Vänersborg 2018

I had been on sick leave for a long time and my doctor always told me that I had not been resting. Finally I placed a coffin in an empty shop and layed down in silence with closed eyes. On the big window I wrote “My doctor told me to get some rest”

I invited friends to sit with me for as long or as short a time as they wished. They wrote a figure in a doodle, therefore I did not know who entered the room on every occasion.

I wrote a note with information and put it on the door of the shop.

Rest - What would happen if we really took some rest? Do we have a value as “human beings” and not only as "human doings”?

Death - About the yearn to let go off the clumsy efforts and the need to simply just give up. Just a little and without the actual dying.

Silence - To be able to perceive the tiny details and the answers we can find behind the obvious.

Due to the coffin being so centrally situated in the small town where I live I felt the need to explain myself and I did that with a note with the small text above and in a local city group on Facebook.

There was a long discussion on this post on Facebook and some people were very upset from the performance “My doctor told me to get some rest”. 

One person posted some photos of himself in a hospital full of medical hoses. He said I was not respecting death and as he had been close to dying he felt personally offended. Then a discussion arose between people who agreed with him telling other people that this was not art, and others who argued that it was indeed art. 

In the beginning I felt obliged to answer each and everyone as gently as I could but after a short while I decided that the “right” answers were of less value than the discussion in itself so I left the thread.

At last a father wrote a long story where he told everyone that he recently lost his wife and the mother of his three young children, in cancer.  He wrote that most of the time he did not understand art but in this case it gave him a great deal of comfort and he finally felt there was a place where death was allowed to exist.

Photos by Åsa Johansson