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Room for Travellers

ARTIST: Nils Bertil Malmberg (2005)
TECHNIQUE: Coarse lumber

Rum för resande

When regarding Room for Travellers your thoughts might go to ancient Greek temples but with a Nordic adaptation. Placed at the base of the heavenly staircase, Room for Travellers becomes a complement to Absit Omen, the church-like work of art where the staircase ends. It is the first work that you see after having walked up the staircase.

People have always been travelling. All trips have a goal, a station, a refuge or stop. Room for Travellers is such a place. You settle down, sum up your trip and then plan its continuation.

Man and houses go together. From grottoes to huts, to small log houses –they all have the purpose of protecting us from the weather or wild animals, or even other people. Perhaps Room for Travellers is such an example of such, a more make-shift building.

What does the work tell us? One idea is that it plays with the idea of what a home is. The work lack walls and its middle is filled with rocks. Regarded as a home it is not very practical, yet it is a place that someone somewhere might regard as his or hers. Ever since man became domiciled he has sought security, material as well as economic.

Still we travel as never before. But what do we often long for when travelling, if not for home? Here we might consider where the art work is placed. At the foot of the staircase, by the side of the road. This is one of few works that all visitors are more or less guaranteed to see. Possibly Room for Travellers alludes to that - might it be an inn, a hotel, a hostel?

The artist behind the work is named Nils Bertil Malmberg, born in 1952. He has had several exhibits around Sweden.

Malmberg has used coarse lumber to create this building which is experienced as solid, although there are no walls, no roof or doors. This work also raises they question of the home as defining a person´s character. You can certainly wonder: who would live here? Anyone´s home is a marker, for economic requirements, interests or occupation.

The construction of the work may be a starting-point for reflections about spatiality. Room for Travellers seems like a room scaled down to its base. Why do we have walls? Perhaps they are borders that protect our integrity, and also define us. The walls help us in saying: I begin here, this is only mine. Room for Travellers is a place that all have access to.

In addition, this work raises the question about the destination for our life journey. There are concrete trips such as vacation trips, but there are also those that are more abstract. Education is a kind of trip, for example. Not to mention trips between our different houses and professions. Then of course there is the life-long trip between birth and death.


Senast uppdaterad:
16 maj 2024
Sidan publicerad av:
Piia Edh