To Iris and Carol

Love the music, especially Herbie Hancock and the calypso singer called Lil Lois Farrakhan.
But nothing younger than the 70′s why is that?

Are these post from both of you or mostly from Iris, if it was Iris I would like to ask, why
only old?

I am a big fan of your work and could also see a link to the art you make, also seems
to hoover around the 70′s…Black Panthers, afro’s and so on…

and I just watched Woody Allens “Midnight in Paris”, which I guess had the message
“watch out for nostalgia, there might be hot chicks (or guys in your case) right in front of you selling you cole porter records that you forget about, when you go after memories of times, women and artists long gone”.

There is of course a certain amount of safety in nostalgia.


Jonas Ohlsson: a text about art and politics in Holland

Hello all Mutualists!

I just wrote a small political text that deals with new situations  in Holland and
a bit about Detroit, that will now be published on various websites…maybe you like it?

You can follow our blogging from Detroit here…

Space out in Holland…It’s not an option!
When we came here two weeks ago there was a literal Dutch invasion of Detroit,
Expodium was here, as well as Partisan Publik and Fonds BKVB and
their artists in residence hangers on.

The locals were understandably perplexed and wondered why so many Dutch people were suddenly interested in Detroit.

One of the reasons concerns urban space and freedom (or the lack of it).
In mega densely populated Holland every square meter is planned, booked and spoken for.
The relatively new situation in Detroit of urban shrinkage, frees up so much space,
space that can now be redefined.

I always had a theory about the Dutch
The reason why they legalized prostitution and drugs were not only for economical reasons,
even though the Dutch really likes money and are good at making it
( but not as good as the Swedes…njä njä njä njä njääää=teasing 1).
The prime reason for it was the lack of chaos in their surroundings.
The Dutch had controlled everything that would have been called nature in thee olden days,
even the ocean was cut up into small controllable grachtengordel, polder pieces.

In Sweden I sometimes go into to the enormous forests just to feel small and get a bit scared.
It puts me in place and in awe…
Nature is something uncontrollable, the forest (and nature in general) is a symbol for the unconscious, for “the other”, for the unknown…
There is nothing scary, wild, or uncontrollable in the Dutch landscape
(except ganja smoking Italian tourists on bikes)
and THIS fact created the need for some semi legalized wildness in the form of “ladies of the night” and drugs…Until recently I also used this theory to explain the great love for culture that the Dutch used to have. Culture as the unknown…wild, scary, thought and emotion provoking.
How scary and unknown can a musical get??!!

If we take away the mind expanding possibilities in Holland of drugs, hookers and culture I think Holland will have collective panic attacks on a MASSIVE scale in a very near future.
People will realize how small and claustrophobic Holland is.
The new powerful political right is doing everything in its power to make Holland even smaller, to make the Dutch bitterballen walls come closing in…they come closer…and closer…
and closer…and….WHUAAAOAOOA!!!!!

Focus on your breathing Jonas!!!

I came to NL as a Swedish western allochtoon in 1996,
and since I come from a richer country than Holland (njä njä njä njä njääää=teasing 2)
I am in the unique allochtoon situation that no one will think I came here for the money or for the social security checks (they’re MUCH fatter in Sweden).
So I think I can afford (hehehehe…) to be blunt and speak freely.

I don’t have a right to vote in Holland, but I voted FOR Holland 15 years ago when I moved here, with my life, my time, money, ambitions, passions and dreams.
So I DO have a right to be critical.
Holland NOW is not the Holland I came to 15 years ago.
But I will stay and fight.

Thatcher, Reagan, Bush…Rutte?!

(famous MC5 song which made Detroit famous as the pre punk city…
Iggy and Stooges also helped out, hence the name, Detroit-Rock city!)
see here…

Politically I also think it would be a good idea to stop focusing on Wilders.
VVD is hiding behind Wilders and not the other way around and now the new right in Holland can let all their wet little neo con dreams become a reality. Wilders is not the problem, we have populist right wing manipulators in every country, massaging the assholes of all the “Henk & Ingrids” of this world. The weak CDA (the warm “socialist” christians of the right) and the strength of the VVD is the problem.

But also…as artists and culture makers…
let’s spend some time for a little bit of self reflection and self criticism too.
After the murders of Pim & Theo, Holland suffered one of their greatest trauma in recent history….how many of us artist did anything to deal with that drama in our art?
How many of us didn’t just continue with our own discourses,
when maybe this could have been a good time to get hip to the now.
But we better get hip to THIS game quick though, otherwise the only option left will be…
tune in, turn on, drop out!

But even that won’t work….Wilders, Donner, Zijlstra and Verhagen wants to shrink Holland mentally into an even smaller hobbit country…and there are not enough drugs in the world to MIND EXPAND our way out of that dark, tight, scary shithole.

So our only choice is to fight back hard.
Let’s GO!!!

C U on the other side….

Jonas Ohlsson in Detroit

Hello all!

I have now been in Detroit for about a week, it is strange and beautiful.
It is a mixture of Chernobyl and energy, people coming back to start again,
as local legend Larry Mongo said…Berlin was also bombed, but cities come back
and it is people who rebuild them.
The first week has been mega hectic, the two curators who invited us, Luc Janssen and Bart Witte
wanted us to meet all the people they have gotten to know during the three years that they have been active here.
Which resulted in early mornings and late nights, filled with meetings, dinners, lunches, bbqs and beers.
Now we are totally exhausted, we is me and Chris Meighan (the other artist who was invited).
Another set of meetings will start now, since Steven van Tesseling just arrived from Fonds BKVB.
Together with him we will do another round of tours, so… I am planning for Chicago, but the dust have to settle here first,
so realistically I think I could come to Chicago at the earliest, about two weeks from now or beginning July.
So what would be suitable for you people and is there anything nice happening around that time.
I think I would come for a weekend or something like that, and then we will see from there.
There is a lot to be done in Detroit, so I don’t know if it is possible for me to come more than once.
we will see.
But let me know when it would be suitable for you and then we set something up.
If you want to see some short films about Detroit this is ok…
Johhny Knoxville-“Detroit Lives” (3 times 10 minutes)
The locals here didn’t like the films because too many outsider hipsters were interviewed,
meaning New York people who come to Detroit for the cheap rent and who weren’t here when it mattered/Hurt…
There is a LOT of this kind of local pride (I know it from Bijlmer), people who have been given bad press for decades
just don’t trust outsiders very much, understandable…but there is also a limit to the charm of…
“I lived here since 1972 and in those days…bla bla bla” be it Bijlmer, Detroit or any other place.
Sex Pistols docu film maker Julian Temple also shot this recent classic…
“Requiem for Detroit” (1 hour)
According to the locals just more of the “Ruin Porn”…that they’re already super tired of.
The Detroit people are getting tired of more and more European tourists who wants to break in into
empty factories and take photos…but that doesn’t stop it from being TOTALLY unique in a western context.
A major city losing half its population and a wasteland of deserted buildings downtown.
Just like Americans will never stop to marvel at the fact that you can buy ganja in coffeshops in Amsterdam

Europeans will continue taking photos of Ruin Porn in Detroit.