In Nyia tiender uthur månan (‘New tidings from the Moon’), from 1710, Christopher Polhem, the Swedish inventor known for his mining machines, tells about a Saami with magical knowledge who travels to the moon with his magic drum tied on his back, and where he there communicates with the Moon inhabitants and learn their language. The strange thing about the language on the Moon is that it is completely regular and easy to learn. We do not have to use an infinite number of words; instead each word in the lunar language contains entire sentences and phrases in concentrated form. This language can be learnt by everyone, irrespective of origin – it is a universal language, the language of the Universe.
The local lauguage is in contradiction to Polhem’s universal lunar language broken and obdurate – full of errors and misunderstandings. Often it simply sounds as sounds in a row.
Language, litterature and imagined things is the entrance to our table with things. Excerpts from an array of historical texts from the surrounding area will be presented. Local history that was forgotten, or written in an unintelligible language. Older scientific texts and theories that today are long disproved. But did they through this process become more in touch with the local – the particular? Why do we find obsolete and imaginary information describing a location more accurate than the provable truth?
Rural Reading Room is a series of collective actions aiming at reconfiguring objects, materials and sounds, highlighting the materiality of the landscape. The format consists of a tabletop, where the arrangement of objects placed on the table reconstruct a fragmented, concrete and material landscape.
Gathering around the table encourages exploration and conversation. It creates an imaginary space – like a camp site where a fire is built to create a temporary home without walls to protect from the darkness and cold.
Rural Reading Room (local text) is open to the public – whether you come prepared or not. The focus lies in the here-and-now of the situation itself. The event takes place in Kirkenes (probably in LM1, Le Maires vei 1), on Saturday, May 3. Time and other information about the event will be announced later. As usual, we welcome a small but interested audience.
We, who are behind the Rural Reading Room are Espen Sommer Eide, Hilde Methi, Morten Torgersrud, and Kristin Tårnesvik.
Rural Reading Room is supported by Arts Council Norway, North Norwegian Art Centre and Saami Council.