering and enjoying the views followed until we came to the Skissernas Museum of Public Art. The largest museum in the world dedicated to Public Art, the Skissernas’ focus is not on the product, as more often than not it is still a piece of public art displayed somewhere (publicly) in the world, but on the process. The first floor’s Swedish and International Artist rooms showcased specific artists with their sketches and scaled versions of the projects, some that were eventually realized, and others not.
The best part of the Museum though, was the exhibition titled “Boundaries” with the aim of expanding the idea of what public art is. If the idea of public art is to involve the public, display it in a way that is accessible to everyone and to promote an exchange between citizens and their space, then Sep Kamvar and Jonathan Harris argue that social media can certainly be used to create public art. Their piece “I Want You to Want Me” (2008, commissioned by MoMA) “explores the search for love and self in the world of online dating” through data collected on dating profiles that are then made into search engine-type structures on screens in the exhibition.
I found this use of internet and online dating as a great, new take on the idea of what public art can be and speaking to the relevance of social media and what it means to be connected in today’s society. A great, little Museum, it felt like the Skissernas blended seamlessly with the historical and intellectual nature of the town that can be attributed to its past and the university scene that surrounds you. Missing the New England college town myself, I felt right at home here and had a blast!
More photos and reflections on our trip can be found by Mariah, here!