Luleå Biennial 2020:
Time on Earth

Information regarding Covid-19

Last chance The Luleå Biennial 2020: Time on Earth

Wednesday February 10, 16~20 and Saturday February 13–Sunday February 14, 12~16
Galleri Syster is open. Group show with Augusta Strömberg, Susanna Jablonski and Ana Vaz.

Thursday February 11–Sunday February 14, 12~16
Havremagasinet länskonsthall in Bodenis open. Group show with Beatrice Gibson, Susanna Jablonski, Birgitta Linhart, Fathia Mohidin, Charlotte Posenenske, Tommy Tommie and Danae Valenza.

Saturday February 13–Sunday February 14, 14~18
The former prison Vita Duvan is open with an electro acoustic installation by Maria W Horn.

Saturday February 13, 15~19
The artist Markus Öhrn and the poet David Väyrynens sound installation "Bikt" is exhibited on the ice by Residensgatan in Luleå. Listen to older generations of Tornedal women and their testimonies.

Book your visit via Billetto. Drop in is possible as far as space allows.

For those of you who do not have the opportunity to physically visit the Luleå Biennale on site, a radio show including artist talks, sound works and specially written essays will be on stream on Saturday February 13–Sunday February 14. Visit our radio page here.

The exhibitions at Norrbotten's Museum, Luleå konsthall, Välkommaskolan in Malmberget and the Silver Museum are unfortunatly closed.

The Undivided People – On the Hypothesis of Radical Democracy in Peter Weiss (Part 1)
Kim West
  1. The central problem in Peter Weiss’s later work was the problem of the divided world.

    The advantage of using [the German language] is that each word is immediately placed under harsh scrutiny. Germany’s division into two states with diametrically opposed social structures mirrors the division of the world. The statements of a German-speaking author are immediately placed in the balance where the two separate value systems are measured. This simplifies my work. My writings are directly set at the focal point of opinions. But the problems and conflicts that I comment on are not bound to this specific language area. They are part of a larger theme that is today discussed in every language.(1)

    With his “Ten Working Points for a Divided World” from 1965, Weiss wanted to clarify his artistic and political position in relation to the dominant political forces of the day. By publishing them he complicated his relation to both East and West Germany. His commitment to socialism – “To me, the principles of socialism contain the valid truth”, his notorious statement read, in the tenth and final point of the text – caused many of his West German readers, critics, and colleagues to turn their backs on him. At the same time, his criticism of the dogmatism and oppression of really existing socialism – socialism, he concludes at the end of the same paragraph, would gain a “far more widespread following if the openness in the Eastern block were widened and a free, undogmatic exchange of ideas could take place” – caused great anger and alarm in the upper echelons of DDR cultural policy. [159]

    The division of the world was therefore not only his former homeland’s split into two, which mirrored the world’s division into the two power spheres of the cold war. The rupture cut through the world’s both sides. The Western block was breaking apart from inner contradictions and conflicts. The socialist block itself was shattered. This was Weiss’s real concern with the ten working points. Socialism, he wrote, wants “the world’s riches to belong to every human being to the same extent”. The people whose interests it wants to serve is potentially universal: an undivided people. But in order for socialism to be able to form a true counterforce and an alternative to “the order determined by capitalism”, where “a relatively small group” of human beings “possess the earth”, it must first overcome its own fragmentation. [158] The socialist world must admit that its actual organization is incompatible with the “fundamental principles” that it claims to realize. It is only through such self-examination that it can once again become a radically democratic movement, and so “gather the positive forces in the world” for resistance and change.

    Weiss’s position as a German writer in a sort of prolonged exile from his fragmented homeland, with a linguistic as well as political access to both sides of the divided world, gave him, he sensed, a particular responsibility – and perhaps a special ability – to pronounce this critique and self-critique. There, at the “focal point of opinions”, he could work towards raising support for “the constant openness […] for transformation and development” that for him was an “essential component” of socialism. [159] Doing so he could also respond to the criticism that came from the Western block, according to which socialism as an idea and a movement was indissolubly linked to the sectarianism of actually existing socialism and the crimes of Stalinism.

