Cecilia Parsberg at Handels
The Chorus of Begging and The Chorus of Giving (2014)
Cecilia Parsberg´s artwork The Chorus of Begging and The Chorus of Giving, 2014, (installation with two screens in the entrance hall of SSE) is part of the doctoral thesis in Fine Art “How do you become a successful beggar in Sweden? An inquiry into the images of begging and giving 2011 to 2016”, by Parsberg (Lund University).
People who usually beg take part in the Begging Choir. People who usually give to those who beg participate in the choir of giving. Giving and receiving money is often a non-verbal transaction, which is why the Choir of Begging and the Choir of Giving sing without words. With their own individual voices as well as with their collective choral voice, they try to sing the feelings that exist between these begging and giving people. The choirs stood about five meters apart when the video was recorded.
“The political happens every day. That is the premise for my artistic practice. I perceive, with all of my senses, a physical and mental distance between those who kneel on the street and passers-by, between begging and giving people. Here I invite the spectator into that “gap”. A dialogue, or a lack of dialogue is going on between the two choruses, between voices, between facial expressions, and between bodies. The installation The Chorus of Begging and The Chorus of Giving is an embodiment of this experiential space. A reflection of a situation that many experience every day on our streets. It is my hope that art can make it possible to see such gaps – which seem to be difficult to talk about – as spaces for action; and thus contribute to the possibility of political acts in and about these spaces.” – Cecilia Parsberg
What Images does the Begging face? (2014)
What Images does the Giving face? (2014)
The two films screened in the north corridor of the grond floor (at lill-skärmen) are also part of Parsberg´s dissertation and they accompany the video installation in the main entrance hall. In “What Images does the Begging face?” Parsberg hired an interpreter and interviewed, with consent, fifteen begging persons about how they experience the giving, how they are treated on the streets of Sweden and what image they have of giving. In “What Images does the Giving face?” Parsberg hired a professional market researcher to conduct two qualitative group interviews with eight respondents. Each interview lasted two hours and was filmed, by consent, with two cameras. The starting point was to find out what a beggar in Sweden could do to get more money. The market researcher asked questions such as: How should the beggars behave in order for you to give? What should they wear? etc.
Don´t be stupid (1994)
Don´t be stupid (two videos), screened in the atrium and in the small room in the staircase behind the auditorium, are also works by Cecilia Parsberg. The overarching theme of this Cecilia Parsberg exhibition at SSE is power vs powerlessness.
More about Dont´be stupid here. The screening is part of the filmprogram Borderland - a collaboration between Magasin III and SSE Art Initiative.
Cecilia Parsberg holds a Ph.D in Fine Arts, she lives and works in Stockholm and commutes to Karlstad University where she is a Senior Lecturer in Visual Arts with 30 % research. Her works have been exhibited at Tate in London, and at Moderna Museet, Nationalmuseum and Magasin III in Stockholm.