If we really understood that we were about to disappear, would we still do it? The question is not my own, but the author Sara Stridsberg’s. In a radio program she describes that death is inscribed in our bodies, we cannot avoid it and yet there is no subject that makes us humans more anxious. In her book Beckomberga – Ode to my family Stridsberg writes about a daughter’s relationship with her father. In a conversation he asks her if she can follow him down to the water. He doesn’t want to be alone and afraid when he walks out into the waves.
The sea outside Cape Cod in Massachusetts is often described as a graveyard for the thousands of ships that have been shipwrecked there. For several years there were three identical lighthouses, the Three Sisters of Nauset, standing next to each other and looked out over the waves that rolled in over the shore. The lighthouses had to be dismantled and moved inland in 1911 to not be dragged down with the erosion into the sea, and still today they are kept in the woods. Imagine all the ships that they saw get wrecked, despite their light. All the people and dreams that drowned, and that keep drowning in seas around the world today, “You can not talk about the sea without talking about the people who live in it” the writer Susanna Alakoski concludes.
In fairy tales and myths desperation is often romanticized, they are told again and again and diverge into new tales. But as soon as the fiction comes too close to reality it becomes too fearful to contemplate, impossible to measure with real-world proportion. As with Sara Stridsberg’s story about a father who asks his daughter to follow him to the sea so that he can commit suicide without being alone, a fictional story rooted in some kind of truth, we continue to tell tales because the reality is too difficult to handle.
Lotta Törnroth (b.1981), lives and works in Stockholm, has a bachelor degree from School of Photography in Gothenburg and graduated with a MFA from Aalto University, School of Art, Design and Architecture in Helsinki last year. The same year she was awarded with the Victor Fellowship from Hasselblad Foundation. She’s recently been exhibited in New York, Paris and at the photographic festival Format in Derby.
The exhibition title is from Joshua Slocum’s book Sailing Alone Around the World, Slocum was the first person to sail around the world between 1895-1898.
Opening the 26th of September at 6-12 pm, on Malmö Gallerinatt. Welcome!