    The most evident result of this work was the play Trotsky in Exile, a strong but nuanced critique of the revisionist history writing of Soviet communism, set up as a semidocumentary montage of dialogues between the banned leader of the revolution, and a series of figures who crossed the path of the exiled revolutionary, from Lenin, Bucharin, and Antonov, to André Breton and Diego Rivera. Trotsky in Exile’s first performance in Düsseldorf in 1970 was a traumatic experience for Weiss. It was met with almost unanimously negative reviews in West German and West European press, who found its political position troubling and were unable to conjure enthusiasm for its austere, detailed representations of debates between Bolshevik party potentates. At the same time it was violently condemned by East German critics and officials, who remained faithful to the dogmatic party line, with the effect that during a period of time Weiss himself was banned from East German territories.(2)

    But the radically democratic hypothesis that Weiss developed in response to these conditions would remain central to his work throughout the 1970s: there is an undivided people in the divided world. It was a categorical rather than a descriptive hypothesis. There must be an undivided people: the experiment that tests this proposition should itself generate the state of affairs that the proposition describes. In this sense, it must be possible to critically reconsider Trotsky’s significance in the history of the Russian revolution, and so to prove that socialism cannot be equated with revisionism and sectarian closure, but is an openly self-critical and progressive force.(3) That Trotsky in Exile was a failure does not invalidate this project, but merely proves that it can only be conducted antagonistically, in opposition to the forces that seek to maintain the division of the world.

    The Aesthetics of Resistance, on which Weiss started work in the aftermath of the East German trauma, can be read as an attempt to verify the same hypothesis on a more general level, by placing its fundamental conflict in a historical situation where at least as much was at stake, but where the positions had not yet become fixed, the oppositions had not yet been consolidated.

  2. For Weiss the answer to the problem of the divided world could be found in culture. Culture is that through which the undivided people can identify as undivided in a divided world.

    When we try to explain this country’s resilience we always come up against the cultural continuity. [---] Viet Nam’s cultural life is the foundation of the unbroken resilience of its people.(4)

    Peter and Gunilla Palmstierna Weiss travelled to North Vietnam via Paris in May 1968. They went there seeking to understand how the Vietnamese could resist the North American aggression. How could this people, which had been at war for generations and whose long history was a history of constant attacks and colonizations, not only survive but “launch a successful offensive against the greatest military power in the world?” “What is it that makes this nation capable of sustaining its production and its social unity even though everything has been destroyed?” [9]

    During their month-long stay there Peter and Gunilla Palmstierna Weiss were repeatedly confronted with the vitality of the cultural practices of the besieged people. They saw sentinels reading Vietnamese epic poetry in the dim light of campfires. They visited subterranean elementary schools in the Viet Cong tunnel systems, where teaching could proceed as the bombs fell. They were invited to improvised theater performances in villages, where amateur groups staged dramatic representations of their daily efforts to “sustain production”, in spite of the impossible circumstances. They interviewed authors and artists who told them about their attempts to liberate themselves from the French and European cultural patterns that had been imprinted on them by generations of colonizers, and instead to seek new forms that reflected their own reality.

    The culture that Peter and Gunilla Palmstierna Weiss were introduced to during their stay in North Vietnam was, Peter Weiss remarked, a primarily “national culture”. The first measure of the colonizers and the occupying forces had always been to attempt to abolish the culture of the colonized, he wrote in Notes on the Cultural Life in the Democratic Republic Viet Nam, one of two books that Peter and Gunilla Palmstierna Weiss published about their visit. Such destruction could take place through the establishment of institutions under colonial rule, through the systematic depreciation of indigenous traditions and forms, or through the obliteration of the existing culture’s material infrastructures. The recreation of a proper, national culture was therefore an essential element in the process through which the Vietnamese people could overcome its fragmentation and assemble in resistance against the attacking forces. Weiss’s book on Vietnamese cultural life is largely a report on this work of construction and reconstruction, on the search to recover myths and stories, cultural continuities and linguistic kinships, repressed artforms and forgotten modes of representation.

