Jan Svenungsson

Conceptual instruction for the Living Arts Museum, Reykjavik 1996

The following text was written for inclusion in an exhibition arranged by Steingrimur Eyfjord at the Living Arts Museum in Reykjavik 1996. As far as I know (!) it was enlarged and mounted on the wall.

1. Select a photo or other image that is meaningful to you.

2. Select a paper in a format whose proportions correspond to those of the selected image. Provide yourself with a stack of this paper.

3. Draw on each paper a rectangle exactly proportional to the chosen image. Use pencil and ruler.

4. Cancel all appointments for the following days and nights.

5. Make sure your work-place is well stocked with food and drink.

6. Unplug the telephone and turn off the computer.

7. Dip a steel pen in black ink and make a line-drawing of the chosen image inside the frame on the first paper. Your drawing is to represent the original image as faithfully as possible. No means of assistance are allowed, nor drawing outside of the frame. You can't erase a line after it has been drawn.

8. When the drawing is finished, replace the original image with its representation. Hide the original.

9. Make a new drawing that represents the first drawing in accordance with the rules developed under point 7. Copy the drawing line by line. No detail may be omitted. Nothing may be added. Everything in the drawing that now constitutes your original has the same degree of importance, irrespective of its degree of truthfulness to the image that earlier constituted its original.

10. When the drawing is finished, replace it with its copy. Hide the original.

11. Make a new drawing that represents the second drawing in accordance with the rules developed under point 7 and 9.

12. Continue to make drawings of your drawings, generation after generation, until you can't stand even the thought of continuing.

13. Leave the work-place.

14. Return to the work-place.

15. Look at your result and answer the following questions:

– What does it tell me?

– What did the journey there tell me?

Jan Svenungsson, Berlin, October 1996