“Putting the Garden to Sleep”, manuscript co-authored with Olof Runsten, Inkonst, Malmö and Skogen, Gothenburg, 2021

To care for a place is to ground yourself in it, to have something to lose. Because a place is fragile and so are you. Care can be violent, entailing pesticides, cut-off branches, pain in your back, burnt grass and cut-off snails.

There is a defiant impossibility built into the garden, because without the constant work of the hands, spring’s grand plans end in misgrowth and there remains only the naive hope “but next year…”. In the light of this hope, we put the garden to sleep for the winter, rake the leaves and bring in the tools. Thereafter follow a time when only the structure of the garden is left but no vegetation, just the empty skeleton. This wintergarden is a code for what the place has been but also for what it may become again.

In the resolution of the seasons, time, memories and places decompose, and the difference between them is blurred. You are not sure if it’s sleeping or if it’s already dead. This wintergarden is a place for memories, fantasies and fables. A place to keep company with, that you take care of and that you hope cares for you in return. In parts of Jämtland the term “att sköta ihjäl någon” is used, which means “to care someone to death”. A sore but practical task. Using this as an example, we would like to offer a time in the garden.

Artistic idéa: Sophia Latysheva and Olof Runsten
Objects: Sophia Latysheva
Directing: Olof Runsten
Text: Matilda Tjäder and Olof Runsten
Music, sound and lights: Patsy Lassbo
Performer and voices: Johanna Malm
Publication: Barrie James Sutcliffe
Proofreader: Ming Lin
Produced by: Anrikningsverket

Premiered at Skogen in Gothenburg May 7th 2021 and showed at Inkonst in Malmö in June 2021. 

With support from Skogen, Kulturrådet, Konstnärsnämnden and Göteborgs Stad.