    But in this process, the North Vietnamese liberation struggle was inevitably exposed to what Edward Said has described as one of the core contradictions of decolonization: in order to be able to claim a positive nature as an autonomous political subject, the colonized were forced to assert an identity that was in itself negatively defined and heteronomous; the fragmentation that the process sought to overcome was recreated at another level.(5) A national culture is inevitably a divided culture, for a divided people: it can only function by consolidating the separation between inner and outer, belonging and non-belonging. Normally such an idea would therefore trouble us, Weiss argued, but it is necessary to understand it strategically. The North Vietnamese resistance movement’s national reconstruction, he held, was a necessary phase in a process that had broader, ultimately universal aims: “this work of reconstruction has no chauvinist character, since it is performed in conjunction with the search to establish an internationally oriented, socialist social order.”

    But in order for such a broader process to become actually effective, and so make it possible for an undivided people to identify as undivided in the divided world, the internationalism to which it referred must also be a reality, and support such identification. This was not what Peter and Gunilla Palmstierna Weiss experienced in North Vietnam. Instead they saw how the division of the world was still mirrored in the division of socialism.

    Time and time again we have been told about the help that this country receives from its allied socialist states. We have seen the weapons, the machines, the tools, the trucks, the airplanes, we have read the reports about the comprehensive economic support, we know how greatly even the national liberation front in the south values the economic aid and the manifestations of a global progressive opinion, and like Viet Nam’s population we know that without this help the country would not be able to withstand the American aggression, but nevertheless we regard all of these efforts as insignificant, as insufficient in relation to the values that are at stake. In Viet Nam we have only ever heard appreciative and grateful words, we have only ever heard of their sense of affinity with all those who practically and morally support them. Never the smallest suggestion about the insufficiency of the support or of the difficulty in accessing it because of disagreements between the donors. And yet Viet Nam, which speaks of the affinity between all socialist forces, stands alone at its advanced post, as a representative of the blood-soaked third world, alone in the armed class struggle of our time. Witnessing the great devastation of the country and the hardships and the pains that the people has endured during generations, we recognize the bankruptcy of international solidarity. [143f]

  3. Weiss’s concept of culture is a composite one. It combines notions of culture’s social logic, capacities, and functions that draw on different theoretical and historical contexts, and that have different political implications. In his texts, culture figures as a force for social cohesion, as an expression of a whole life, and as a sphere of resistance.

    a) As a force for social cohesion
    This was, at the most apparent level, what Peter and Gunilla Palmstierna Weiss experienced in North Vietnam. The villagers gathered in front of the theater stage and were strengthened in their bond through the dramatization and the interpretation of a common experience. Artists, writers, and researchers sought to reconstruct a proper, national cultural heritage and thereby contributed to the formation of an independent political subject.

    The idea of culture as a medium of moral, social, and political cohesion has a deep tradition, and theater has often been its privileged artform, since it not only presents aesthetic objects for enjoyment, interpretation, and exchange, but also physically assembles a group of people in a shared, lived event. In that sense, Jacques Rancière has remarked, the dream of a popular theater has given rise to what in effect constitutes a separate genre of institutional experiments throughout modern cultural history, supported by representatives of distinct artistic and political positions. “The endless history of the ‘people’s theater’”, he writes, is a history of experiments conducted from “incompatible” viewpoints, by “conservatives and revolutionaries alike”, from the romantic visions of a theater that would revive the collective spirit of the ancient stage festivals for modern circumstances, and so restore to the performing arts their central role in the life of society; to the utopian dreams of a theater performance that would culminate in a sort of revolutionary communion, where actors and audience would unite in song, constituting one common body, as a reconciled humanity in a redeemed world.(6)

    As a playwright Weiss placed himself in a critical extension of this tradition, where important impulses came from Brecht. Theater should not just unite “the people” through the collective experience of an edifying or beautiful artwork. It should provide the viewers with the means for transforming themselves and their view of the world, so as to become a “people” in a more qualified sense of the word. “Popular”, Brecht wrote in 1938, means “representing the most progressive section of the people so that it can assume leadership, and therefore intelligible to other sections of the people as well”.(7) Like a scientific investigation, theater should present social and political complexes as objects for critical scrutiny, encouraging the viewers
    to seek to understand their social conditions, so that they would be able to act in them and upon them, forming a coherent political subject.

