Saturday June 15: Staffan Westerberg at Råneå konsthall

15.06—18.08 2024

Råneå konsthall, Affärsvägen 4b

A Box in a Box in a Box – Thoughts and Artworks by Staffan Westerberg

Children’s TV legend celebrates ninety years with exhibition tour in Norrbotten County.

Lillstrumpan (Littlesock), Eyensteyn, and the ponderings of Mr. Nothing. The impact of Staffan Westerberg’s almost century-long presence in the Swedish cultural scene cannot be understated. The Kin Museum of Contemporary Art pays tribute to Westerberg’s imaginative characters and stories by leading a tour across Norrbotten County, starting from Luleå, Westerberg’s birthplace.

Staffan Westerberg’s versatile artistry is presented in seven suitcases: from the miniature theatre he made from cardboard as a child, to puppet shows, cabarets, television, visual art, and poetry. Born in 1934, Westerberg continues through his art, to highlight the tragedy and playfulness of human existence through the earnest eyes of children. He poses existential questions with a little help from an umbrella, a sock, or a bit of driftwood.

With the traveling exhibition “A box in a box in a box,” Staffan Westerberg returns once more, this time through a collection of suitcases travelling on an adventure of their own. Each suitcase displays a different cross section of his art and his way of thinking. In Westerberg’s creations we meet a mix of both familiar and new characters. On the one hand we have Lillstrumpan (Littlesock) and Syster Yster (Sister Sprightly), and on the other we have the Familjen Kuk (the Cock Family). There is also a choir of spoons singing “O-I-O-I-O-I,” a small library with manuscripts and notebooks, a theatre scenography, and a box full of boxes that showcases the nooks and crannies of the apartment in which Westerberg has lived and worked since the end of the 1960s. Each suitcase is also accompanied by stories, thoughts, and songs recorded by Westerberg during the winter of 2023–2024. This is an intimate exhibition that both looks back at a substantial body of work and distant memories while it also attempts to grasp the now.

A number of Staffan Westerberg’s artistic depictions and productions take as a point of departure Norrbotten County, in particular Luleå, the town he was raised in. Among these are the television programme Vägen hem (The Way Home) from 1989 and the play Storgatan, which premiered at the Norrbotten Theatre in 2006.

“A Box in a Box in a Box – Thoughts and Artworks by Staffan Westerberg” has been produced upon the initiative of Kin Museum of Contemporary Art in Kiruna, Norrbotten County Art Museum. The exhibition’s curator is the artist Andjeas Ejiksson. During 2024, the exhibition has visited Norrbottensteatern in Luleå and will also travel to be shown at Gällivare Museum of Culture and Överkalix konsthall.