Friday, February 7, 2014

Case Study No. 1226: Patrik Schylstrom

Holes, Huts & Hidings: Mystery at Stockholm Public Library (Eng/Dan Subs)
Street Artist Adams has replaced nine padlocks around Stockholm city with his own.
The keys for the padlocks he has placed inside books along with a map to the location of the padlock.
The books have then been placed in Stockholm Public Library for people to access freely.
- As "a public service for public space".

Librarian Patrik Schylstrom tells about his thoughts when he first discovered these books.

If the English subtitles doesn't show up, make sure to turn captions on (CC or arrow-button) in lower right corner of the player.

(Also sorry if there's any mistakes in the subtitles, Swedish is not my native language).
Tags: Adams Itso Street Art graffiti Sweden Sverige Stockholm Library Bibliotek public Stadsbibliotek secret hemmelig nycklar, nogler keys Holes Huts Hidings Patrik Schylstrom Inside Outside 11. Time Akay Urban UE
Added: 2 years ago
From: Ptrisja
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[scene opens with a male librarian speaking directly to the camera]
PATRIK: [translated] My name is Patrik Schylstrom, I am a librarian here at Stockholm Public Library.
[cut to footage outside of the library ("Stockholms Stadsbibliotek"), then back inside where the librarian is speaking directly to the camera]
PATRIK: [translated] As you can see, we have a lot of books. We have about half a million just here in the building.
[cut to footage of the books on the shelves, then back to the librarian]
PATRIK: [translated] Some months ago, we discovered something peculiar. At first one book, but then several books in a hall a little bit from here.
[cut to Patrik walking through the library]
PATRIK: [translated] The reason for the existence of libraries is so every human has the same right to gain information about society so one can influence society. That's an important democratic right. And that's why I found it interesting when we discovered a key in one of our books.
[he stops and points off camera]
PATRIK: [translated] If I remember right, it was one of the books behind me. In between one of the Stockholm books.
[he walks over to the shelves (passing several patrons), then stops]
PATRIK: [translated] Here we have the shelf with Stockholm literature. And in one of the books we found ... The book was hollow. It wasn't a real book, and there was no title as well.
[he shrugs his shoulders]
PATRIK: [translated] And inside that book, once opened, we found a key that hung on a small hook. It was as a little piece of art.
[cut to a closeup of the librarian]
PATRIK: [translated] And this artist calls himself Adams. He moves mostly in Stockholm. In subways and other public spaces in Stockholm. And this time he had placed hidden keys in books. And these keys go to different places ... Uh, old shelters, a variety of places around Stockholm. It could be under a bridge.
[he smiles]
PATRIK: [translated] And his idea was that people who needed it, homeless people or others that needed a place to sleep at night, could take this key and then sleep a night or two at the place and later return the key back to the shelf again.
[he shrugs again]
PATRIK: [translated] I don't know who has used it, but I do think it's a very interesting art project ... When we first discovered these books, I experienced several strong reactions from my colleagues.
[the camera pans back]
PATRIK: [translated] Some thought that ... "We have to report this! It is wrong, this we cannot have here! There should only be normal books at the library!"
[he smiles]
PATRIK: [translated] But some, like me, thought that this was very interesting, because it puts the finger on important issues ... Who is it that really takes care of the homeless? And who takes responsibility for them?
[he smiles]
PATRIK: [translated] If this is art, political art, then I think ... This really is of high level. Very important political art.
[cut to Patrik in another part of the library]
PATRIK: [translated] This project put thoughts in progress inside the heads of some of my colleagues and I. We have an idea. We are working on a project. Maybe we can work with others who are good at IT technology and the role-playing world, and hide keys. Maybe do hints around the library using the GPS function in people's cell phones. Having the libraries in Stockholm as a form of playroom with clues.
[he shrugs his shoulders]
PATRIK: [translated] At the same time, you'll learn things about finding and getting to ask questions about the city of Stockholm ... Like a quiz that's playful and educational at the same time.
[he smiles]
PATRIK: [translated] Sort of a mixture of role-playing and knowledge at once ... So we'll see if it turns into something. I hope so.
[cut to Patrik standing in another part of the library]
PATRIK: [translated] I wish I could meet Adams, I would like to meet him. This artist is a ... "street artist," I think they call themselves. Uh, they're not as anonymous as graffiti artists, but a lot of them do live a little in hiding.
[he gestures with his hand]
PATRIK: [translated] They're not as apparent, and I haven't met any ... but I'd like to meet him.
[he smiles]
PATRIK: [translated] I'd like to have a discussion about the public space ... Who has the right to it? Should everything be sold, or should there be a common outer for the whole community to take part in?
[he smiles]
PATRIK: [translated] And I think he would be very cool to have, down here at Stockholm Public Library ... Giving a lecture or something like that. He could be a perfect guest, I think. One of my favorite guests.



Adams, born 1969 or 1970, is the pseudonym of a graffiti writer and street artist from Stockholm, Sweden.

In his art, Adams highlighted issues of public space, including the phenomena of visibility and accessibility. He has built illegal houses on the river Spree in Berlin, and in a yard in Turku, Finland. Together with the Danish street artist Itso in 2003, Adams found an unused space under the Central Station in Copenhagen near track 12 and made it into a home using only material that they found on construction sites; they created a fully liveable room with framed pictures on the walls as well as a kitchen and beds. The room was discovered in 2007, in connection with construction work on the station, and was highlighted in a long feature on Danish television. Like a lot of other street art, a huge part of Adam's art is that it is erected in public places without permission , making it illegal.

Adam is also working on a project that he calls Arkitek, which is a kind of library space, where you can "borrow" access to rooms that are otherwise closed to the public. This project is described in the book "Holes, Huts and Hidings" from 2006, with art critic Peter Cornell in an essay highlighting Adams' place in art history and his significance for contemporary art.

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