    This is – we can note as an excursus – evident in the play by Brecht that Agentur publishes in this issue of Lulu-journalen, in a first complete Swedish translation by Jörgen Gassilewski: How Much is Your Iron?, written during the author’s exile in Sweden in 1939~40. As an allegory concerning the macropolitical situation in Europe at the moment of the outbreak of the war, it is pedagogical to the point of caricature, its flat, non-psychological characters bluntly representing the different national and economic powers of the conflict. In his introduction to the play in this issue Rikard Heberling quotes the journalist Sture Bohlin, who saw one of the play’s few performances in Sweden during this period. “The actors appeared in large papier-mâché masks, pure carnival figures, which”, Bohlin noted, “made any attempt at personal role-playing quite impossible. The intention here was that the individual actor’s way of giving character to his role would not introduce any irrelevant element in the mathematically clear consequences of the conflict.”

    Indeed, the moral of the story had a near mathematical necessity: under the surface of European oppositions and alliances, there was a hard core of production relations and class interests. The “union” that the European neighbors tried to establish against the hoarse, vile, German steel customer, was merely a vain charade of popular unity, designed to give an illusion of moral respectability to the search to maintain a production system which was itself responsible for making the murderous expansionism of the hoarse German logically unavoidable and historically inexorable. The cynically “neutral” metal trade of “Svendson” merely served to reveal the inherent contradictions and falsehood of that system. It was only by questioning the profit motive as such, and the political and economic structures that sustained it, that a real people could rise in resistance against the forces that had driven Brecht into exile and was leading Europe toward disaster. Only communism could represent the “real” people, in other words, no coalition of concerned neighbors, no cross-party popular front. Class must stand against class.

    Weiss did not fully accept the politics of his dramatic mentor. His radically democratic hypothesis of an undivided people was incompatible with the element of sectarianism in Brecht’s position(8) – evident not least in the account of Brecht’s Stockholm exile in the second part of The Aesthetics of Resistance. But with his “documentary theater”, Weiss drew on the model for a critical performing arts that Brecht had developed.

    For Weiss, theater should function politically by presenting social problems for scrutiny, by assembling “fragments of reality” into “useful patterns”, making it possible for a group of persons to identify as a political subject and intervene into reality’s development.

    But at the same time it was necessary for Weiss to mark his distance from unmediated conceptions of the relationship between the artwork’s audience and collective political action. “What in free improvisation or politically tinged happenings gives rise to a vague tension, to emotional participation and the illusion of engagement in present events”, Weiss wrote in 1968, “is in the documentary theater treated with attention, consciously and reflexively.”

    [A] documentary theater that primarily seeks to function as a political forum and rescinds artistic ambitions challenges itself. In such a case, practical political action in the external world would be more effective. It is not until it has employed its probing, controlling, critical capacity to refunction experienced reality into artistic means that it can achieve real legitimacy in the confrontation with reality. On such a stage the dramatic artwork can become an instrument for political opinion making.(9)

    b) As an expression of a whole life
    In many respects, Weiss shared the notion of culture that he developed in his work – from the early experiments with the formal language of surrealism in the 1940s and 50s, to the documentary techniques and the political positions from the mid 1960s onwards – with the “New Left” that appeared in Western Europe during the same period. Just like Weiss reached a political understanding of his activity from within a knowledge of art’s specific conditions and possibilities, the New Left developed a reinterpretation of the socialist tradition from within an analysis of the social and historical definition of the concept of culture. The search to transcend the division of socialism found its guiding principle in the experience of culture as the expression of a whole life.

    Among the most influential texts here were Raymond Williams’s early books, Culture and Society from 1958 and The Long Revolution from 1961, where the cultural theorist outlined a comprehensive political project based on an investigation into how the modern concept of culture was formed in relation to the emergence of industrial society in Britain, from the eighteenth century onwards. The basic idea was simple: that this concept, and the values with which it was associated – which were invoked from a broad spectrum of political positions – signified that through which human beings could express and develop their lives in fullness, in a society characterized by fragmentation, by intensified division of labor and alienation. “The idea of culture as the whole way of living of a people”, as Williams wrote, was opposed to the fractured life of the divided world, so that it served, he argued in a discussion on Coleridge, as “the court of appeal, by which a society construing its relationships in terms of the cash-nexus alone might be condemned”.(10)

