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One of the biggest art events in the world is taking place right now in Kassel, Germany. It’s an event that takes place every five years, the ambition is to try to show the most interesting things from the art scene. It all started in 1955 as a reaction to the nazi-germany ideal of art, modern art was perceived as “entartarte kunst” – degenerated art.

There have been many important German artists since World War 2 and Berlin is right now considered to be an international art capital. The Venice biennale has probably more impact than Documenta, but it has not the same intellectual value. Some of the things that are exhibited at Documenta may be a little bit out of date but they are still well presented with this year’s theme. Last time there where a couple of monumental art pieces at Documenta and Ai Weiwei got a lot of attention. This Documenta exhibition did not have any big installations or actions.

The exhibitions took place in various interesting places such as post-industrials buildings and abandoned houses. The theme is crises and recovery, the exhibition will close on the 16th of September 2012. Some of the art works are focusing on recycling, different economies and creative solution regarding the resources of the earth. At the Documenta the time, place and earth is being questioned. Many of the art works where hopeful about how the human being comes back from impossible situations in a great way.

A very strong piece of art was about the apples of Korbinian Aigners, he cultured not less than six new kind of apples during his time at the Dachau concentration camp in Dachau.

A video installation that was exhibited and performed during the first 100 days of the exhibition was Llyn Foulkes The machine. Foulkes has assembled a kind of organ and drums, with honks from various old cars. The result of this with Foulkes political texts and his own charisma is quite fascinating. All the honks are playing so well that is seems they where made for this specific purpose.


In the small and quiet village of Harplinge, north of Halmstad, there is a work of art that actually is better than almost everything at Documenta. It’s Millophonia, Harp Art Lab, Sweden. The old Harplinge windmill (1895) has been transformed into a meeting point and an alternative art scene by the artists Julijana Nemeti and Mikael Ericsson. But the windmill is much more than just that.

The sails of the windmill are running two enormous bellows that are supplying a modified old church organ with air. And this is not all, hear this. The organ is operating as a self-playing piano with piano rolls. Mikael Ericsson has an impressive collection of player piano rolls.

The ambition of Harp Art Lab is to be a meeting point for cross-border art, sound art and similar expressions. The artists are running the gallery and a part of the project is to invite artists and musicians to develop the windmill. At the moment there is an exhibition on the ground floor showing suggestive and dreamy landscape photography, by Julijana Nemeti. At the opening all seven floors was used to perform a one of a kind concert.

Mikael Ericsson is mostly known for his and Peter Wahlbeck’s project “Für Alle”, where they questioned art, society and politics. Ericsson has repeatedly developed very complicated Sisyphus projects but this project has to be his biggest achievement in the Swedish art scene. Harp Art Lab and Millophonia is indeed a very interesting piece of art and a platform. Such as the best pieces of art at Documenta it offers some positive things for the future where artists and audience can meet and create together.

Jakob Anckarsvärd
Tidningen Kulturen 2012 08 08

Photo by Julijana Nemeti

Drawing by Mikael Ericsson

Photo by Mikael Ericsson

Harp Art Lab | Harplinge Windmill | Sweden