Site as Heritage or the Time Capsule
“Re-imagining the Workshop or People Make the Place” consists of a number of explanatory signs printed on cardboard and installed in the PJ Carlsson’s workshop. The signs refer to random everyday realities of life at PJ Carlsson’s. They attempt to reveal certain mundane objects, facts and figures, soundbites and refer to certain people who once shaped the daily life at the workshop.
After parts of the interior of the workshop were moved to the Hultet museum, the place appeared for many people to loose some of its connections to the people who were once present there.
The signs installed at the workshop attempt to disclose some of the hidden stories of the space, creating an imaginary place in the minds of the audience where the shrieking sound of Åke’s wife often heard through the telephone headset are mixed with the images of neighborhood children trying to peek in through the windows, or the sound of one of the last pieces of music that Åke ever played mixed with the imaginary sound of the carpenters tools. These spatial speech bubbles conjure up some of the characters, “the originals” who once inhabited the workshop. Lill-Arthur sleeping in a box cut right for his size. Tor showing a table leg to potential customers. Like the working man’s bench left its mark on the floor, these characters were etched to the soul of PJ Carlsson’s.
The information written on the signs were extracted from the memory of the interviewees which Seher Uysal recorded in 2018. These memories sometimes played tricks on these people and many of the stories were often in conflict with each other. Since its closure, the workshop became a place that exists in the memory therefore it became a construction.
“There is nothing that commends a story to memory more effectively than that chaste compactness which precludes psychological analysis” Walter Benjamin says, in his article The Storyteller. “And the more natural the process by which the storyteller forgoes psychological shading, the greater becomes the story’s claim to a place in the memory of the listener, the more completely is it integrated into his own experience, the greater will be his inclination repeat it to someone else someday, sooner or later.”
“Re-imagining the Workshop or People Make the Place” tries to show this construction and underlines the fact that there are multiple narratives and truths rather than one complete truth. The narrative of the workshop was the creation of many people. Like the information often displayed next to artifacts at a museum the signs installed in the workshop attempt to excavate these stories which were buried in the minds of people. Even though the artifacts appear to refer to mundane everyday life stories, they are what has made the place.
Though research, interviews and the collection and tracing of material related to the space, the artist Seher Uysal investigates the hearsay information, rumors and partial reality and nostalgia which encompasses the space, a space which has left its mark on the collective, yet fading memory of the community in a small rural town in Sweden.