    Rather than accepting orthodox marxism’s reduction of culture to an element of the “superstructure” that passively reflected an economic “base”, Williams therefore placed culture at the center of his political analysis. What he called “the long revolution” was the ongoing project through which society’s institutions would be democratized in a way that would respond to the faculties of the “whole life” that could come to expression in culture. Such “democratization” must therefore be understood in a more radical sense, beyond the rights that had already been conquered, beyond liberal democracy’s universal vote and free speech. “The pressure now, in a wide area of our social life”, Williams wrote, “should be towards a participating democracy, in which the ways and means of involving people much more closely in the process of self-government can be learned and extended.”(11) This process must therefore run parallel to an extension of the field of culture, where culture would not be understood merely as a limited set of artistic practices, but as the totality of what Williams described as the activities of the “creative mind”. For Williams, and for the discipline of “cultural studies” for which his texts were foundational, such an extension was apparent in the intense growth of popular culture during the same period.

    A notion of culture as non-alienated life can be traced through Weiss’s work, from his account of the escape into artistic creation in the autobiographical novels Leavetaking and Vanishing Point, to the hypothesis of the undivided people in the later plays, reports, and The Aesthetics of Resistance. For Weiss it was in artistic work, in “the regions of the unproductive, the practically useless”, that something resembling an “independence” could actually be experienced, and a “whole life” could consequently unfold. Weiss’s discussions about this often start from a personal level, where the activity of the artist serves as a sort of refuge or sanctuary. Writing, he explains in Convalescence from 1970, can “open a valve through which we can breathe in an environment that is becoming increasingly suffocating”. But Weiss’s argument also unavoidably aspired to a more general validity. It was because culture was the expression of a whole life that the North Vietnamese people needed to reconstruct a common culture in order to be able to unite in resistance. A “purely” political or military mobilization would not have sufficed. Similarly, it was because artistic activity had a unique independence that the documentary theater could assume an attitude of observation and scrutiny, and refunction the fragments of reality, serving as an instrument for political opinion making. An “ordinary” political assembly or exchange of ideas would not have had the same effects. The search to reconcile, to mediate between these two levels of validity – personal withdrawal and social practice – generates the tension or even the conflict that propels Weiss’s later work.

    Out of guilty conscience for our esoteric possibilities, that keep us from being exclusively active in social practice, we have sought to liberate art from the hands of the profiteers and the parasites, and declare it a common good, but this has only succeeded in an incomplete fashion, and when we toppled art from its piedestal it was only with the secret wish that we might be forgiven for our subjectivity, which time and again made us seek out the regions of the unproductive, the practically useless. [---] When I write my solipsistic isolation concerns me, the fact that I do not participate in the immediate preparations for a strike, in the coming struggles for wage-levels, when I write I want at the same time to ignore writing and to not do anything else than to battle the established relations of production and ownership, than to inform about the ongoing social crimes and organize the mass movement for subverting society.(12)

    But for Weiss, unlike for Williams in his early texts, there was no possible solution to or reconciliation of this conflict in the idea of an extended creativity, realized through the growth and social impact of popular culture.

    c) As a sphere of resistance
    On the contrary, Weiss perceived popular culture as something generally hostile, a force for reductive normalization and commercialism against which he defined his artistic activity and his political existence. But it can be argued that it was precisely because Weiss insisted on arguing that culture must be a sanctuary, a refuge, a sphere of autonomy and resistance, that he could also maintain that it was something wide open, undivided, a promise of radical democracy.

    In many respects, Weiss’s unwillingness or inability to engage with popular culture made him an untimely artist. This is most apparent regarding his work with film – the artform with the deepest connection to the “culture industry”. In most of his production as a filmmaker – from the early, short film studies in the beginning of the 1950s, to the feature length Fata Morgana from 1959 – Weiss remained faithful to an avantgarde ideal, with an individual or at least intensely small-scaled, crafts-based production model and a very limited circulation, resisting in some ways film’s nature as an industrial artform and a mass medium. At the levels of structure and content, the films reflected this “minor” status, rejecting established narrative conventions in favor of “laboratory experiments” that, as Weiss phrased it, sought to display “the complex and the multifaceted in a small shard”.(13) Fata Morgana, Weiss’s most accomplished film, is to some extent an exception. It depicts a young man’s dreamlike drift through a disconcerting, labyrinthine city. Its somewhat derivative surrealism is offset by the suggestive, nervy energy of many of its scenes, and of the at once indexical and haunting force of its images of a Stockholm undergoing irreversible transformation.

    The films that Weiss made where he, against all better judgment, sought to accommodate film’s industrial demands as a mass medium are, however, generally complete failures, characterized by a visual, narratological, and linguistic incoherence that suggests that the filmmaker had severe problems with identifying with his own projects. A film such as Now What Are We Going To Do from 1958, conceived as a “discussion film” concerning the alcohol habits of young people, commissioned by the Youth League of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, unfolds in an environment of petty thiefs and greasers, leather jackets and hairstyles, rock’n roll and booze. The awkward dialogue, the clichéd characters, and the banal plot all demonstrate to what extent the filmmaker himself – except for in single images and scenes – was foreign to the environment he depicted. And that The Flamboyant Sex, shot in Paris in 1962, made Weiss abandon filmmaking is not surprising. It is a failed attempt at capitalizing on “the Swedish sin”, by combining formal techniques and motifs from the French New Wave with a “daring” representation of three young Swedish women’s everyday life and romantic escapades in the French capital. Despite some vaguely amusing images of Swedes on art trips to Paris at the turn of the 1960s – Weiss’s good friends Carlo Derkert and Pontus Hultén can be glimpsed in shots from a street happening by Jean Tinguely – the result is a combination of artistic complacency and smug sexism.

    In other words: Weiss could not assert himself artistically, could not formulate himself consistently, in the terms of the popular culture industry, neither affirmatively nor ironically. He could not place himself in its network of conventions and dependencies, closures and openings; he was unable to develop an individually or critically valid attitude with or against its vectors and energies. Instead he remained attached to an artistic ideal rooted in an earlier political and economic paradigm, where culture as such could be understood as something independent and whole in relation to the dominance and fragmentation of ordinary social relations – a paradigm where it was not yet necessary to gauge how culture itself had, through the development of the culture industry, become a force and a factor in that complex. Weiss’s artistic self-understanding was forged in a context where a concept of the autonomy of culture was not yet necessarily an inherent contradiction.

    We can note two things about this. First, that through a sort of irony of history it probably contributed to Weiss’s breakthrough as a playwright and novelist from the mid 1960s onwards. The radicality of his rejection of the forms and the networks of the popular culture industry, and his concurrent, clear political statements, synchronized him with the political radicalization of parts of the Western European culture world in the 1960s and 1970s. If Weiss, with his documentary plays from this period – Marat/Sade, Viet Nam Discourse, Song of the Lusitanian Bogey – could, as it has sometimes been claimed, become a “spokesperson” for the revolutionary tendencies of the period’s culture, it was because his notion of culture as independence and non-alienated life implied a total otherness, a complete subversion of the forms of established culture. His attitude was untimely, but time retrieved him.

    Second, and above all, it pointed ahead to Weiss’s hypothesis of the undivided people, announced among other places in the “Ten Working
    Points” from 1965. The concept of “popular culture” cannot be defined without opposition to a “high culture” or an “elite culture”, just as a “workers’ culture” cannot be conceived without an “upper class culture” or an “intellectual culture”, etc. Weiss was categorically opposed to any such delimitation. He was, we could say, an antipopulist, in the sense that populism must be based on a preconceived definition of the people which is addressed by populism’s discourse. The people of populism is by definition a divided people: it can only be described through the exclusion of something other, foreign. For Weiss, on the contrary, culture must be something undivided, and in this regard, we might note, he was close to the idea of a “unitary culture” that was central to the radically democratic projects of the French Popular Front in the 1930s – a history that he would soon weave into the vast narrative fabric of The Aesthetics of Resistance. Weiss could not accept that the rejection of populism should invalidate the hypothesis of the undivided people.

    The guardians of working culture often say that the intellectuals sit on their high horses, know it all, want to indoctrinate and lead us, while we alone are capable of changing our own circumstances. Such an opinion excludes the idea of an evolution, a maturation, and obstructs the prospect of education one day being made available to all of us. Without this process, it is not possible for the working class to gain an understanding of the tasks that have been bestowed upon them. These do not consist only in contributing to the social and economic transformation of society, but also in participating in a reconception of the means of expression. A reactionary, anti-intellectual streak has crept into our movement. Anybody who disdains erudition and an appreciation of art is opposed to thought.(14)



  4. Peter Weiss, ”Tio arbetspunkter i en delad värld”, Swedish trans. Ingemar Wizelius, in Rapporter (Stockholm: Bo Cavefors Bokförlag, 1968), p. 154. In this paragraph henceforth quoted with page number in the running text.
  5. Werner Schmidt, Peter Weiss: Ett liv som kritisk intellektuell (Stockholm: Tankekraft, 2016), p. 262ff.
  6. Peter Weiss, Trotskij i exil, Swedish trans. Karin Johannisson (Stockholm: Bo Cavefors Bokförlag, 1970), p. 164.
  7. Peter Weiss, Notiser om det kulturella livet i Demokratiska Republiken Viet Nam, Swedish trans. Vanja Lantz (Stockholm: Bo Cavefors Bokförlag, 1969), p. 70 & 145. In this paragraph henceforth quoted with page number in the running text.
  8. Edward Said, ”Yeats and Decolonization”, in Culture and Imperialism (London: Vintage, 1994).
  9. Jacques Rancière, ”Le théâtre du peuple: une histoire interminable”, in Collectif “Révoltes logiques” (ed.), Esthétiques du peuple (Paris: La Découverte, 1985), p. 19.
  10. Bertolt Brecht, “Popularity and Realism”, trans. Stuart Hood, in Aesthetics and Politics (London: Verso, 2007), p. 81.
  11. See Jacques Rancière, ”Le gai savoir de Bertolt Brecht”, in Politique de la litterature (Paris: Galilée, 2007), p. 116.
  12. Peter Weiss, ”Anteckningar om den dokumentära teatern”, Swedish trans. Benkt-Erik Hedin, in Rapporter, p. 163. A critical analysis of Weiss’s
    refunctioning of Brecht’s concept of “refunctioning” would here have been necessary, but is beyond the scope of this text. For a clarifying discussion, see Maria Gough, ”Paris, Capital of the Soviet Avant-Garde”, October, no. 101, 2002, which also considers Walter Benjamin’s interpretation of the same concept. See also Elof Hellström and Samuel Richter’s contribution to this issue.
  13. Raymond Williams, Culture and Society: 1780–1950 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983), p. 63 & 83.
  14. Raymond Williams, The Long Revolution (Cardigan: Parthian, 2011), p. 362.
  15. Peter Weiss, Konvalescensdagbok, Swedish trans. Ulrika Wallenström (Stockholm: Bonniers, 1993), p. 156ff.
  16. Peter Weiss, ”Avantgardefilm”, in Rapporter, s. 9.
  17. Peter Weiss, The Aesthetics of Resistance, Vol. II, trans. Joel Scott (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020).

Radio 65.22 is an auditory cross section of the biennial’s theme and contents, which amplifies and makes accessible written texts, framed situations and artistic voices. Radio 65.22 also enables an encounter with chosen parts of the Luleå Biennial’s activities for those who cannot experience the biennial in situ.

With Radio 65.22, we want to inscribe ourselves into an experimental and exploratory radio tradition, where the media itself becomes a platform for our ideas on radio and its capacity to depict and mirror the world around us. The task of Radio 65.22 is to tell of reality, in further ways that may not be possible through the image or the text.

Under Fragments: Time on Earth you will find radio programmes and sound pieces in different genres and forms that reflect this year’s biennial in various ways. Spirit of Place is a touring series of literary conversations on language and place. The culture journalist Kerstin Wixe takes us along to places that have played a significant part in an author’s stories, or carries the story’s history. Woven Songs is a deepening series of radio programmes that accentuate singing, the voice and the role of storytelling in the creation of new world views and orders, produced in collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.

Listen, reflect, enjoy!